The American Society of Hematology (#ASH18) annual meeting is has come to an end. Monday has been traditionally known as “Myeloma Madness Monday.” This year was no different. Oral sessions included topics on the combination therapies, #CAR-T and #BiTE (Bispecific T-cell Engager) therapy. Other potential new agents in #myeloma, like venetoclax, selinexor and isatuximab, were presented. I also attended sessions on Health Care #disparity, #Palliative Care and #End of Life care specific to Hematology. Details can be reviewed on Twitter @IMFnurseMyeloma. A nice overview of the highlights from #ASH18 were provided by @BrianDurieMD, Dr. Maria-V. Mateos, and Dr. Joseph Mikhael. The video, which takes about an hour, can be viewed at https://www.myeloma.org/videos/imwg-ash2018. Interviews with key opinion leaders about their experience at ASH can be viewed at https://www.myeloma.org/understanding/imf-tv/medical-meetings.
While wandering the Exhibitors Hall, I was struck by the change in #myeloma-related vendors. A decade ago, the only booths that could be found related to #myeloma would be Celgene and Millenium (now Takeda Oncology). At this meeting, I tried to take a photo of all the displays associated with approved or pipeline therapies for #myeloma. I found over a dozen companies with interest in developing technology (therapy/testing) related to #myeloma. This did not even include all of the non-profit advocacy organizations, like the IMF, dedicated to helping patients.
There is no doubt, a #myeloma diagnosis brings with it challenges, fear and a “new normal.” Be assured, in addition to all of the medical providers that continue to do research, there are many companies and organizations who are passionate to advance the treatment and outcomes for #myeloma survivors. This provides me, as I hope it does you, with a sense of hope. Many advancements have been made in the diagnosis, treatment and supportive care of #myeloma, and there are many more to come.
Be well, enjoy every moment, and happy holidays to you and yours.
Teresa Miceli, RN BSN OCN
Multiple Myeloma Sharing Sessions, Rochester, MN