On a cold February morning, I was up and at the local train station waiting patiently among the other commuters for the early morning train to London. I was on my way to attend the ‘Post ASH Significant Highlights’ meeting led by Dr Robert Marcus, a member of the Editorial Board for our haemato-oncology journal Myeloid & Lymphoid disorders in practice (MLDIP). This is a follow-up from the American Society of Haematology (ASH) meeting, one of the key conferences where healthcare professionals (HCPs) get a chance to hear about the innovative scientific and clinical data in the field of haemato-oncology, attracting a wide audience of delegates from across the world. As it is increasingly more difficult for UK trainees and consultants to attend this meeting, Dr Marcus decided to set up a local event to ensure key outcomes from the ASH meeting could be communicated back to the wider community who were unable to attend.
While thinking about how pleased I was that I only make this journey once a week, I swiftly made my way to the underground barriers, eager to reach the venue. However, I must have tempted fate, as upon arrival, queues were stretching from one side of the station to the other, with angry commuters shouting at anyone brave enough to push in! Anyway, after ten minutes of shuffling along a foot at a time, I decided to take the plunge and walk the twenty minutes it would take to get there (at which point it had started to snow, making the walk even more difficult)!
After battling the elements, I arrived at the Brunei Gallery in Russell Square and hurried down the stairs to attend the first session. Leading names within a specific field of haemato-oncology had been asked to select their top abstracts from ASH and present these back to delegates at the ‘Post ASH Significant Highlights’ meeting. Key trial data was presented for each particular section, with a lot of promise being offered across the board by a certain new drug due to be launched this year. The overarching message, however, was the importance of precision medicine in determining the most successful treatment approach for patients with a blood cancer. Understanding the genetic make-up of their patients’ particular blood cancer, provides the clinician with invaluable information as to how successful (or even relevant!) treatment options indicated for that condition will be.
As a member of the MLDIP team, this meeting proved extremely valuable for staying up to date with hot topics and key themes within the field, allowing us to continue to commission content of relevance and wider interest to HCPs. This was also a great opportunity to meet key opinion leaders in haemato-oncology and get an understanding of what they feel will be the most promising updates for their patients.
If you are keen to find out more about the specific sessions covered at the meeting, then keep an eye out for our Summer issue of MLDIP coming out in June!