Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) Welcomes Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at Dallas, Sarah Cannon Research Institute, and Virginia Cancer Specialists as Member Institutions

Early-Stage Drug Development Consortium Expands to 16 Sites across North America

December 22, 2010

Norwalk, Conn. (December 22, 2010) -- The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) today announced that it has expanded its clinical research network to include Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center (Dallas, TX), Sarah Cannon /Research Institute (SCRI, Nashville, TN) and Virginia Cancer Specialists (Fairfax, VA). These new centers join the 13 existing MMRC Member Institutions in promoting and facilitating collaborative research and accelerating drug development in multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer.

As MMRC Member Institutions, Baylor Sammons Cancer Center, SCRI, and Virginia Cancer Specialists will participate fully in all clinical research activities of the Consortium, including Phase I and II clinical trials of promising myeloma treatments. To date, the MMRC has advanced 27 early-stage clinical trials. MMRC Member Institutions also contribute to the MMRC Tissue Bank, which houses a critical mass of highly-annotated bone marrow and peripheral blood samples from multiple myeloma patients, and serves as a bridge between laboratory and clinical research.

“Following a rigorous evaluation, Baylor Sammons, Sarah Cannon, and Virginia Cancer Specialists were selected, based on both their extensive experience in conducting clinical trials and their impressive reach to the patient community”, said Kathy Giusti, Founder and CEO of the MMRC. “We are excited to welcome them all, and look forward to working in partnership with our elite membership to bring patients new treatments they urgently need.”

About the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium

The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) is a 509(a)3 non-profit organization that integrates leading academic institutions to accelerate drug development in multiple myeloma. It is led from MMRC offices in Norwalk, Conn., and comprises 16 member institutions: Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at Dallas, City of Hope, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute, the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Mayo Clinic, Ohio State University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Sarah Cannon Research Institute, University Health Network (Princess Margaret Hospital), University of California-San Francisco, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, Virginia Cancer Specialists, and Washington University. The MMRC was founded in 2004 by Kathy Giusti, a myeloma patient, and with the help of the scientific community. The MMRC is an affiliate organization of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), the world's leading funder of multiple myeloma research. The MMRC is widely recognized as an optimal research model to rapidly address critical challenges in drug development and to explore opportunities in today's most promising research areas–genomics, compound validation, and clinical trials. The MMRC is the only consortium to join academic institutions through membership agreements, customized IT systems, and an integrated tissue bank. For more information, please visit: www.themmrc.org.

About Baylor Health Care System

Baylor Health Care System is a faith-based, not-for-profit health care provider serving nearly 1.4 million patients through its network of 212 access points. Baylor University Medical Center, a major research and teaching facility for the Southwest, anchors the Baylor network, which includes a total of 26 hospitals.  In addition, access points include ambulatory, surgical/endoscopy centers, satellite outpatient locations, senior centers, and physician clinics through the HealthTexas Provider Network.  Patient-centered medical research is conducted at the Baylor Research Institute and fundraising to support the System’s mission is lead by the Baylor Health Care System Foundation.

Baylor employs more than 20,000, making it the third largest private-sector employer in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.  More than 4,500 physicians comprise the current medical staff.  For fiscal year 2009, Baylor recorded $3.9 billion in total assets and $468 million community benefit.

Known for its quality initiatives, Baylor became the first health care system in the State of Texas to receive the National Quality Healthcare Award from the National Quality Forum.  Baylor University Medical Center has been named in US News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” guide for 18 consecutive years and has the highest patient satisfaction ratings of any teaching hospital in the country according to Consumer Reports.

About Sarah Cannon Research Institute

SCRI is a strategic research organization focusing on advancing therapies and accelerating drug development. It is one of the largest clinical research programs in the nation, conducting community-based clinical trials in oncology, cardiology, gastroenterology and other therapeutic areas through affiliations with a network of more than 450 physicians in 27 states. Additionally, SCRI offers management, regulatory and other research support services to drug development sponsors and strategic investigator sites across the country. For more information, please visit www.sarahcannonresearch.com.

About Virginia Cancer Specialists

For more than 30 years, Virginia Cancer Specialists (VCS) has contributed to the campaign against cancer and diseases of the blood. VCS has nine locations throughout Northern Virginia staffed by highly-skilled physicians, each promising exceptional care. This care consists of advancements in early detection, treatment, and clinical trials. Offering emotional as well as physical support, VCS is home to the world’s most advanced cancer treatment capabilities. By illustrating the outpatient emphasis of cancer treatment, VCS allows physicians and patients to create an individual plan in a familiar setting.

Virginia Cancer Specialists is United in Healing with US Oncology, Inc., the leading integrated oncology company. US Oncology unites the nation’s largest community-based cancer treatment and research network to expand patient access to high-quality care and advance the science of cancer care. As a member of the United Network of US Oncology, physicians and clinicians at Virginia Cancer Specialists are united with more than 1,000 physicians and 10,000 cancer professionals from across the country. Through its affiliation with US Oncology and the US Oncology Research network, Virginia Cancer Specialists participates in innovative clinical trials. The network has also played a role in the development of 42 cancer therapies approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For more information, visit www.usoncology.com or www.virginiacancerspecialists.com.


Terri Clevenger, 203-227-0209

For Sarah Cannon Research Institute
Anna Walker, 615-329-7216

For Baylor Charles A. Sammon Cancer Center
Kristine Hughes, 214-820-7556

For Virginia Cancer Specialists
Natalie Mellon, (703) 638-8619