Dear IMS Members,
Welcome to the First Newsletter from International Myeloma Society!
Over the past year and a half, we have witnessed the world change. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the losses incurred cannot be over-stated and will never be forgotten. Although it is a time of great tragedy, we have also watched the world unite to conquer a disease in a manner that we have never seen before. Importantly, during these troubled times the quest for conquering myeloma has made amazing progress. As we meet over next 4 days in Vienna, we will witness how we are a step closer to a cure!
Throughout the pandemic, IMS has brought physicians, researchers, and patients together. With the participation of physicians from 25 countries, the IMS was able to create the first comprehensive analysis of clinical presentation of Covid-19 in myeloma (Blood 2020) and developed the recommendations for the Management of Myeloma Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic. The society made its educational workshops virtual, increasing member participation dramatically, and in May, successfully hosted the 2nd Immune Effector Cell Therapies in Multiple Myeloma Workshop in Boston. This first hybrid meeting by the society was also a pilot for the current meeting incorporating the daily COVID testing, mandating vaccines and masks and instituting social distancing. And now, we are here for the 18th IMW meeting in Vienna the first of what will be now be an annual IMW meeting.
Over past 2 years there has been a tremendous growth and new activities by the society. One of the most impactful and strategic components is the partnership with the Paula and Rodger Riney Foundation to support research in myeloma. With their generous support, this year we have funded 19 projects with two types of grants; the Career Development Award for young investigators, and the Translational Research Award, to foster and support state-of-the-art investigator-initiated research to improve prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of plasma cell disorders. IMS has become one of the largest funding society for myeloma research!
Finally, to bring the activities to the modern times and allow social media participation, IMS has launched a new website and introduced rebranding. The society has initiated Therapeutic Map (T-Map) for myeloma management – a new major effort to develop treatment recommendations incorporating regional access and approvals around the globe. The society is organizing academic workshops focused on advances in genomics and immunotherapies, conducting region specific myeloma education programs and is involved in advocacy for both providers and patients.
Now, it is with great pleasure that I introduce the Society’s newest initiative, the bi-monthly Newsletter, with resources for members. We have sections dedicated to the latest publications in myeloma, and on clinical and basic & translational research. To make it successful, we need you, our readers to help us highlight the best IMS has to offer. If you have a case to share or question to poll. Please write to us at email@example.com. We plan to have a job corner, for members to post jobs in their labs, so please stay tuned. We are also encouraging submissions related to extracurricular activities by members. We will highlight one member with interesting hobby in a section titled “life outside myeloma”. We also seek submissions of your favorite pictures for selection for publication in each issue of the newsletter.
The past year has been eventful, but IMS along with the myeloma community has grown and become more innovative and connected than ever. If you realize that myeloma-focused physician and researchers from your group or other institutions are not part of IMS, please encourage them to become members. We are stronger together! We look forward to seeing you all, either in-person or virtually at this meeting and wish you all a successful meeting!