On the first day at ASH 2015, all the other Support Group Leaders and I walked into the Hyatt Regency Orlando. Immediately, I noticed the Christmas trees decorated nicely and the smell of poinsettias. We were able to gather around the Christmas trees and take a group picture. After seeing the diverse crowds of people walking in every direction and the different voices speaking in French, German, and Spanish, it really hit me I was in Florida. What a wonderful time of the year to be not just celebrating Christmas, but at ASH 2015 celebrating new drugs just approved by the FDA and modern research accomplishments.
One of the newer drugs was Darzalex (daratumumab) which is“[an] antibody indicated for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least three prior lines of therapy.” Darzalex seemed like a powerful drug but would need to be used in conjunction with another medicine to prevent reactions. Out of the many drugs, Ninlaro (ixazomib) stood out to me the most. Ninlaro (ixazombi) is very new and the first available, oral proteasome inhibitor. It is a very interesting treatment, and it may give insight into the direction companies may take with administering medication.
I also attended “The Global Advances in Myeloma: Providing Best Options for Treatment in 2015.” IMF Co-Founder Dr. Brian Durie was the moderator of this event. I was amazed how huge the room was and quickly it filled. There were so many people—mostly doctors—from all over the world coming together. The debaters, with their strong opinions, provided and shared up-to-date treatments for myeloma patients. Their passion and excitement was palpable. The treatments for multiple myeloma are evolving so quickly now, and I am very grateful for all of the doctors, researchers, scientists, nurses, and caregivers that all contribute to our battle with this disease—Along with a special thanks to all the patients who display such positivity and perseverance through their fight.