Hope in the Darkness

Teresa Miceli |

It is hard to know what to expect from this year’s American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting. The 62nd Annual Meeting & Exposition was to be held in San Diego, probably my most favorite location for this meeting.  The weather is most often warm, especially compared to Rochester, MN, and the atmosphere is filled with energy and vitality.  The convention center overlooks the Gaslamp District on one side, and the marina on the other. Being on West Coast time, I feel like I gain two hours of morning time, and I enjoy a walk along the water to see the sunrise, before the start of a busy conference day.

As has happened for many events this year, the meeting will be held all-virtual.  I have participated in virtual meetings, but none on this scale. It is not uncommon for more than 25,000 people to attend this meeting. This is “The premier event in malignant and non-malignant hematology,” and is attended by people from all over the world. I see some strong advantages to an all-virtual meeting:

Of course, there is no doubt, I will miss the camaraderie of the Support Group Leader Team, networking with industry partners, and the hospitality of the International Myeloma Foundation.  These are experiences that cannot be captured in a virtual meeting. 

  • Comfort – comfortable clothes, no shoes required, and I get to control the temperature in the room!
  • No travel required – cost savings, time savings
  • Efficiency – Tweeting real-time will be so much easier from my home office
  • There’s no place like home – sleeping in my own bed, not leaving my dog and cats, and I won’t forget to pack essential items

For many years, I have been attending the ASH meeting with the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) as part of the Support Group Leader Team (SGLT) as a SGL and nurse liaison. As a team, we conquer and divide by choosing myeloma topics of interest, attending sessions and reporting via social media on these topics. As a bone marrow transplant (BMT) nurse, I am interested in updates related to transplant and cellular therapies; survivorship and quality of life; and treatment approaches that give promise for deeper, more durable response with fewer side effects.  The meeting is a glimmer of hope in what has been a very dark year.

Here are just a few of the oral abstracts I have interest, links are active:

Daratumumab (DARA) Plus Lenalidomide, Bortezomib, and Dexamethasone (RVd) in Patients with Transplant-Eligible Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma (NDMM): Updated Analysis of Griffin after 12 Months of Maintenance Therapy

Update on the Griffin Trial:


Consolidation Treatment with VRD Followed By Maintenance Therapy Versus Maintenance Alone in Newly Diagnosed, Transplant-Eligible Patients with Multiple Myeloma (MM): A Randomized Phase 3 Trial of the European Myeloma Network (EMN02/HO95)


Depth of Response and Response Kinetics of Isatuximab Plus Carfilzomib and Dexamethasone in Relapsed Multiple Myeloma: Ikema Interim Analysis


Financial Toxicity Intervention Improves Quality of Life in Hematologic Malignancy Patients


Association of Patient Activity Bioprofiles with Hrqol and Clinical Responses: A Prospective Novel Trial Using Mobile Wearables in Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma Patients


Secondary Quality-of-Life Domains in Patients with Relapsed and Refractory Multiple Myeloma Treated with the Bcma-Directed CAR T Cell Therapy Idecabtagene Vicleucel (ide-cel; bb2121): Results from the Karmma Clinical Trial


Mgta-145, in Combination with Plerixafor in a Phase 1 Clinical Trial, Mobilizes Large Numbers of Human Hematopoietic Stem Cells and a Graft with Immunosuppressive Effects for Allogeneic Transplant


I am interested in this medication as a stem cell mobilizer in the multiple myeloma population.  I found there is a clinical trial at Stanford University, Principal Investigator: Surbhi Sidana, MD MGTA-145 + Plerixafor in the Mobilization of Hematopoietic Stem Cells for Autologous Transplantation in Multiple Myeloma – Full Text View – ClinicalTrials.gov

How you can be involved:

62nd ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition

This link brings you to the abstract website and the many topics being covered at the meeting.  You can search ‘myeloma’ to see the wide array of approaches researchers  are taking to understand, diagnose and treat myeloma.

Follow the SGLs via many social media options:

Blogs: IMF ASH 2020 Blogs – ASH 2020 Blogs

Follow the SGLT on Twitter and Facebook. Trending #’s will include #ASH20 #MMSM, #myeloma,  and the SGLT will be contributing to these feeds. 

Follow members of the SGLT:

@imfsupport @imfmikemyeloma @johnde1Myeloma @IMFjimMyeloma @jackMAiello @NorthTxMSG @LindaMyeloma @myelomahope @MyelomaTeacher @myelomavalarie @blondie1746

And you can find me on Twitter at


Teresa Miceli, RN BSN OCN

SGL and Nurse Liaison

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