There is nothing like being at the live meeting. Nothing.
You can’t mail it in. You can’t send your team.
iwCLL 2015 is nothing if not intense.
When you sit in the plenary sessions, when you hear the tough questions, when you grab the doctors and researchers between sessions to hear their unrehearsed take on the latest data, you get a raw glimpse of where things are going for those of us with CLL. And let me tell you, it’s going in the right direction.
I attend this meeting with a closet full of different hats: as a patient so I can learn what I need to know to stay alive, as a doctor for my patients with CLL, as an advocate to fight for patients’ voices, as a reporter to bring you the latest news, as the medical director of a nonprofit to forge new alliances, as an educator and moderator at a very successful groundbreaking CLL patient forum (the first ever held in conjunction with iwCLL), as interviewee on the patient’s perspective for other news agencies, and as faculty giving a keynote lecture on how the cost of our meds affect us patients.
No wonder I am tired.
Let me just give some teasers on the news.
- The consensus is growing that the role of chemotherapy in treating our disease is shrinking fast.
- Novel therapies will be moving frontline.
- Better second generation novel therapies are coming.
- Figuring out the best combinations and sequencing of novel agents is the basis of many new trials aiming for limited duration therapy and a cure.
The future is bright, but only if we keep funding the necessary research with the investigators designing the best patient friendly trials and us patients volunteering for them.
I recorded a few thoughts about the meeting and about the future here.
Brian Koffman 9/22/15