That’s a wrap for Day 1 of the 64th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition. Today’s introduction to ASH started off with “A Conversation with the Myeloma Experts: Making Sense of the Evolving Treatment Landscape,” a roundtable of sorts, including presentations from Shaji Kumar, MD (Mayo Clinic—Rochester, MN); Tom Martin, MD (University of California at San Francisco); Jesus San-Miguel, MD (University of Navarra—Navarra, Spain); Philippe Moreau, MD (University of Nantes—Nantes, France); S.Vincent Rajkumar, MD (Mayo Clinic—Rochester, MN); and Yi Lin, MD, PhD (Mayo Clinic—Rochester, MN). While data was presented and examined, my biggest takeaway from this was the overwhelming theme of personalized medicine.

From determining when to start treatment for patients with smoldering myeloma to determining when to as well as how aggressively to start treatment during relapse, all these experts agreed that considering the patient as a human being and not a lab value or a pathology result is of utmost importance. Patients are educated now, more than ever, and can and SHOULD have a voice in determining their treatment plan, after careful consideration and discussion with their provider. Frailty of the patient and their general physical and social state factor into treatment decisions. There is no cookie cutter treatment plan in myeloma.

Many options were presented for relapsed and refractory patients, which shows the importance of great research in myeloma. There are so many strategies today that weren’t available even 5 or 10 years ago, and even more in the horizon. This speaks to the fact that myeloma patients are living longer than ever, and that myeloma is now evolving into a chronic disease that needs to be managed, not a death sentence, as it was years and years ago. This is ultimately because of the amazing research done by these experts, and it’s all due to those patients who enter clinical trials to help not only themselves, but others with myeloma in the future. I am grateful to both and excited for the future, to be able to see the amazing things on the horizon! Enjoy the view!

Follow me on Twitter @MidAtlanticMSG