GMAN Meeting at the American Society of Hematology 2022
On Thursday, December 15th, 2022, more than 30 members of the Global Myeloma Action Network (GMAN) came together for a virtual meeting to review the key outputs of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) conference held in New Orleans.
Also on the agenda was an introduction to the newly formed steering committee, subgroups, and reflections on the successes of 2022. Opening the meeting, Serdar Erdogan thanked industry partners, welcomed participants from across the globe, and introduced new members.
Abstracts from ASH 2022
Dr. Brian G. M. Durie, the IMF Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer, presented what he described as the flavor of the ASH conference, conveying the tone and areas of greatest interest, and perhaps, importance for the myeloma community.
Full details of all of the abstracts can be found on Dr. Durie’s blog.
GMAN Steering Committee and Subgroups
Yelak Biru, the IMF President and CEO, reminded attendees of the three key objectives of the IMF’s GMAN network: bringing support and education to patients and their care partners, raising awareness of myeloma, and improving access to diagnosis and treatment.
In service of these objectives, GMAN has formed a steering committee co-chaired by Yelak and Martine Elias (Executive Director, Myeloma Canada). Other members of the steering committee include Mira Armour (CEO, Mijelom CRO, Croatia), Hayley Beer (Myeloma Clinical Nurse Consultant, Myeloma Australia), and Serdar Erdoğan (Director of GMAN and EU/ME Programs). The committee’s four subgroups will focus on access to care, health policy, clinical research, and capacity building.
The committee and subgroups will be working on their topics and will bring further news to the GMAN Summit that will be held in Frankfurt in early June 2023.
Reflections on 2022
Thirteen patient and family seminars delivered in person, online, and as hybrid sessions, three doctors’ workshops and a combined participation of 8900 attendees, this was the starting point for a look back on 2022. A phenomenal achievement driving the objectives of the GMAN group raising awareness, improving access and bringing support to patients and families around the globe. During the past year, GMAN brought the IMF’s ground-breaking educational program to Austria, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey.
Aleksi Leppanen described the peer support meeting of Suomen Syöpäpotilaat, led in Finland where 60 people were able to come together to learn and support each other as one of the SND Grants projects of 2022.
Viorica Cursaru (President, Myeloma Euronet Romania) described the support being offered to Ukrainian refugees with myeloma who have crossed into Romania. Printed information about available support and services for patients and care partners were distributed in Ukrainian, English, and Romanian as a part of another SND Grant project.
In further support of myeloma patients affected by the war in Ukraine, GMAN has been working across European organizations to assist patients with access to treatment. For example, GMAN is working with call centers and support groups in Poland, which has a high number of Ukrainian refugees, to safeguard continuity of care for this population.
The closing session of the GMAN meeting was a reminder from Dr. Durie that myeloma patients should remain vigilant in protecting themselves from the potential risks of COVID-19 infection by being vaccinated and boosted, and wearing high-quality masks during group gatherings, especially indoors. Dr. Durie expressed his thanks to the members of GMAN for their involvement in the network and their valuable contributions to their local myeloma communities.
We also thank our industry partners from across the globe for supporting the important work of GMAN and its member organizations.