During the last few days before leaving for the International Myeloma Workshop in Paris, I started prepping for these meetings. That meant going to the IMW website and reviewing the agenda and examining abstracts that might be available.
I'll attend all of the meetings, which begin Tuesday, May 3, but I'm sure some presentations and results will be more interesting and relevant to patients who are looking for near-term answers.
For example, Tuesday's meetings will focus on molecular pathways, genetics, cell biology and animal models. While that research is critical to successful drug and treatment development for personalized medicine, I don't know if information presented will make a difference in our decision-making today.
Yet, I'll bet that if I had attended the first IMW 13 years ago, I would be able to point to available treatments today that came from laboratory research presented back then.
I'm really looking forward to hearing presentations Wednesday, Thursday and Friday that focus on topics such as optimizing patient outcomes, treatment protocol comparisons, new drug--as well as maintenance--results, and minimizing side effects.
We always ask questions about transplants (sooner, later, or not at all), whether or not to treat early stage myeloma, what's the best treatment for me, how long should I continue treatment/biophosphonates/maintenance, and can dosages be reduced.
So now, I'd better start packing.