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Studies at cancer conference show new therapies changing outlook for blood cancer patients

Orlando, FL and North Hollywood, CA, December 8, 2006 -- The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) conducting research and providing education, advocacy and support for myeloma patients, families, researchers and physicians today noted that multiple studies presented at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) illustrate the breadth of the gains being made in the treatment of multiple myeloma and related blood cancers. The findings show that new treatment regimens that began with THALOMID and extend to both VELCADE and the newest oral treatment REVLIMID are helping a growing range of myeloma patients when used alone, sequentially and in various combinations. Collectively, these studies represent a significant increase in knowledge of how myeloma responds to treatment, which is already becoming applicable to other cancers.

The patient groups studied cover the full range, from relapsed patients to the newly diagnosed, young to old, and include patients with an otherwise poor prognosis due to chromosomal abnormalities. In some cases the data being presented at the conference significantly advances previous studies to show long-term response in newly diagnosed patients. In one of the most significant studies, researchers from the Mayo Clinic report 67% of patients using REVLIMID (plus the steroid dexamethasone) as primary therapy, achieved a response categorized as complete or very good, with a low rate of disease progression continuing even after two years.

"The many studies being presented at ASH not only confirm the good news we have been experiencing firsthand in our work with myeloma patients, but show that working with new classes of drugs is actually teaching us about treating cancer," said Brian G. M. Durie, M.D., myeloma specialist and chairman and co-founder of the International Myeloma Foundation. "We are learning to attack not just the cancer cell, but the environment in which it lives. We know that dr
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8-Dec-2006


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