Digesting it all

| Teresa Miceli

As I return home from the 58th annual American Society of Hematology meeting, there is so much information to digest and process. It was like a cornucopia of data. The #daratumumab information was plentiful – from the Castor and Pollux studies achieving Food and Drug Administration approval for use with Velcade + Dex or Revlimid + Dex after one previous line of therapy to the clinical trial information on subcutaneous administration. All of this very exciting information from Drs. Maria-Victoria Mateos, Phillipe Moreau, and Dr. Saad Usmani.

If you recall from my first blog, one area of interest was updates in transplant. There were a few updates on the use of autologous stem cell transplantation in myeloma. Dr. Michele Cavo confirmed the improved progression free survival and overall survival with early use of transplant. What was a little unclear to me was the significance of tandem transplants.One study presented by Dr. Cavo indicated tandem transplantation provided benefit, especially in those with high risk disease. Another presented by Dr. Edward Stadtmauer showed neither consolidation nor tandem transplant was better than #lenalidomide maintenance after first auto transplant for newly diagnosed myeloma. These were not identical studies, and the pre-transplant treatment was different (VMP vs VRD). I will need to seek out my transplant physicians to help me better interpret this information.

During the meeting sessions, I did my best to accurately “regurgitate” the information provided through Twitter feeds. Both Cynthia Chmielewski and I were recognized in the top 10 tweeters of ASH (#myeloma #IMFASH #ASH16 #mmsm). Following the meeting sessions, we had the opportunity to utilize our meal times as a “working lunch/dinner,” when we could discuss the most recent information received. A great chance to “digest” and process the complex information while sharing a meal. Thankfully, there was a lot of opportunity for walking and stair- climbing to make up for the calories – over 102,000 steps on my FitBit for the week, 25 flights of stairs a day. Always good to keep the mind and body in good health.

A heartfelt thank you to the International Myeloma Foundation for creating the Support Group Leaders Attend ASH program and inviting me to be a part of this amazing education program. Really a great chance to share knowledge and experience. Also, many thanks to the following sponsors, who, with their support, made attendance possible: Amgen, Celgene, Janssen, Bristol-Myer Squibb, and Takeda Oncology.

Until next year (I hope) . . . Happy holidays and cheers to good health!

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Teresa Miceli, RN

Teresa MIceli is a RN at Mayo Clinic-Rochester in the area of Blood and Marrow Transplant. She is a member of the International Myeloma Foundation’s Nurse Leadership Board and the facilitator of the Rochester Multiple Myeloma Sharing Sessions in Minnesota. Teresa has attended ASH many times, both as a learner and educator. She comes to ASH 2016 with a dual role as a support group leader and nurse liaison.

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