S. Vincent Rajkumar, MD is the 2021 recipient of the Waldenström Award. The Waldenström Award has been given by the IMS at each International Myeloma Workshop since 1989. This award is given to outstanding researchers in recognition of their contributions to the myeloma field. The award is named for Professor Jan Waldenström, who was a pioneer in treating blood cancer.
Throughout his career, Dr. Rajkumar has engaged in clinical, epidemiological and laboratory research in myeloma and related disorders, making breakthrough discoveries. Dr. Rajkumar served as the principal investigator on several clinical trials, including the pivotal trials that led to the regulatory approval of thalidomide for the treatment of myeloma in the United States. Prevalence and progression of monoclonal gammopathies, racial disparities in the incidence of myeloma, and familial predisposition are among the large studies he has led over the years. Based on his findings, he has directed an international effort that revised the diagnostic criteria for multiple myeloma and related plasma cell disorders. Moreover, his laboratory studies were among the first to demonstrate the importance of angiogenesis in the progression of plasma cell disorders.
Dr. Rajkumar credits the support of his collaborators with his achievements, “I’m very grateful for all of my senior and young collaborators that were instrumental to this award…. Let’s continue to work together, with one common goal… collaboration is the hallmark of our field.’’