Tick-tock, tick-tock…

| Teresa Miceli

The clock is ticking . . . the time nears for the 57th annual American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting. Again this year, I am privileged to return as part of the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) Support Group Leaders (SGL) program as an SGL representative and nurse liaison. With this honor comes preparation to make this a successful and informative meeting. I have spent hours reviewing the meeting schedule, choosing sessions, and organizing my topics of interest.

As a veteran transplant nurse, I am always interested in what is the latest perspective on stem cell transplant for multiple myeloma (MM) patients. This includes best recommendations for pre-, during, and post-transplant care. What are preferred induction regimens; is there a preferred timing for transplant; what is the recommend maintenance therapy post-transplant? I hope to get some of this information from the session “Multiple Advances in Myeloma” that is offered at ASH2015 on both Saturday and Sunday.

Not only does that session interest me. Who wouldn’t be excited about the session “Scientific Committee on Plasma Cell Neoplasia: Multiple Myeloma”? It is offered on both Saturday and Sunday of the conference. I hope the presentation is understandable at a level at which I can share what I learn with my followers on Twitter (@IMFnurseMyeloma).

As a nurse and SGL, it is important to me to continue learning how to best support patients and caregivers along their myeloma journey. I will definitely attend the following sessions: “Palliative Care in Hematological Malignancies” and “Patient Reported Outcomes (PRO) in Hematological Malignancies” (offered both Sunday and Monday of ASH). As stated in the Education Program overview, palliative care “aims to improve symptoms and quality of life, and is appropriate at any age and stage of illness.” If you are unfamiliar with PROs, the schedule overview explains them as follows: “A patient reported outcome (PRO) is defined as the measurement of a patient’s perception of a health condition and its treatment.” Both of these topics are right up my alley.

Of course, we are all interested in learning the latest updates on new drugs like the recently approved #ixazomib and #daratumumab, and the potentially approved #elotuzumab. The oral sessions—rapid-fire, fifteen-minute excerpts of yearlong research—will provide updated data from clinical trials on these treatments and many others.

These are just a few of the sessions I plan to attend. I also hope to take part in the IMF Grant Awards Reception, where young multiple myeloma researchers are honored; the International Myeloma Working Group Breakfast for information about these experts’ future research and a yearly review of their work; and meetings with the other SGLs to discuss and exchange information from the sessions. Three days does not seem like enough time to get everything done. The SGLs will start the day early and end late, all the while updating people through social media to give you a “real-time” #ASH2015 experience.

Follow Teresa on Twitter: @IMFnurseMYELOMA
Multiple Myeloma Sharing Sessions
Rochester, NY

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