|[March 12, 2013]
The International Myeloma Foundation Launches the BLACK SWAN RESEARCH INITIATIVE™ to Develop the Very First Definitive Cure for Multiple Myeloma
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. --(Business Wire)--
The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) - improving the quality of
life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure -
today announced the launch of the BLACK SWAN RESEARCH INITIATIVE™
(BSRI™), a unique project to develop the first actual cure for myeloma.
The BSRI is led by a multi-national consortium of leading myeloma
experts who see that the opportunity to cure the first cohort of
patients is now within reach.
"Through medical innovation we can already achieve long-term complete
remissions in 15 to 20 percent of myeloma patients," said Brian G.M.
Durie, MD, Chairman and Co-Founder of the IMF. "Now by increasing the
level of innovation further, we're ready to bridge the gap from
long-term remission to cure, by identifying the best treatments at the
best time to achieve the best objective, our objective being a new
definition of cure based on a complete eradication of any residual
These facets of our initiative will be pursued simultaneously, led by an
elite team of experts from the United States and Europe:
Objective - defining a cure as MRD-Zero™, the eradication of Minimal
In the past, most cancer "cures" were defined simply by waiting a
fixed number of years to see what happened. Now, with a new
understanding of myeloma at the cellular and molecularlevels, the IMF
is developing ultra-sensitive tests to accurately measure MRD and
define its absence as a cure.
Treatments - new trials will enable us to select the most effective
anti-MRD drug combinations for patient subgroups that will be
identified at the cellular and molecular levels in order to optimize
the efficacy of treatments.
Timing of treatment - early intervention, at onset or relapse, can
eradicate the most residual disease.
"Just as people who had only seen white swans could not imagine the
existence of black swans, until very recently we could not even consider
the possibility of a cure," said Susie Novis, President and Co-founder
of the IMF. "But now, we have created a paradigm shift by taking an
entirely new approach to monitoring treatment efficacy to achieve a
cure, something we couldn't even imagine before. We may actually see the
first myeloma patients restored to a normal, healthy life, free of their
cancer for the first time ever."
Initial work began on the BLACK SWAN RESEARCH INITIATIVE in the summer
of 2012. Now with the full launch, the initiative will result in new
testing capabilities and new clinical trials before the end of this year.
Myeloma, also called multiple myeloma, is a cancer of cells in the bone
marrow that affects production of red cells, white cells and stem cells
and can damage bone. It is growing in numbers and affecting increasingly
Information can be found at www.blackswan.myeloma.org.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL MYELOMA FOUNDATION
Celebrating its 22nd anniversary, the International Myeloma
Foundation reaches more than 240,000 members in 120 countries worldwide.
A 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality
of life of myeloma patients and their families, the IMF focuses on four
key areas: research, education, support, and advocacy. To date, the IMF
has conducted more than 250 educational seminars worldwide, maintains a
world-renowned hotline, and established the International Myeloma
Working Group (IMWG), a collaborative research initiative focused on
improving myeloma treatment options for patients. The IMF can be reached
at (800) 452-CURE (2873). The global website is www.myeloma.org.
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