The group that sets-up our Myeloma Cure Panel broadcasts and works to help publicize clinical trials, Cure Talk/TrialX, is running an interesting ASH review on their website. It features myeloma specialists Dr. Berenson, Dr Vij–and ME! Guess I’m moving up in the world!
We were all asked if we could give a 5 point summary of the event for Cure Talk’s Scientific Editor, Priya Menon’s blog. Here’s what I had to say:
ASH 2012 Highlights From Doctors and Patients: Leukemia Cure, Pomalidomide, MLN 9708…
We asked myeloma blogger and noted myeloma author Pat Killingsworth for his ASH summary from a patient’s perspective and this is what he wrote in…
Multiple myeloma patient and medical writer/blogger’s observations from this year’s ASH meetings in Atlanta:
- Biggest news wasn’t myeloma related. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania developed an aggressive new immunotherapy approach that used the AIDS virus to help reprogram a young girl’s T cells to genetically kill her leukemia’s B cells. The most hopeful game changer I have seen in my four years attending ASH.
NOTE: Since I my job was to cover myeloma news for the IMF at ASH this year, that is where my focus was. Next four observations have to do with myeloma research and trial results.
- Celgene’s oral IMiD, pomalidomide, continued to post good numbers and should still be on-track for FDA approval in February. This should have had everyone excited, considering Onyx’s Kyprolis was the first new myeloma drug to be approved by the FDA this summer in over six years. But it doesn’t seem to be working-out that way. Sort of like the stock market builds-in profits or losses ahead of an event
- Millennium Pharmaceuticals new oral proteasome inhibitor, MLN9708, looks like a real winner! Hopefully, it can be fast-tracked for approval in the next two or three years
- The above mentioned Kyprolis is working better than expected when combined with a number of other novel therapy agents. Therapy combinations are the future. One expert I heard from suggested as many as four or more drugs might eventually be used to treat a newly diagnosed patient, hopefully stalling-out the myeloma before it can get started
- Dozens of different experimental drugs – including immunotherapy agents – showed enough activity in live patient trials to justify moving-on to the next level.
Overall, this was the most promising ASH that I have attended to date. True, there wasn’t any blockbuster news – there rarely is. But, I saw more incremental progress across the board than I have ever seen. Most of the oral presentations I attended revealed positive results. A cure? Not even close. New ways to overcome drug resistance? Maybe? Only time will tell!
Basically just a summary of what I have been writing about–and will continue to write about again beginning December 26th.
CLICK HERE to read what Dr. Berenson and Vij had to say. There is also a long list of related links you can access there, too.
Tomorrow and Tuesday I am declaring this a “multiple myeloma-free zone. Well, mostly.
Tune-in the next few days to listen to me wax philosophically about the strange combination of living with an (largely) incurable cancer and spreading holiday cheer. Can’t wait!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat