Baseball Greats, Amgen Launch Multiple Myeloma Awareness Campaign

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by Mary Chapman |

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Awareness of multiple myeloma

Backed by former Major League Baseball All-Stars Dave Winfield and Steve Garvey, Amgen has launched a program aimed at raising awareness of multiple myeloma, and encouraging patients to work closely with their doctors to determine the best treatment plan.

The national campaign, Myeloma MVP, is pairing with Winfield and Garvey, both of whom have been touched by multiple myeloma. In 2017, Winfield’s friend and former teammate Don Baylor died following a 14-year battle with the disease. Garvey saw the disease’s impact when his father-in-law was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and died of it.

Treatment has evolved over the past decade, but the decision of which to follow should take into account a patient’s needs and priorities. Patients must have a voice in their treatment.

Available here, the Myeloma MVP guide poses questions crafted to help patients think through priorities before doctor visits so they can better work with their oncologists to create what the campaign calls a “Most Valuable Plan.”

The site also includes information and resources for patients, including frequently asked questions about treatment and supportive care, management options, and tips for facilitating productive conversations with physicians.

The site also includes a shareable video featuring Winfield, Garvey, and Baylor’s son Don Jr., intended to broaden campaign awareness and emphasize the need for patients to create a plan.

“Myeloma MVP is an important initiative for Amgen, as we continue to focus on finding new and innovative ways to help patients living with multiple myeloma,” Robert Cuddihy, MD, vice president of U.S. Medical at Amgen, said in a press release.

“Based on our own research, we’ve seen a disconnect between patient goals and treatment decisions. This program provides a tool that helps both patients and physicians create a plan together to better manage the disease.”

Amgen is the maker of Xgeva (denosumab), the most-prescribed bone-targeting treatment in the United States for patients with bone metastases from solid tumors. The therapy was recently approved to prevent bone events in multiple myeloma patients.

As part of the campaign, Amgen is working with the multiple myeloma patient research and advocacy community to raise awareness among patients and caregivers. Participating organizations include the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), the International Myeloma Foundation, and the Myeloma Crowd.

“Don Baylor was a dear personal friend and a tremendous advocate for multiple myeloma patients,” said Paul Giusti, president and chief executive officer of the MMRF. “We understand the importance of patients and caregivers being educated, empowered and taking an active role in their treatment.”

Amgen is also working with Major League Baseball to recognize local myeloma communities at games this season.