By Jerry Walton
Norfolk, VA

Once again, the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) is orchestrating the attendance of a dozen myeloma support group leaders at the 56th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting.
As in previous years, this will add patient perspectives to the IMF’s steady flow of informative news on myeloma research reported at the ASH 2014 meeting. I’m truly honored to participate and to help provide some of this exciting research information to myeloma patients and caregivers.

Participating support group leaders will generally focus their individual reporting on a specific set of topics. Collectively, the group will cover the full range of relevant myeloma research and treatment. I’ll be focusing on two main areas: research involving smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) and stem cell transplant (SCT).

Smoldering Multiple Myeloma. There has been ongoing research on whether or not to treat asymptomatic/smoldering multiple myeloma. The historic approach has been to “wait and watch,” holding off treatment until one or more of the “CRAB” features appears (hypercalcemia, renal/kidney issues, anemia or bone problems). However, research has indicated that treatment of some SMM patients (e.g., those with so-called high risk SMM) can be beneficial. I’ll be reporting on related research and on other research updates involving SMM.

Stem Cell Transplant. There are lots of questions about stem cell transplants for myeloma patients; e.g., yes or no, early or late, with what induction therapy, with or without consolidation and/or maintenance treatment, second transplant or not, and many more. I’ll report on key research updates on significant SCT related topics.

Stay tuned to the IMF for the latest ASH 2014 myeloma headlines! Follow #IMFASH14 on Twitter and Facebook.

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