I’ll admit I was a little starstruck at ASH. The top myeloma specialists were gathered in one place, walking the same corridors as me…sitting in the same abstract presentations as me. And having some of the same questions as I did about the research being presented. I was used to being at patient seminars or my own support group meetings, where the patients ask the doctors/nurse educators the questions. But here, the myeloma specialists were standing at the microphone, asking questions of the presenters. I’ll admit it was a little mind-blowing!
As I began to attend oral abstract presentations at the 61st ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition (ASH), I was amazed at the collaboration that takes place in order for all of this research to happen. All oral presentations have a series of slides showing the premise of their research, the statistical results, and a summary of what they have concluded about the data. At the end of every presentation, there is a slide that gives credit to everyone who has participated in the collaboration. Doctors, researchers, hospitals, and so forth, are listed.
At the end of abstract #578, a presentation on therapies for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, Fu Cheng Cheng, MD, PhD, (Department of Hematology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Jiangsu Institute of Hematology, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China) had a slide crediting those who worked on this research. Most of the credits I had seen were a generic listing of names and facilities. But this one jumped off the screen at me, with a circle in the center, surrounded by other circles. Each circle representing collaborators, cohorts, etc., and I thought to myself, it does “take a village” to work together to cure myeloma. But this is a global village. And it is a “win-win” for us, as patients.