ASH 2016: Patient Perspective

| Yelak Biru

In this video, Yelak Biru provides the Patient Perspective on this year’s 58th American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting, that took place from December 3–December 6, 2016 in San Diego. This year’s ASH marks Yelak’s 10th meeting. As Yelak points out, last year’s ASH was dubbed “A November to Remember,” because four new myeloma drugs were FDA-approved just in time for the meeting. However, Yelak wonders in this video, how will 2016 follow suit?

#ASH16 did not fail to provide new educational tools and shed light on potential new myeloma treatments in the pipeline. Yelak highlights key takeaways from three events: the IMF Satellite Symposium, the IMF Brian D. Novis Grant Awards reception, and finally, the International Myeloma Working Group breakfast.

As Yelak explains, a few new myeloma drugs have been conditionally approved in Europe and have the potential to drive FDA approvals in the US. He also highlights Dr. S. Vincent Rajkumar’s algorithm, which was retweeted all over Twitter during this past weekend. The algorithm shows treatment pathways for the newly diagnosed, relapsed myeloma patients, and relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma patients and is available in this slide deck.

As Yelak notes, his main takeaway from the IMF Brian D. Novis Grant Awards reception, was some myeloma researchers and award winners had never met myeloma patients. And the attendance of patients/patient advocates at ASH, like Yelak, helps bridge this gap.

Finally, Yelak pointed to the IMWG breakfast, which was attended by more than 200 experts who guide the development of treatment protocols for multiple myeloma patients. While there were no new myeloma drug approvals to highlight, Yelak shares the tops news about drugs in the pipeline, including those repurposed from their current treatments of such diseases as HIV and lymphoma.

By the end of this video, Yelak encourages myeloma patients to inquire about clinical trials. He also emphasizes why it is essential that myeloma patients work with myeloma experts at their clinics of choice.

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Jack Aiello

Diagnosed with myeloma in 1995, Jack is strong proponent of patients participating in clinical trials so that, in the future, myeloma and other cancers will be known as curable diseases. He is a proud facilitator of the San Francisco Bay Area Myeloma Support Group.

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