Lights – Camera – ASH!

Teresa Miceli |

The 60th Annual American Society of Hematology (#IMFASH18 #ASH18) meeting will return to San Diego, CA.  With the return to a California venue, and as a member of the International Myeloma Foundation’s (IMFs) Support Group Leader (SGL) contingency, I think in Hollywood terms. For many, the Fall season is marked by the annual Prime Time Emmy Awards, a time to recognize the best in U.S prime time television. For me, the yearly highlights I await are presented at the ASH annual meeting.

The show-stopping snow of Atlanta, GA is no more. Dr. Durie and Debbie Birns will set the stage as they scour the playbill to find just the right acts to see. I anticipate repeat performances from Dr. Stadtmauer with an update of the STAMINA trial; Dr. Kochenderfer with an update on CAR-T therapy; and Dr. Cavo on upfront auto stem cell transplant outcome data. The stunning Dr. Mateos will undoubtedly provide updates on GEM-CESAR, a curative-intent approach to treating HR-SMM.

Daratumumab stole the show as it tried to find the right partner – Velcade or Revlimid. As we later learned, it did not have to decide, it was a two-timer in a three way with DVD and DRD. It also had a cameo performance when it got under our skin as a subcutaneous injection. We also saw the season finale for pembroluzimab.

New on the scene last year were two important supportive care measures. High-dose influenza vaccine tried to “boost” it’s ratings by increasing blood titer through the flu season. Levofloxacin prophylaxis cooled things down by reducing febrile events in NDMM. A show-ending teaser was monotherapy GSK2857916, the antibody drug conjugate against BCMA, that demonstrated deep and durable responses in heavily pre-treated patients.

There is so much to look forward to in this new season of the American Society of Hematology meeting, and cliffhangers to be answered: Will transplant still remain an important player on the upfront treatment stage for those eligible? Will CAR-T keep moving forward or drive into the sunset? Will the high-dose influenza vaccine get another “boost” in its ratings?  Will Dara find a new partner; will it get under your skin, or pulse through your veins?

To get the latest updates on these and many more #ASH2018 highlights, follow me and the other support group leaders on Twitter.

Teresa Miceli


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