Contact: Peter Patterson
(202) 835-8718
800-892-1400 ext. 1718
Email: ppatterson@aacc.org

Tuesday, April 26, 2011
AACC Announces Webinar: Current Issues In Multiple Myeloma

Washington DC, April 26, 2011          The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) announces a webinar Current Issues in Multiple Myeloma on May 25, 2011 at 2:00pm Eastern. The webinar will last 60 minutes.

Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells which causes the cells to overgrow to form a mass or tumor that is located in the bone marrow; the spongy tissue at the center of the bone where the body manufactures red and white blood cells, and platelets. There are several risk factors for developing myeloma: age (people under 45 years rarely develop the disease, while those 67 years or older are at greater risk); gender (men are more likely than women to develop myeloma); and race (the disease is about twice as common among African Americans compared to Caucasians). Family history can also be a factor since myeloma seems to run in some families. If a person has a parent or sibling with the disease, the risk of getting it is four times higher than that of other people. Exposure to radiation may be a risk factor for developing myeloma, and some studies have suggested that workers in petroleum-related industries may also be at a higher risk.

The diagnosis of multiple myelomas and other monoclonal gammopathies, also called plasma cell disorders, has traditionally relied on electrophoresis techniques to confirm monoclonality of relevant immunoglobulins.  Today, automated immunoassays are valuable adjuncts to electrophoresis, and perhaps even the next generation of testing for multiple myeloma and related B-cell dyscrasia. AACC’s expert panel for this event is David F. Keren, MD, Medical Director at the Warde Medical Laboratory, in Ann Arbor, MI, and Jerry A. Katzmann, PhD, Associate Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Associate Professor of Laboratory Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. They will review the key issues to be considered when selecting test options for multiple myeloma and other monoclonal gammopathies. Sensitivity is a major, but not the only, consideration. Many factors contribute to the evaluation of each technique. In addition, the speakers will explain the spectrum of plasma cell proliferative diseases including Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS), primary amyloid (AL), and Multiple Myeloma (MM), the sensitivities of various test panels for identifying monoclonal proteins, how to classify low-risk MGUS, and how quantitative immunoassays for serum FLC (Free Light Chains) are being incorporated into testing for diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of MM.

Myeloma is the second most common blood cancer in the United States after leukemia and constitutes approximately 1% of all cancers.  AACC invites journalists reporting on health issues and cancers in particular to attend this important webinar at no cost. For a complimentary registration, complete and submit a Press Registration Form. For more information about the webinar or AACC, contact Peter Patterson on either of the above phone numbers or by email at ppatterson@aacc.org.

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AACC is a leading professional society dedicated to improving healthcare through laboratory medicine. Its over 9,000 members are clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, research scientists, and others involved in developing tests and directing laboratory operations. AACC brings this community together with programs that advance knowledge, expertise, and innovation.