Modern Prognostic Indicators
Less than a decade ago, CLL was the “good” cancer to have. And those were the “good” old days, life was simple and one shoe fit all comers. For a long time, the only drug available was chlorambucil, joined a few years later by fludarabine. Remissions did not last long and since both of these drugs had sufficient toxicity, it made sense to put off therapy for as long as possible.
Sexy biologic drugs such as monoclonal antibodies (Rituxan, Arzerra, Campath) and immune modulating drugs like Revlimid have changed the CLL landscape. All of us are keeping our fingers crossed the next generation of smart drugs such as the kinase inhibitors (CAL-101 etc) will pan out as valuable additions.
You don’t like all this complexity? Well, before you complain about too many therapy choices, just remember these additional choices have prolonged remissions as well as quality of life for CLL patients. Our guys are living longer these days because we understand a lot more about this disease and how to treat it. No one has a perfectly clear crystal ball, but modern prognostic indicators can help shed light on the possible course of your disease. Majority of emails I get from our members are all about better understanding of their prognostic indicator test results.
Often physicians fail to understand that patients need to know what to expect in their lives, for a variety of complex reasons. Are you looking at a short fuse version of CLL that will need therapy sooner rather than later? Or is it going to be OK for you to change jobs now and risk discontinuity in your healthcare insurance? Should you take the kinder and gentler route or declare all out war in your choice of therapy? Which is a better approach to playing the hand you have been dealt? Is it a good idea to push for a stem cell transplant sooner rather than later? What do your prognostics, age and general level of fitness have to say about it? If these and similar questions have kept you up at night, this Workshop is for you. If on the other hand you would rather not know what the future may hold in store for you, I am sure you can think of more fun things to do on a Saturday afternoon.
Spring 2011 CLL Workshop
Subject: Understand Modern Prognostic Indicators
Date: April 9, 2011 (Saturday)
Time: 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Location: Columbia, Maryland.
If you think you are going to be able to attend, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to register and we will email you the driving instructions on how to get to the conference hall. The conference hall we rent holds about 55 people and we will register folks on a first-come first-served basis.
As always, attending our workshop is free of charge. If you wish to support our efforts, please feel free to use the “Donate” button. Or bring snacks (fruits, brownies, chips etc) for your fellow attendees to enjoy during the break. Learning about CLL is hard work!
For those of you who live too far away from Columbia MD, or who have schedule conflicts and therefore unable to attend, I will publish my PowerPoint presentation as well as detailed comments accompanying each slide. Some of our more technologically talented members have suggested video recording of the workshop etc. After thinking about it, we decided this was not a good idea. We take patient confidentiality very seriously and some of our members may not want to be video taped. And, I must confess, I am a little shy about video taping myself. I am a lot more comfortable with the written word than in-person showmanship.