Italian myeloma fundraising event

Today’s post will be of interest mainly to those of us who live in Italy and, in particular, in Tuscany. Through my blog I “met” (we have spoken a few times by phone and plan a get-together as soon as possible) an Italian whose uncle, Mario Schirinzi, a myeloma patient, died in 1996.


Last year, Vittorio, together with a few relatives and friends, set up an association in his uncle’s memory with the main intent of providing information and support to people with myeloma in collaboration with the IMF (International Myeloma Foundation). I would like to highlight that this is the ONLY Italian association that works specifically on myeloma-related issues. Very exciting.


On June 21st there will be a fundraising event in the form of a golf tournament to be held at the Golf and Country Club Le Pavoniere in Prato (Tuscany). You can read about it in English on the IMF website: The proceeds from the golf event will go towards a patient meeting seminar to be organized in collaboration with the IMF in Tuscany this fall. Excellent!


For specific information (in Italian), please go to the Schirinzi Association blog,  If you are a golf player and would like to sign up to play in the tournament, call Le Pavoniere directly or write the Association an e-mail.


After the golf event there will be a roundtable discussion on myeloma. Among the speakers will be Dr. Mario Ladetto, a specialist in blood disorders as well as professor and researcher at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Torino; Gregor Brozeit, the European Director of the IMF, representatives from the Prato branch of the AIL (the Italian association against leukaemias, lymphomas and myeloma) and local authorities from Prato. It should be very interesting!


I strongly urge those of us who live in the area to attend. Stefano, my parents (who are arriving here next week from the States!) and I will be there, and my brother-in-law, a golf player, may actually participate in the tournament. I will be the one asking the speakers about curcumin, other alternative treatments and myeloma stem cells, so I should be easy to identify.


Please come up to me and introduce yourselves! Ci vediamo il 21 giugno! Ciao!

Myeloma stem cell presentation

Thanks to Sherlock, who found and sent me the link (grazie mille!), I was able to listen to the presentation given by Dr. William H. Matsui (leader of the Johns Hopkins University myeloma stem cell team) at the April 12-16 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, or AACR. Dr. Matsui’s presentation, titled “Targeting cancer stem cells in multiple myeloma,” is a brilliant review of myeloma stem cells versus normal stem cells, cyclopamine, the Hedgehog signaling pathway, GRN163L, why myeloma patients relapse and so on. A lot of info!


Here is the link: If for some reason it doesn’t work for you, then just go to the AACR homepage, look on the right-hand side and click on Annual Meeting 2008. Then do a search for “Matsui,” and you will be directed to the correct page. It takes a minute or so to load the slides and whatnot, so please be patient.


One more thing: the presentation is almost 42 minutes long and a bit on the technical side, so be prepared. But I found it fascinating, and it gave me a lot of food for thought…and for future posts!

St. Abb’s Head sheep

St. Abb\'s Head (Scotland) sheepI am testing the new blog photo uploading feature this morning.


This is a photo I took of a grazing sheep (and its image mirrored in a large rain puddle) toward the end of our hike around St. Abb’s Head, in southern Scotland, at the end of April.