ASH 2016: Interviews about hot topics in chronic myeloid leukemia



The American Society of Hematology’s annual meeting brings together hematologists from around the world to discuss critical issues in hematology, examines the latest clinical advances in this area and explores the year's most significant scientific discoveries and updates.

Jan Geissler, Co-founder of the CML Advocates Network and chair of the German leukemia patient platform Leukaemie-Online has been interviewed by the Video Journal of Hematological Oncology. during ASH 2016 on some of the hot topics at ASH 2016.

We are happy to share with you these short video interviews that highlight a CML patient’s view on the safety of stopping treatment in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, the new BCR-ABL inhibitor ABL001 for CML treatment, generic Imatinib in the age of Imatinib patent expiration, patient involvement in th ASH congress, as well as some European programs and initiatives in hematology like HARMONY and the European Reference Network EuroBloodNet.


Patient involvement at ASH 2016 and beyond

The number of patient advocates attending and actively participating in ASH has increased substantially each year. Unfortunatly, other than at the European EHA congress, there has not been much progress in involving patients in the ASH program and giving them a voice at the congress, remaining still to be a conference for clinicians. 


ABL001 – a new BCR-ABL inhibitor for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) treatment

The results from a Phase I study of the BCR-ABL Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor (TKI) ABL001 for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) treatment (NCT02081378) was presented at the last ASH Congress 2016. This drug may be a candidate for combination treatment with existing TKIs, and it is debated whether it may also facilitate patients to consider a treatment-free remission phase sooner.


Treatment-free remission (TFR) – the safety of stopping treatment in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML)

One of the dominant topics of ASH 2016 has been the safety of stopping treatment in chronic myeloid leukemia which is very important from a patient advocacy perspective. The next step for the CML Advocates Network is to provide information on treatment-free remission (TFR) to patients and physicians.


Generics for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment – a very hot topic at ASH 2016 as the imatinib patent expires

Around 60-70% of CML patients are taking imatinib, meaning that the cost to health-care systems will be greatly reduced by drugs costing 5-10% of the original imatinib compound. However, if patients are constantly switched between different generic products, this could reduce adherence as patients may be concerned about drug quality.


New European programs and initiatives in Hematology

European Reference Networks (ERNs) covering rare haematological diseases set up by the European Commission (EC) and member states, whose aim is to drive clinical excellence in rare diseases kicked off on 27 January 2017 in Paris with 66 partner organisations from 15 countries with the involvement of the Leukemia Patient Advocates Foundation, CML Advocates Network and CLL Advocates Network.  An additional initiative, an IMI Project "HARMONY - Big Data for Better Health Outcomes" was launched in Salamanca in January, where CML Advocates Network is involved with coordinating patient community input.