On 11 June 2023, we were able to bring together world-leading patient advocates, researchers, and clinicians to jointly explore the barriers and opportunities of research towards new pathways to cure CML in our 2nd Academic CML-CAB meeting held in Frankfurt / Germany.

This meeting was a continuation of the 1st Academic CML-CAB meeting held virtually in October 2020 under the motto “Mechanisms to cure CML – beyond TFR” (TFR = treatment free remission) and to which we had invited 8 researchers (all of them working on novel areas of CML research) and 16 CML-CAB members. The main objectives of the 2021 meeting were to build a dialogue with academic researchers, reach consensus on what the key issues are in CML (status quo), establish a vision of where we want to be and how a cure could look like (beyond TFR), look at different approaches to cure and learn which of these are most promising to cure CML, and – last but not least – identify what we as a community can contribute to achieve the vision of a cure for CML, and define a “roadmap to cure”. A series of enablers and barriers were identified during said meeting. For details on this meeting and to access the Executive Summary of this 1st Academic CML-CAB meeting in 2020, please click here.

Parts of the barriers were again picked up and further discussed during the follow-on session, the 2nd Academic CML-CAB, which was held as a hybrid panel meeting and entitled: A cure for CML beyond TFR: is it possible? The aims of this latest Academic CML-CAB were to develop a mutual understanding, to learn from scientists who are involved in CML research and innovation, to see what is possible in terms of a cure for CML, and to try to get an answer to the following key questions:

  • What is the researchers’ approach and contribution towards CML cure beyond TFR?
  • Do they understand the needs and expectations of patients?
  • What are the barriers to move research forward?
  • How can the patient community and researchers support each other and collaborate?

Historically, there has been more focus on eradicating the disease than there is today. Currently there seems to be a trend to focus on prevention of resistance and improving TFR rates. The pharmaceutical industry has little or even no interest in research into the eradication of the disease whereas the research community and the clinical community have. Thus, the need to come together and see how both communities can best work together.

The 2nd Academic CML-CAB turned out to allow for a fruitful dialogue between the patient community and the academic research community. Researchers felt that openly discussing different perspectives helped them better understand patients’ expectations and needs. It was agreed that there was a desire to work together on a path towards cure in CML and to continue collaboration with another Academic CML-CAB in the future.