Health & Medicine

Expert on multiple myeloma to speak at UK Friday

The University of Kentucky's Markey Cancer Center and Jessamine County businessman R.J. Corman are co-sponsoring the Friday visit to Lexington of a Boston expert on multiple myeloma.

Corman has the disease and was instrumental in arranging the visit of Dr. Paul Richardson.

Multiple myeloma is a rare blood disease that is generally considered incurable, although remissions can occur with treatment.

Richardson will be holding multiple sessions for medical professionals at the Markey Center and a support session for patients by invitation only.

"It's supposed to be a multiple myeloma support group meeting," says Brenda Frazier, an administrative support associate in the division of hematology, oncology and blood and marrow transplantation at the Markey Center. The division is coordinating Richardson's visit.

Richard Corman, founder and owner of R.J. Corman Railroad Group in Nicholasville, has lived with the disease for nine years. He has been treated at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which is a Harvard teaching hospital that Corman has supported financially. Richardson is one of his doctors.

Richardson said Corman's "commitment to myeloma research ... is quite unbelievable. ... I don't know of any patient who's done more for others than he has."

During his open session with patients and their families, Richardson said he will talk about advances in myeloma treatment. While the disease is still incurable, the average survival time is increasing. It once was as little as three years, but now has reached five to seven years.

"We're not curing the disease, but we're helping patients live longer and better," he said.