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August 10, 2007

CONTACT: Olivia Fermano
(215) 349-5653
olivia.fermano@uphs.upenn.edu


Invitation to Cover:
“Myeloma Mobile” Rolls into Philly: Family Cross-country Road Trip
Makes a Pit Stop at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center

WHAT:

A family affected by multiple myeloma will visit the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania as part of its cross-country jaunt to raise awareness of this form of cancer. Myeloma, also called multiple myeloma, affects the production of red cells, white cells, and stem cells and is the second most common of the blood cancers affecting an estimated 75,000 people worldwide.

Multiple myeloma survivor, Michael Touhy, and his family including wife Robin, 14 year-old daughter Ally, 9-year-old son Mikey – and 2 pets – have traveled across the United States this summer, stopping at cancer centers to talk to survivors and let others know that thanks to new treatments, multiple myeloma is becoming a manageable disease.

WHERE & WHEN:

The “Myeloma Mobile” will pull up in front of the Biomedical Research Building II/III, located at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine on Curie Blvd. 

Biomedical Research Building II/III [map]
Univeristy of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
421 Curie Blvd. (Osler Dr. and Curie Blvd.)
Philadelphia PA 19104

Saturday, August 11th
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

WHO:

Michael Touhy was just 36 when he was told he had an incurable cancer, multiple myeloma, and five years to live.

Now 42 and in full remission, Mike and his family have taken to the road in the “Myeloma Mobile” to spread the word all across the continental US about the novel myeloma treatments – some of them being pioneered right here in Philadelphia at the Abramson Cancer Center – that have kept him alive.

Edward A. Stadtmauer, MD, co-director of the Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Program at the Abramson Cancer Center and national leader in the treatment of multiple myeloma, has helped pioneer new, non-chemotherapy treatments. These new treatments, which target the mechanisms by which the cancer cells survive and multiply, rather than attacking all cells (including healthy ones), are turning myeloma into a manageable, not fatal, cancer. And not a moment too soon:

  • Myeloma – which used to only affect the elderly – is on the rise as it now affects increasingly younger patients, like Michael Touhy who was only 36 when he was diagnosed.
  • Myeloma, which has an environmental component, was named as one of the cancers for which September 11, 2001 responders are at risk.

The “Myeloma Mobile” is sponsored by the International Myeloma Foundation.

# # #

The Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) of the University of Pennsylvania is a national leader in cancer research, patient care, and education. The pre-eminent position of the Cancer Center is reflected in its continuous designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute for 30 years, one of 39 such Centers in the United States. The ACC is dedicated to innovative and compassionate cancer care. The clinical program, comprised of a dedicated staff of physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, physical therapists, nutritionists and patient support specialists, currently sees over 50,000 outpatient visits, 3400 inpatient admissions, and provides over 25,000 chemotherapy treatments, and more than 65,000 radiation treatments annually. Not only is the ACC dedicated to providing state-of-the-art cancer care, the latest forms of cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment are available to our patients through clinical themes that developed in the relentless pursuit to eliminate the pain and suffering from cancer. In addition, the ACC is home to the 300 research scientists who work relentlessly to determine the pathogenesis of cancer. Together, the faculty is committed to improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

PENN Medicine is a $3.5 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn's School of Medicine is currently ranked #3 in the nation in U.S.News & World Report's survey of top research-oriented medical schools; and, according to most recent data from the National Institutes of Health, received over $379 million in NIH research funds in the 2006 fiscal year. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals — its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S.News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center — a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.


This release is available online at
http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/aug07/myeloma-mobile.html