2010 American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting 3rd - 7th December
Interview with Jan Geissler - Co-Founder, CML Advocates Network
Blood cancers in the elderly
JG Jan Geissler
IV This is ecancer Television, and we’re looking to a very interesting event in March 2011. Jan Geissler, as co-founder of the CML Advocates Network, you are on the steering committee of Blood Cancers in the Elderly, meeting in Rome. What’s the point of this meeting? What were your thoughts and those of your co-steering committee members?
JG I think it’s a very important event to investigate the specific issues of elderly in haematology, because of course the diseases are… or leukaemias are diseases which mainly occur in the elderly, but still trials very often represent the data of people that are younger, and I think we need to look very closely what their specific issues of patient and population are.
IV Now you’re steering the meeting. What’s going to happen? What will doctors and clinicians get out of the meeting if they attend?
JG Well, I think they will discuss about access to therapies for elderly; they will discuss about access to trials, and enrolment in trials, and the issues of co-morbidity, of patients that have multiple diseases when they are in their old age; and I think all these issues will be looked at.
IV What are the big areas of progress, though, in blood cancers and the elderly that you think will be talked about and will be developed with positive progress?
JG I think there will be discussion about specific trials for elderly, or to… about eligibility criteria of ongoing trials, and I think that is a very important topic to discuss.
IV So what should doctors be thinking about at this meeting ahead? I mean what can they get out of it potentially, do you think?
JG I think they can understand better the specific issues of elderly patients: how to improve informed consent, how to take care of the specific issues in terms of side effects, how to respect the quality of life that these patients have when they’re being diagnosed with cancer at that age, and I think there’s a lot to learn about that, and there’s a lot to discuss.
IV But what about patients, will there be anything in this Rome meeting for patients?
JG Oh, yes. We are hoping to have a session by patients, run by patients, and addressing the specific viewpoints of patients in that, and I think it’s very important that patients are included on the programme.