Happy Myeloma Monday! I’m not sure how or why the tradition began, but for the seven years I’ve been coming to ASH, Monday has always been the biggest myeloma news day.
I’m sorry I didn’t post last night. Somehow, someway, I hung in all day. I had an opportunity to spend time with old friends and I learned a lot. But by the time I limped back to my hotel room around 8 PM, I didn’t have the strength to do more than climb into bed and pass out.
So why am I up so early? There’s some exciting news breaking at 7:30 am.
Yesterday I had the privilege to interview Dr. Tahamtan Ahmadi, PhD, Senior Director of Clinical Research for Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Tahamtan spearheaded the recent push for early FDA approval of the exciting new immunotherapy drug, Darzalex (daratumumab).
I’m preparing several posts featuring Dr. Tahamtan and his work. Young, enthusiastic and incredibly bright, Dr. Tahamtan gave me a heads up about this morning’s news, embargoed for a few more hours.
While I can’t share specifics yet, I can pass along that results from a pair of clinical trials will reveal an amazing response rate in heavily pretreated patients when using daratumumab in combination with several established novel myeloma therapy agents.
Even more impressive and unexpected: a length and depth of response that had Dr. Tahamtan so excited I thought he was going to leap up off the grey curved couch outside the ASH press room.
A few years ago I would have stayed up late to reconcile my notes and prepare several posts about yesterday’s news. But only 45 days post transplant, I’m moving a lot slower. I’ll get it done, just not right away.
None of this has dampened my enthusiasm. I have several important interviews scheduled today. I’m ecstatic to be here and able to get around at all. I’m finding this year’s meetings to be hopeful. Very hopeful.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat