This is my 3rd ASH attendance and the first time I feel that I can follow the flow and content with a greater degree of clarity and ease. There is so much information that is available on myeloma. As I sat in meetings yesterday and today, I was intrigued by the number of myeloma providers here to learn and gain new knowledge about the disease. Participants range from new career providers for world renowned experts. They are gaining new knowledge as well as and reinforcing current knowledge, all in an effort to provide the best evidence-based care.
I was reminded yesterday of the importance of support groups. IMF support groups offer education and resources that compliment and reinforces what our providers offer. The learning is bi-directional and can be very rich; it is enhanced through shared experiences and patient-level educational materials. Some patients rely solely on education provided by their providers, some are self-taught, some rely on providers and our support groups, yet some live with myeloma without the benefit of any education. Regardless of how much we know, learning should be ongoing and lifelong.
Yesterday, Shaji Kumar, MD and Phillippe Moreau, MD presented Considering the Recent Data on Transplantation, Consolidation, and Maintenance After Induction. The role of induction and the role of consolidation were reviewed during their talk. My initial thought was, that’s probably information that is well known by all myeloma providers. Then a lightbulb brightened, if it’s important enough to review with myeloma providers, then it’s important enough to review with myeloma patients/caregivers and blog readers. Reinforced knowledge for one might be new knowledge for another.
Do you know the role of consolidation and induction therapy?
Role of Induction
- Fast control of the disease
- Achieve high response rate
- Minimal toxicity
- Allow adequate stem cell harvest
Role of Consolidation
- Short duration after ASCT
- Increased the depth of response
- Reduced toxicity allowing maintenance
I believe that it’s the goal of all support group leaders to empower patients through education. Afterall, knowledge is power.
Wishing you Hope,