Gearing up for ASH 2016!

| Cindy Chmielewski

Follow on Twitter with the Hashtags #ASH16, #IMFASH16, & #mmsm

In a few days, I will be boarding a plane bound for San Diego. I am a member of a team of support group leaders/patient advocates that the International Myeloma Foundation and their sponsors are bringing to the American Society of Hematology’s 58th Annual Meeting. The American Society of Hematology is more commonly referred to as ASH. The IMF support group leaders team will be using social media to share the myeloma news coming out of ASH from a patient’s perspective. The team will be live-tweeting from ASH, using the hashtags #ASH16 #mmsm, and #IMFASH16. Team members will also be writing blogs.

This will be my fifth year attending ASH, and I am anxiously anticipating the meeting! (I know I’m a self-declared science geek.) This is a very exciting but confusing time for myeloma research. Exciting because there are so many new and effective treatment options available. Confusing because myeloma researchers are still trying to figure out how to best use these options in clinical practice. Throughout the meeting, we will hear presentations and study posters that summarize the research findings of studies involving new myeloma drugs and approved drugs used in new ways. Each year, I leave ASH feeling inspired by the progress that has been made in the 12 months since the last meeting and the dedication of the myeloma research community. I also leave hopeful that a cure is in sight.

#ASH16 officially begins on Saturday, December 3 and runs thru Tuesday, December 6. There are 858 myeloma abstracts found on the official American Society of Hematology’s Annual Meeting website. It’s a bit frustrating that even with our long 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. work days, we can’t possibly attend every presentation. The IMF ASH Social Media team will divide and conquer using Dr. Durie’s guidance as to which sessions may be most meaningful for us.

Some of my favorite ASH events occur outside of the official meeting. On Friday, before the official start of the meeting, there are planned satellite sessions. I love the IMF’s satellite session entitled “Treatment Advances in Multiple Myeloma: Expert Perspectives on Translating Clinical Data to Practice.” It is an interactive, thought-provoking, point-counterpoint discussion where myeloma experts provide perspectives on new data, guideline changes and recommendations for management of patients with myeloma. You can watch this session live-stream HERE on Friday, December 2 at 12:30 p.m. PST.

Another live-stream session you don’t want to miss is the International Myeloma Working Groups’s (IMWG) Conference Series webcast- “Making Sense of Treatment” This webcast will air on Monday, December 5th at 8:00 p.m. PT.

Networking also plays an important role at the meeting. Our team will have an opportunity to chat with our Pharma partners. This is vitally important. In this patient-centric era of medicine, it is essential that our Pharma partners understand our journeys and what we see as our unmet needs. Working together will lead to the best possible clinical trial designs.

Knowledge is power and an empowered patient has the best possible outcomes. Follow our tweets- you can subscribe to my #ASH16 list of tweeters or just follow the #ASH16 #mmsm #imfASH16 Hashtags—and read our blogs. Empower yourself with knowledge so you can be actively involved in your care.


Cindy Chmielewski

Advocate, Ambassador & Mentor, Patient Services Volunteer, @Ash_hematology Speaker, Myeloma Survivor, IRB Member, @CureForward PMA #MMSM #ePatient #canserve. Cindy also facilitates the Philadelphia Multiple Myeloma Networking Group.

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