Why the IMWG Summit Is So Important

The 10th Annual International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) Summit convenes in Amsterdam on June 10-12, 2019. Each year, the Summit hosts the top 100 or so myeloma researchers from around the world to focus on the major questions on the path to better therapies for myeloma and to find a cure. Researchers divide into work groups that develop actions plans for needed research and/or development of guidelines or recommendations. 

ASCO 2019 Abstracts Released: The Myeloma Top 10 

The 2019 American Society of Hematology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago is fast approaching (May 31-June 4). Out of a total of 4,950 abstracts released Wednesday, May 15, 210 are myeloma related. As usual, there is one oral session on Sunday, June 1 from 9:45 am -12:45 pm, which includes the top eight oral abstracts (numbers 8000 through 8007). I will review these, plus a couple of poster presentations that are worthy of mention (#8015 and #8023) to give my initial Top 10 Abstracts for ASCO 2019.

CAR T-Cell Therapy Results Reported in The New England Journal of Medicine

This week it is exciting to see the results of CAR T-cell therapy reported fully in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Results using the bb2121 anti-BCMA CAR T-cells were reported previously in abstract form at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting. But the NEJM article provides important details about safety (the primary endpoint for this phase I study), as well as the anti-myeloma activity of the CAR T-cells directed against the BCMA (B-cell maturation antigen) on the myeloma cells of the relapsed/refractory-treated patients.

Of mice and men: research gone awry

A Boston data scientist’s new Twitter account calls out media for touting early research results. A headline like “Scientists Uncover a Protein That Seems to Fight Aging in Our Skin” is legit, for example, if by “our” you mean “mice.” IMF Chairman Brian G.M. Durie, MD has always warned: “Be cautious about early laboratory results. No matter how exciting, they just might not apply in the clinic.”

A Celebration of Science & Knowledge

At the recent VUB Honorary Doctorate Awards Ceremony at the University of Brussels, the focus was on “Figures That Matter.” The word “figures” had a double meaning: numbers and facts, as well as individuals and personalities. Susie and I received the award for scientific research and education in the field of myeloma. The fundamental meaning of the university’s theme for the awards was that knowledge is indeed powerful. It must be sought and communicated. And using knowledge—at all costs—really matters.