'This experience will definitively help me to improve the management of my patients with CML'
(Dr Uzma Zaidi, Pakistan)
Dr Zaidi is head of the section of myeloproliferative neoplasms, division of adult clinical haematology and a consultant haematologist at the National Institute of Blood Diseases & Bone Marrow Transplantation in Karachi. She is also the laboratory director and a consultant haematologist at the Liaquat College of Medicine & Dentistry at the Darul Sehat Hospital in Karachi.
‘It’s a great pleasure for me to talk about my experiences during the preceptorship at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
The main issue with the management of patients with CML in Pakistan is to get access to regular monitoring. When I applied for the iCMLf Clinical Preceptorship Program I was hoping to learn some new diagnostic techniques and to improve my knowledge about the molecular biology of CML. This would help me to find new solutions for my CML patients back at home.
My journey to Houston began with attending the John Goldman Conference on CML: Biology and Therapy. It was a magnificent meeting with experts from all over the world gathering to share their clinical experience with the management of CML, the development of new agents and the latest advancements in the molecular biology of CML. I had the opportunity to meet some of the experts in person and to discuss open questions with them.
My preceptorship was under the supervision of Professor Jorge Cortes, Head of the CML section, Department of Leukemia at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. During my 4-week preceptorship, I participated in outpatient clinics and inpatient ward rounds together with Professor Cortes and other consultants. I also attended all the academic activities that were offered to me including grand rounds, plenary sessions and seminars.
The best part of my preceptorship was the outpatient clinic. It was a great learning experience for me as I was able to see patients with all kind of leukemias, particularly with CML. I got the chance to see newly diagnosed and relapsed/refractory patients as well as post transplant cases. This experience will definitively help me to improve the management of my patients with CML especially when it comes to adverse events, disease progression and transformation.
I have also learnt how to do molecular monitoring using PCR technology, which is important because of the limited resources in my country. I also now understand the role of treatment-free-remission in CML and the importance for the management of patients with CML. I will definitely share all this with my colleagues here in Pakistan through seminars and meetings.
My suggestion for future preceptorships would be to also include rotations in stem cell departments and molecular laboratories in order to learn more about the disease monitoring with PCR and to gain clinical experience with transplantation in CML.
With the Clinical Preceptorship Program the iCMLf is doing an incredible job and I am very thankful to the iCMLf for providing me the opportunity to attend this program at one of the best centres in the world. Without the support of the Foundation it would not have been possible for me to accomplish this long-cherished dream’.