Four Patient Advocacy Organizations Provide Briefing and Webcast to Highlight Medical Advances at Global Conference Helping Blood Cancer Patients Live Longer, Better Lives

--Journalist Briefing Sunday Evening, December 7th during American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting--

--Medical Experts will Present on behalf of the International Myeloma Foundation, Lymphoma Research Foundation, MDS Foundation, Inc. and National Patient Advocate Foundation--

ASH 2014

SAN FRANCISCO--()--With more than two thousand abstracts covering lymphoma, myeloma, MDS and related leukemias to be presented at the ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition, the world’s largest scientific event in the area of malignant hematology, experts from four patient advocacy organizations will highlight the latest medical advances extending patients’ lives while improving their quality of life, as well as programs meant to expedite patient access to these important therapeutic options. The briefing will be held Sunday evening, December 7th, at 8pm PT, and will be will be webcast around the globe live and archived on several of the host organizations’ websites. A robust social media campaign will allow patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals from around the world to participate in this unique, patient-centric event.

Brian G.M. Durie, M.D., Chair and Co-Founder of the International Myeloma Foundation, will speak about multiple myeloma and the IMF Black Swan Research Initiative® that is using new science to develop a cure. Thomas M. Habermann, M.D., Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and member of the Lymphoma Research Foundation Scientific Advisory Board, will discuss the latest advances in the diagnosis and treatment of lymphoma. Alan F. List, M.D., President and CEO of the Moffitt Cancer Center and Lewis R. Silverman of the Tisch Cancer Institute - Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, will update myelodysplastic syndromes for the MDS Foundation and MDS Alliance. Charles M. Balch, M.D., F.A.C.S., Professor of Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the National Patient Advocate Foundation, will focus on the urgent need to accelerate the delivery of promising new cancer treatments for the growing number of patients projected to reach 22 million annually by 2035.

According to abstracts to be presented at ASH --

  • Myeloma: advances are being made by adding new classes of drugs to the existing medications that have provided long term remissions with improved quality of life.
  • Lymphoma: new genetic studies are demonstrating that each type of lymphoma can be further divided by genetic subtype to determine which patients will respond best to specific therapies.
  • MDS: there are just three approved therapeutics highlighting the need to encourage innovation and global approvals so patients are not disadvantaged by where they live.

Because these medical advances will only benefit patients if new therapies are approved in a timely fashion, NPAF recently created Project Innovation whose goal is to reduce the regulatory and institutional obstacles that delay drug development. Dr. Balch will address the need for a more standardized regulatory approval process, improved design of cancer clinical trials, expedited access to innovative therapies and other policy charges to encourage development of the next-generation cancer therapies.

In addition to the advocacy leaders, the briefing will feature several blood cancer patients who exemplify how therapeutic advances make lives better for patients while reducing the time and expense of lengthy hospital stays. These patients include: Terry Barter, who was one of the first patients to try one of the newer blood cancer medications and has continued on this therapy for 14 years; and 73 year old Don Wright, who has run 85 marathons since being diagnosed with myeloma 11 years ago. Don too takes a cancer medication as he runs his marathons – the most recent race was in November 2014 in Canada.

Facts and figures from the blood cancer briefing will be posted on social media using the hashtag #BCBrief14. The program is not affiliated with the American Society of Hematology or its annual meeting.


For International Myeloma Foundation
Deanne Eagle, 917-837-5866

Release Summary

Four patient advocacy organizations highlight and call for expedited access to the latest medical advances extending and improving patients’ lives, during webcast from global blood cancer conference