Saturday, Part 1: Whirlwind Day filled with Research and Inspiration!

Robin Tuohy |

What is on tap for today you may ask? Well, our agenda is packed, so I’m only going to focus this blog on the first half of Saturday! Because my favorite part of the day deserves my writing an entire blog on just that!

  • International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) Breakfast Meeting
  • multiple simultaneous sessions
  • and my highlight of the day: IMF Patient Stories & Grant Awards Reception (stay tuned for this in my next blog!)

Our day today starts at 5:45 AM with a group of 5 leaders walking to the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) Breakfast Meeting, beginning at 6:00 AM. The leaders that attended this meeting with me were:  1st timers to ASH, Valarie Traynham (from Aurora, IL) and Yvonne Yaksic (from Pittsburgh, PA); plus veteran ASH leaders, Jim Omel (Grand Island, NE), John DeFlice (Santa Fe, NM), and Michael Tuohy (Prospect, CT). The leaders that did not attend the IMWG breakfast attended the morning Education Program, so be sure to check out their blogs for details.

The IMWG was formed by the IMF to encourage dialog and collaboration among the world’s leading myeloma experts. IMWG members are divided into workgroups. Researchers in each group work together to examine such important topics as frontline therapy, continuous therapy, the role of transplant, genetic risk stratification, renal impairment, and treatment for elderly patients.  Click here to learn more about IMWG.

The IMWG breakfast meeting is a who’s who among myeloma world-renowned experts. It was nice to see that my husband Michael’s multiple myeloma specialist, Dr. Ruben Niesvizky was there.  We’ll be seeing him for Michael’s appointment next week and plan to discuss with him his key take-aways from ASH. Once the program began, Drs. Durie and Rajkumar began announcements and welcomed new members to the IMWG.

Dr. Jesús San Miguel stated “this room is packed, and it’s because of IMWG and this is the place to be.  Thank you to Drs. Durie and Rajkumar for all you have done!”

They discussed several manuscripts to be published and IMWG consensus recommendations. Dr. Durie stated it “is remarkable for the number of people who have given feedback for this manuscript.”

It is clear that while cure is the goal, our Quality of Life (QOL) while getting to the cure is also part of clinical trials. I continue to look forward to how Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) will be used in clinical trials and in the real world practice.

Directly following the IMWG breakfast, leaders once again had simultaneous session to choose from. Click here to read more from Jack Aiello who wrote an excellent summary blog on Saturday oral sessions.

Don’t forget to stay tuned for my next blog about the IMF’s Patient Stories and Grant Awards Reception for your BIG DOSE OF HOPE!

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