Myeloma Minute: September 10, 2015

More Evidence Links Toxic Chemical Exposure to MGUS and Myeloma

For the first time, direct serum measurements of the known human carcinogen in Agent Orange have been linked to the likelihood of developing MGUS and myeloma. In his blog this week, IMF Chairman Dr. Brian Durie reports on a study, published online Sept. 3 in the journal JAMA Oncology, in which Dr. Ola Landgren and colleagues examined stored serum samples from Vietnam War veterans involved in Operation Ranch Hand, which resulted in significant exposure to a dioxin called TCDD, present in Agent Orange. “This is just one of many studies pointing to the link between toxic chemical exposure and myeloma,” he writes. To read Dr. Durie’s blog, click HERE.


Remember to Register for the Veterans Against Myeloma Webinar

The IMF’s “Veterans Against Myeloma Teleconference Series” will host a free webinar next Thursday, September 17 at 7 PM ET, 4 PM PT titled “The Military Veteran’s Perspective on Living with Multiple Myeloma.” This 60-minute webinar will feature speakers Sandy Kurtin, RN, MS, AOCN®, ANP and Susan Leigh, RN, retired Lieutenant, US Army, and Vietnam Veteran, and will focus primarily on the results of IMF’s Veterans Against Myeloma focus group, current trends in multiple myeloma treatment, and strategies for veterans to optimize their access to resources. To register for the webinar please click HERE.

Watch the replay here


Another Daratumumab Milestone in Europe

Janssen Biotech, Inc. has announced it has submitted a Marketing Authorization Application (MMA) to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the multiple myeloma drug daratumumab. Daratumumab is showing positive efficacy results in recent Phase I and Phase II clinical trial studies for helping patients myeloma patients who have tried at least three lines of myeloma treatment therapy or for refractory patients. This announcement marks another important milestone for approval of daratumumab in Europe. To read the full story, please click HERE.


Expanded Access Program for Elotuzumab

An Expanded Access Program (EAP) for elotuzumab with lenalidomide (Revlimid®) and dexamethasone is now open for myeloma patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. Elotuzumab is the first monoclonal antibody developed to treat multiple myeloma. Clinical trials have provided insights that elotuzumab works more effectively in combination with the immunomodulatory agent Revlimid and the steroid dexamethasone than alone. To learn more about the elotuzumab EAP, read the IMF’s Clinical Trial Fact Sheet HERE.


IMF Friend and Myeloma Advocate Yelak Biru Steps Into New Role

The IMF congratulates myeloma advocate, patient and leader of the North Texas Myeloma Support group, Yelak Biru for beginning a leadership role with Smart Patients, the online peer-to-peer community for myeloma patients. The Smart Patients forum is one that was conceptualized and overseen since 1995 by one of the IMF’s founding Board members Mike Katz, who passed away earlier this year. Yelak’s formal experience being a group leader, as well as his personal experience living with myeloma for the past two decades, will bring tremendous value and expertise to the community. “I will serve as a formal liaison between Smart Patients and the IMF and we'll be exploring how Smart Patients can tap into the IMF's expertise when appropriate. I'll work closely with the Smart Patients team as Mike did, to help guide conversations,” Yelak stated in the announcement. To read the full story, click HERE.


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