'Living with Myeloma' Conference promotes advocacy for cancer patients and caregivers

10th annual free event sponsored by AzMN features TGen myeloma researcher Dr. Jonathan Keats

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - March 2, 2016 - Dr. Jonathan Keats of theTranslational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) will present research findings to the Arizona Myeloma Network (AzMN) when it hosts its 10th annual Living with Myeloma Conference on March 18-19.

On March 18, from noon to 5:30 p.m. the conference includes a scientific roundtable in the Ballroom of Chaparral Suites, 5001 N. Scottsdale Road.

On March 19, the public is invited from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the same location to hear about the latest myeloma research and the newest and most exciting therapies for myeloma cancer patients.

 Annually, this free conference attracts more than 300 participants, and is open to all patients, caregivers, family, friends, health care providers, cancer researchers and the business community.

Dr. Keats, an Assistant Professor and TGen's Director of Bioinformatics, is supervising the CoMMpass Study, a 10-year effort sponsored by the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF). The study includes a clinical trial, which in September had enrolled all of its planned 1,000 multiple myeloma patients at 120 sites worldwide.

There has been progress in addressing the disease. Only a decade ago, the median survival was about 3 years, Dr. Keats said.

"Treatments have improved so much in the last decade that median survival in now closer to 8-10 years," said Dr. Keats, who is using data from the CoMMpass study to identify better treatment options for these patients.

Dr. Keats is scheduled to present during the March 18 Myeloma Scientific Research Roundtable.

The March 19 public session is the only one if its kind to provide patient advocacy and education for the families, caregivers and those affected by this rare, often misdiagnosed, bone marrow cancer. It is designed to bridge the communication gap between researchers, healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers.

Each participant will leave with a better understanding and new information on treatment options, said Barbara Kavanagh, Founder and President of AzMN.

"After hosting this event for the last decade, we've seen tremendous advances for myeloma patients," Kavanagh said. "Myeloma continues to affect over 22,000 people each year. It is not curable, but thanks to new research, patients are living longer and more quality lives. Our objective is to be a place for those affected by myeloma to learn about this rare form of blood cancer, to promote collaboration, awareness, education and advocacy, and feel less alone."

The conference will be moderated by Honorary Chair Joan Koerber-Walker, President and CEO of the AZ BioIndustry Association. Other presenters include: Dr. Robert Kyle of Mayo Clinic Rochester; Angela Mayo and Dr. Joseph Mikhael of Mayo Clinic Scottsdale; Dr. Bart Barlogie of Mount Sinai New York; Mary DeRome of the MMRF; Dr. Kenneth Anderson of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute; Dr. Jason Salganick of Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers; and Robyn Wachsman, Oncology Nurse Educator with InSys Therapeutics.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. March 19, and includes a continental breakfast, luncheon, panel discussions, breakout sessions and workshops conducted by top experts throughout the day. For more information and to register, please visitwww.azmyelomanetwork.org or call (623) 466-6246.

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About TGen
Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. TGen is focused on helping patients with neurological disorders, cancer, and diabetes, through cutting edge translational research (the process of rapidly moving research towards patient benefit). TGen physicians and scientists work to unravel the genetic components of both common and rare complex diseases in adults and children. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities literally worldwide, TGen makes a substantial contribution to help our patients through efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. For more information, visit:www.tgen.org. Follow TGen onFacebook,LinkedInandTwitter @TGen.

Press Contacts:
Steve Yozwiak
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About the Arizona Myeloma Network
Myeloma is a complex and often misdiagnosed cancer of bone marrow plasma cells that attacks and destroys the bone. Founded in 2004, the Arizona Myeloma Network (AzMN) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity organization that conducts outreach events and education programs, with special consideration for the underserved African-American, Asian-Pacific, Hispanic and Native American populations. Volunteers and donations are always welcomed - visit www.azmyelomanetwork.org or call 

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