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December Traditions- #ASH23 from a Myeloma Patient’s Point of View
Posted: Dec 05, 2023
December Traditions- #ASH23 from a Myeloma Patient’s Point of View image

What are your favorite December traditions? One of my favorite traditions in December is attending the American Society of Hematology’s Annual Meeting. (#ASH23) 

I’m a self-professed science geek, so being able to attend the world’s most comprehensive hematology event with the HealtrhTree Foundation is a real treat and honor. #ASH23 will be held in San Diego, California.

This will be my twelfth year attending ASH, and I am anxiously anticipating the meeting. It is a very exciting but perplexing time in myeloma research. It is exciting because there are so many new and highly effective treatment options available for myeloma patients.

Just this year, two new bispecific antibody treatments (TALVEY and ELREXFIO) were FDA-approved. The overall response rates (ORR) for these treatments were in the range of 60% in a highly refractory myeloma population. These response rates were unheard of just a few years ago.

This is perplexing because myeloma researchers are still trying to come to a consensus on how to sequence these options in clinical practice best.

Additionally, many of the new treatments come with the risk of increased infections. Myeloma researchers are trying to figure out what the most effective dose and schedule should be to maximize response but minimize side effects.  The role of MRD status to guide treatment decisions will also be an area of discussion and debate at this meeting.

I hope to learn a lot at #ASH23.  I plan to attend many of the oral abstract presentations on myeloma and peruse the myeloma posters. This year there are 306 oral myeloma abstracts being presented and 720 myeloma posters on display.

Many of the presentations will summarize the research findings of studies involving new myeloma drugs and approved drugs used in new ways.  Here are the top #ASH23 abstract picks from some of the key opinion leaders in myeloma. I am happy that the list also included a patient perspective!

 

The HealthTree media team will also be at #ASH23.  Look for the latest news from the meeting on our YouTube Channel.  

Some of my favorite ASH events occur outside of the official meeting. On Friday, before the official start of the meeting, there are planned satellite sessions.

HealthTree for Multiple Myeloma will host a session entitled Raising the BCMA Standard in Multiple Myeloma: Strategies for Enhanced Care With Potent CAR-T and Bispecific Options. If you would like to attend this session, virtually, you can register here. 

Networking also plays an important role at the meeting. In addition to having the opportunity to connect in person with the top myeloma researchers in the world, our HealthTree team will also be able to meet with our industry partners.

This is vitally important. In the era of patient-centric medicine, it is essential that our industry partners understand our journeys and what we see as our unmet needs. Working hand in hand with industry will lead to the best possible clinical trial designs, better access to care, and improved patient support services. 

As a retired educator and the curriculum director of HealthTree University for Myeloma, I believe that knowledge is power and empowered patients have the best possible outcomes. 

Empower yourself by following #ASH23 on X (Twitter). There will be hundreds of individuals live tweeting from the sessions. You can follow me @MyelomaTeacher and @HealthTreeMM, or just follow the meeting hashtags #ASH23 #mmsm. (Enter both hashtags in the search engine) 

Each year, I leave ASH feeling inspired by the progress that has been made in the 12 months since the last meeting and the dedication of the myeloma research community. I also leave hopeful that a cure is in sight.

The author Cynthia Chmielewski

about the author
Cynthia Chmielewski

Cynthia (Cindy) Chmielewski is a professional educator and myeloma advocate. As a former teacher, she now teaches myeloma patients how to advocate for themselves as the Director of HealthTree University. You can follow her on Twitter @myelomateacher

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