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The 59th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting will take place from 9 – 12 December in Atlanta, Georgia, United States (US). Myeloma Patients Europe (MPE) will be attending the meeting, alongside thousands of leading doctors, researchers and patient advocates in the field of blood cancer (hematology). Below we explain ASH and the importance of the meeting to patient advocates.


What is the ASH Annual Meeting

The ASH Annual Meeting is the biggest haematology research conference of the year, occurring every December in locations across the US. It is organised by the American Society of Hematology, a global professional association of clinicians and researchers in the field of blood cancer. About 30,000 people across the globe attend the meeting each year.

Why is the ASH Annual Meeting important for myeloma?

During ASH, researchers from across blood cancers including myeloma, present the results of research and clinical trials that have been taking place throughout the year.

Presentations can range from the results of preclinical research (e.g. laboratory based studies) through to the results of large Phase III clinical trials looking at new myeloma drugs. Given the level of prestige behind the meeting, researchers from academia and the pharmaceutical industry often wait for the opportunity to publish their major data at ASH. This means that some of the most interesting and important scientific research in myeloma is presented during the conference. As an example, you can see the MPE ASH Highlights 2016 webinar here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_MXOponXjM

How is the research presented?

Research is presented in two formats – poster or oral presentations. Where oral presentations are more formal in nature, and there are opportunities to ask questions at the end of the talk, poster presentations are more interactive and allow you to directly ask the researcher questions.

You can see the programme for ASH 2017 http://www.hematology.org/Annual-Meeting/

Why is it important for patient advocates to attend the meeting?

ASH presents myeloma patient advocates with an excellent opportunity to hear about the latest treatment developments in myeloma and to disseminate this information to their networks and members.

The side meetings that take place during ASH are also just as important as the main scientific sessions. Thousands of people attend the conference from a wide range of different stakeholder groups in blood cancer, including from industry, academia and patient advocacy. It is therefore an ideal opportunity for advocates to arrange or attend meetings and discussion events on topics relevant to myeloma patients.

During ASH, all stakeholders take the opportunity to host and arrange meetings. Throughout, you’ll find discussions taking place about treatment developments, ideas for clinical trials, collaborations within and across the blood cancer communities. This is another reason why the ASH Annual Meeting is so important.

What will MPE be doing at this year’s conference?

MPE will have an information stand during the conference to allow us to spread the word about the work of MPE and our members. If you are attending the conference, please feel free to drop by and meet the Team.

As we know a lot of our members may not be able to attend ASH, we will be following the main scientific sessions to understand the key developments. Keep an eye out for updates via social media.

Following the conference, we’ll produce and disseminate a written conference summary alongside an ASH 2017 highlights webinar. We are also filming interviews with leading doctors and researchers in myeloma. These will be published on our website and disseminated during January 2018.

Throughout ASH we also have a range of meetings arranged with partners and collaborators from patient advocacy, research and the pharmaceutical industry with a view to discussing a range of important topics including patient drug access in Europe.

What are likely to be the highlights for ASH 2017?

In the ASH programme for 2017, there are many oral and poster presentations on myeloma. Highlights will include research exploring:

  • Smouldering myeloma and when it should be treated
  • The role of minimal residual disease (MRD) in myeloma
  • Updated results from a range of Phase III trials looking at carfilzomib (Kyprolis®), daratumumab and ixazomib
  • Results from clinical trials looking at the role of maintenance treatment, including lenalidomide and ixazomib (Ninlaro®)
  • Chimeric antigen receptors (CAR-T) in myeloma treatment
  • Clinical trials looking at checkpoint inhibition in myeloma (such as pembrolizumab), following the safety issues raised by the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA)
Where can I find out further information on the conference?
You can see further information about the American Society of Hematology here: http://www.hematology.org/

You can see the detailed programme for the conference here: http://www.hematology.org/Annual-Meeting/

Ensure you follow @MyelomaEurope and ASH17# on twitter and https://www.facebook.com/mpeurope on Facebook to see up-to-date developments

If you have any further questions, please email info@mpeurope.org

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