International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) Returns to In-Person Patient and Family Seminars in 2023, Announces Boca Raton Event

BOCA RATON, Fla., Feb. 02, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) today announced that this year’s first Patient and Family Seminar is taking place in-person and virtually on March 17–18, 2023, in Boca Raton, Florida. The event will serve to help patients and their families learn from world-renowned myeloma experts face-to-face while bonding with others in the community. The Boca Raton, Florida, seminar marks the start of the IMF’s return to in-person patient events after a 3-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

IMF Patient and Family Seminars gather doctors, patients, and families alike to share stories and connect with those on similar journeys in the myeloma community. They present a unique opportunity to learn from global leading myeloma researchers under one roof, free of charge. Attendees gain vital information on the newest treatment options and the latest clinical trials from multiple myeloma experts.

For the IMF, the health of the myeloma community is of utmost importance. At the onset of the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S., the IMF immediately adapted its education, fundraising, support, and advocacy programs to virtual formats. Nearly three years later, the IMF returns to an in-person seminar format now with an added hybrid component allowing patients to participate virtually from anywhere in the U.S. and abroad.

A Media Snippet accompanying this announcement is available by clicking on the image or link below:

“Patient and Family Seminars are informative, fun, inspirational, and hopeful,” shared Yelak Biru, IMF Patient, President, and CEO. “You can connect with others going through the same journey, find the playbook you want to adopt on your own path, and ask the difficult questions you have been unable to ask in a safe environment. Whether I join a Patient and Family Seminar as ‘just a patient’ or in my role as President and CEO, I always find them invigorating and educational.”

Informed patients have better outcomes due to a stronger understanding of the treatment options and complications they may face. To facilitate better outcomes, the IMF created the first myeloma Patient and Family Seminar in 1993 to bring leading myeloma experts directly to patients and their families.

“I was attending a large medical conference, and I thought, 'Where are the patients? Why are they not meeting with these myeloma experts?' After this, the IMF team and I decided to host our first Patient and Family Seminar,” said Susie Durie, IMF Founder & Director of Global Patient Initiatives on the creation of Patient and Family Seminars.

The IMF is proud to bridge the knowledge gap for new patients and decades-long survivors alike and provide opportunities for patients and care partners to learn and connect with their communities.

The Boca Raton Patient and Family Seminar will include presentations from internationally esteemed myeloma researchers from all over the world.

Leading up to the event, the IMF will announce additional expert speakers for the upcoming Boca Raton Patient and Family Seminar. Speakers at the Boca Raton Seminar currently Include:

  • Yelak Biru, IMF President and CEO, and 27-year myeloma survivor
  • Brian G.M. Durie, MD, IMF Chief Scientific Officer and Chairman of the Board
  • Beth Faiman, PhD, MSN, APN-BC, AOCN®, BMTCN®, FAAN, FAPO, IMF Nurse Leadership Board Member (Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute—Cleveland, OH)
  • Sigurður Kristinsson, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator of the IMF iStopMM trial (University of Iceland—Reykjavik, Iceland)

Joining the ranks to provide international insights from a crucial IMF Black Swan Research Initiative® (BSRI) study is Sigurður Kristinsson, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator of the IMF Iceland Screens Treats or Prevents Multiple Myeloma (iStopMM) trial. The clinical study is the first large-scale screening study aimed at preventing myeloma before it develops and is spearheaded by the BSRI. BSRI’s focus is on answering the question, "How can we cure myeloma?" Coming hot on the heels from the 2022 American Society of Hematology Meeting and Expo, where a total of 10 iStopMM abstracts were debuted, Dr. Kristinsson is slated to share the latest findings from the countrywide screening program.

“Whether you are new in your myeloma journey or a seasoned veteran, once you attend a Patient and Family Seminar, I know you cannot wait until the IMF returns to your area with another program,” Yelak concluded.

Registration Is Now Open for the Patient and Family Seminar in Boca Raton, FL.

  • Date: March 17th-18th, 2023
  • Venue: Boca Raton Marriott at Boca Center
  • Location: 5150 Town Center Cir, Boca Raton, FL 33486

Attendance for the 2023 IMF Boca Raton Patient and Family Seminar is free of charge. Attend the event either in-person or virtually.

Register today to reserve your spot and do not forget to book your hotel room by February 15, 2023, or register to attend the seminar virtually.

The IMF remains vigilant about patient safety during the pandemic and will continue to require vaccination records, proper masking, and social distancing at all Patient and Family Seminars for the safety of our community.

“What the IMF means to me is help, support, friendship,” shared Sheri Baker, myeloma patient and support group leader. “Sure, nobody wants to have cancer, but it has brought people into my life that never would have come into my life before that. A lot of that is through the IMF. All the people at the IMF – the people who run the Patient Family Seminars, the people who run our support groups, and the support group leaders that I've met through the IMF – they are now friends.”

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow plasma cells — white blood cells that make antibodies. A cancerous or malignant plasma cell is called a myeloma cell. Myeloma is called "multiple" because there are frequently multiple patches or areas in bone where it grows. It can appear as both a tumor and/or an area of bone loss, and it affects the places where bone marrow is active in an adult: the hollow area within the bones of the spine, skull, pelvis, rib cage, and the areas around the shoulders and hips. 

Founded in 1990, the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) is the first and largest global foundation focusing specifically on multiple myeloma. The Foundation's reach extends to more than 525,000 members in 140 countries worldwide. The IMF is dedicated to improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure by focusing on four key areas: research, education, support, and advocacy. The IMF has conducted more than 250 educational seminars worldwide, maintains a world-renowned InfoLine, and in 2001, established the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG), a collaborative research initiative focused on improving myeloma treatment options for patients. In 2012, the IMF launched the Black Swan Research Initiative®, a groundbreaking research project aimed at curing myeloma. The IMF can be reached at (800) 452-CURE (2873). The global website is

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Twitter: @IMFmyeloma
Instagram: @imfmyeloma
Facebook: @myeloma
LinkedIn: International Myeloma Foundation

Media Contacts:

Peter Anton

Jason London