Today, the White House announced the establishment of the Personalized Medicine Initiative (PMI) working group to further its mission to improve care and speed the development of treatments through a new model of patient-powered research. The Initiative will forge strong partnerships with existing cohorts, patient groups, and the private sector to capitalize on work already underway to significantly expand efforts in cancer genomics and ultimately, put precision medicine into practice on a much larger scale. The group is comprised of key leaders in research, science, technology, epidemiology, investment, policy and patient advocacy, including Kathy Giusti, Founder and Chairman of the MMRF.
“I am so pleased to be working with this stellar group of change-makers in the field of medicine,” said Kathy Giusti. “I recently wrote about my feelings of hope, pride and realism as I joined President Obama for the launch of this initiative. My greatest hope is that our work here will not only increase the dialogue around precision medicine and the critical role of the patient, but help guide the medical community through the numerous approaches precision medicine offers them in the collective effort to improve outcomes and save lives.”
The Precision Medicine Initiative was first announced in President Obama’s State of the Union Address and launched at the White House on January 30 with a $215 million investment. By expanding on early successes in cancer genomics and partnering with more than a million participants nationwide to establish a national research cohort, the Initiative will set the foundation for new ways of engaging research participants, sharing health data and information, and employing technology advances to mine the information for comprehensive results.
“As a patient-focused organization focused on precision medicine, the MMRF’s mission has always been to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation cancer treatments. Thus, we have collaborated with many stakeholders in multiple disciplines in the medical community to break down the barriers that exist in research and build a working end-to-end solution that begins and ends with the patient. I look forward to sharing our experience with the group and contributing to the development of a robust national precision medicine program.”
About Multiple Myeloma (MM)
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a cancer of the plasma cell. It is the second most common blood cancer. An estimated 24,050 adults (13,500 men and 10,550 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with MM in 2014 and an estimated 11,090 people are predicted to die from the disease. The five-year survival rate for MM is approximately 43%, versus 28% in 1998.
About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy’s diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. As the world’s number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised $275 million since its inception and directs nearly 90% of total budget to research and related programming. As a result, the MMRF has been awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star rating for 11 consecutive years, the highest designation for outstanding fiscal responsibility and exceptional efficiency.