To my wonderful patients, colleagues, supporters, teammates and of course, the team who will help me make the distance and the climbs:
You can tell from my gray hair that I have engaged in this battle to cure myeloma for a long time, having treated my first patient in 1972, at a time when we had only discovered that a combination of prednisone and Melphalan could lower the malignant protein level by 10 or 20%. A far cry from today where we expect most of our patients to achieve a complete response (CR) or better. Better than “complete response” you say? Well yes, we are now getting such great responses with all of our new agents that we can measure these responses down to 1 malignant cell in a million by a test called Measurable Residual Disease (MRD), perhaps a thousand times more sensitive than what we used to call CR. But more about that later.
It is through the great research efforts of our academic institutions with the remarkable help of organizations like the MMRF that we are able to develop the new therapies that have extended lives by a decade or more in just the last 20 years. It is to that end that we are all riding to raise the funding (and awareness) that will enable us to reach a cure in the next few years. I believe that with all sincerity.
Some think I am crazy to try to fit this all into my busy schedule: there is inpatient service, loads of patients, administrative responsibilities and family stuff, an important speaking engagement in Houston, followed by the IMW meetings in Boston. I am finding a way to squeeze in some training (and fundraising) because this is so important.
I am eagerly looking forward to meeting all of the team and expecting that the 6 days of riding together will build a bond that will last our lifetimes and that funds raised can help the MMRF and UCSF continue to accelerate treatments for patients who are waiting.
Dr. Jeff Wolf