News from EHA 2011

Recently, EHA, the European Hematology Association held its annual meeting in London. This meeting brings together hematologists, researchers, medical professionals and patient advocacy groups to present the latest research findings, treatment methodologies, and more.

The following videos are of particular interest to our community. They feature leading CML Specialists, many of which are active supporters of the NCMLS. Additionally, NCMLS friends Jan Geissler (CML Advocates Network) and Giora Sharf (Israeli CML Support Group) are featured.


Dr. Hagop Kantarjian, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Dr Kantarjian explains how the introduction of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) such as imatinib, dasatinib, nilotinib and bosutinib have helped many patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia and discusses what clinicians should consider when deciding between these drugs. A minority of patients show resistance to these drugs; including those with the T315I mutation, however, Phase i results have suggested that these patients can be effectively treated with ponatinib. 

Jan Geissler - Co-founder, CML Advocates Network; Giora Sharf - Israeli CML Patient's Support Group; Dr. Lina Eliasson - Imperial College London, UK
The patient advocacy session at the 2011 EHA congress considered the importance of patient compliance with treatment schedules. It has been shown that patient compliance/adherence has a huge impact on treatment outcome and this is especially important in chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) where patients must continue to take medication for their entire life. Giora Sharf and Dr. Lina Eliasson speak to about research into CML patient compliance. 

Giora Sharf - Israeli CML Patient's Support Group
Giora Sharf, NCMLS friend,and founder of the Israeli CML Patient's Support Group explains how international advocacy groups benefit patients. Additionally, he discusses a recent survey conducted in Europe on adherence.  

Professor Timothy Hughes - Institue of Medical and Veterinary Science, Adelaide, Australia
Dr. Hughes discusses the TIDEL II study which imatinib trough levels (blood serum levels) were analyzed to indicate when and if a change of therapy was in order. Since it is not necessary to use second-generation (now frontline in the States) tyrosine kinase inhibitors front-line for all patients with CML, molecular criteria have now been defined to guide decisions about if and when to switch therapy.

A number of other videos from EHA 2011 are available here. Keep in mind that we now have three drugs available front-line in the states. Some of the presentations will refer to dasatinib and nilotinib as second-line/generation.