ASH 2017: Separating Hype from Hope About CAR T-Cell Therapy

At the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in Atlanta (December 9th -12th), 981 abstracts dealt with myeloma-related topics. Among all of these— some of which were discussed on the IMWG Conference Series broadcast on Monday, December 11th, and which I will discuss in more detail during the ASH Highlights Teleconference on January 11th-- the “big buzz” was about the CAR T-cell (chimeric antigen receptors) clinical trial results.

iStopMM— A Year Later

The iStopMM (Screens, Treat, or Prevent Multiple Myeloma) project was launched on November 15, 2016, with strong support from the Black Swan Research Initiative®. Two weeks ago, IMF President & CEO Susie Durie, Senior Vice President of Clinical Education & Research Initiatives Lisa Paik, and I visited the University of Iceland to celebrate the one-year anniversary with Principal Investigator Dr. Sigurdur Kristinsson and his 16-member iStopMM team. I am thrilled to report that the results to date are beyond everyone’s expectations.

11th Annual IMF Comedy Celebration Fuels Myeloma Research

On Saturday, November 4, IMF president Susie Novis Durie and I will have the great pleasure once again of welcoming our guests to the 11th Annual Comedy Celebration benefiting the Peter Boyle Research Fund. 

Rapidly Expanding CRISPR Toolbox Could Make Us All Healthier and Save the Planet

Rapidly expanding CRISPR toolbox could make us all healthier and save the planet

Two recent publications in the prestigious journals Nature and Science illustrate how gene editing can be further enhanced. In The Scientist, Catherine Offord provides an excellent summary of both the scientific details and the implications. The implications are so far-reaching that not only can prevention of disease become possible, but the food chain can be made healthier without the use of dangerous toxic chemicals and the impact of global pollution can be reduced. 

Bold Initiative Comes to Fruition: First Asian Myeloma Network Summit

This past weekend (October 13-15), the International Myeloma Foundation convened the first Asian Myeloma Network (AMN) Summit in Seoul, Korea. The seven countries/regions that make up the AMN – China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Thailand – have worked collaboratively under the auspices of the IMF since 2011. With its structure modeled on the annual International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) Summit, the Seoul meeting addressed a broad range of issues, examining the status in Asia of myeloma diagnosis, research, and treatment, as well as the next steps in implementing data-gathering and clinical trials in the region.  AMN members are clearly excited to be able to measure up to top US and European research groups, such as SWOG, ECOG, IFM, EMN, and the like. Expansion of myeloma research anywhere in the world has the potential to benefit myeloma patients everywhere.

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