Today was filled with educational symposiums that offered medical professionals attending the 63rd American Society of Hematology (ASH) conference the opportunity to earn continuing education credits. 

For me, it provided a glimpse of what is to come this weekend and it reconfirmed that there are many more treatment lily pads that I can leap to in the future. Thanks to the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) and our generous sponsors, this is my 9th year attending this conference. 

Every year offers great insight into the amazing research that is ongoing to find a cure for multiple myeloma. But some years, I feel like there are more leaps than others. I think 2021 will be one of those years pushing future treatment options to the next level. Bispecific antibodies and CAR T-cell therapies have been featured at previous ASH conferences, but the number of options is reaching a new level and new targets being studied provide more ways to outsmart our continually changing myeloma. 

With all this advancement comes more choices — another reason to be an informed patient. There will be a greater need to understand the sequence of treatments. For example, can you take a bispecific antibody before having CAR T-cell therapy if they target the same antigen on the myeloma cell? Recently approved new therapies and several on the verge of approval target BCMA. So, this is a question that will be widely discussed this weekend. And there is literally an alphabet soup of new targets being explored, so the options and combinations continue to explode. 

Saturday began at 6:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m. for our team members from the West Coast) with the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) meeting and was followed by a day filled with abstracts on all these amazing studies. 

Stay tuned to all the information our team will be sharing with you over the next few days. 

Linda Huguelet, Chattanooga Multiple Myeloma Networking Group 

Linda Huguelet, on Twitter: @LindaMYELOMA