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iCMLf Forum 2011 at ASH:
Physicians spotlight challenges of managing CML in emerging countries


During ASH 2011 in San Diego, the iCMLf in partnership with The Max Foundation has held its annual forum on "CML Management in Emerging Regions & Update of the Virtual Education Program". The event was attended by 90 physicians from emerging regions.

It provided a valuable networking forum and panel discussion with iCMLf Directors including John Goldman, Jorge Cortes, Jerry Radich, Michele Baccarani, Andreas Hochhaus and Tim Hughes on the challenges and solutions for treating CML in emerging regions. The iCMLf also launched the 2011 update of its "Virtual Education Program", providing new CML educational modules in Spanish, French & English.

Key highlights of iCMLf's activities in 2011

At the meeting, CML expert and iCMLf Director Jorge Cortes introduced the iCMLf, highlighting how the idea of the iCMLf in 2008 has emerged into a highly effective foundation that strives to improve the outcomes for patients with CML globally.

Dr Cortes highlighted key activities of the iCMLf:

The Virtual Education Program features webcasts of CML experts on best practice, management and care of CML in countries with limited access to monitoring and treatment. The 2010 edition of webcasts was acessed more than 3,000 times during the year. In addition, 800 USB drives provided the offline version of the education program to physicians without broadband Internet. The 2011 update of the Virtual Education Program features more languages (French and Spanish) and additional modules including presentations on molecular monitoring, BCR-ABL kinase domain mutation analysis and stem cell transplantation.

In addition, the iCMLf website is complemented by a lively online discussion forum for difficult CML cases, a new pediatric CML section, as well as a new CML Scientific News section where clinicians can post manuscripts that they find relevant and useful.

The ERSAP Preceptorship Program aims to facilitate the sharing of best practice treatment between CML centres of excellence and hematologists from emerging regions. In 2011, 26 physicians from emerging countries around the world visited one of eight centers of excellence, becoming part of the clinical team for an intensive 3-4 weeks. The iCMLf's Preceptorship Program is growing steadily, with now 30 preceptorships being offered in 10 centers of excellence in 2012.

The ERSAP Diagnosis and Testing Program was initiated in 2011 to enhance the diagnosis and monitoring of CML patients thus improving potential outcomes. The program included providing iCMLf grants to increase local capacity for diagnostics and monitoring, facilitating the shipment of samples to centers of excellence for PCR testing, and utilizing GeneXpert instruments in emerging countries installed for TB tests to provide access to BCR-ABL diagnostics.

ash-cmlawarenessdayJorge Cortes also highlighted the first world-wide International CML Awareness Day, held on Sept 22 in coordination of the CML Advocates Network. The awareness day, hghlighted by the iCMLf at the ESH meeting in Portugal on 9/22, helped to increase public awareness about CML and its challenges.

Presentations highlighted key challenges of emerging regions

Key highlights of this year's "iCMLf Forum" were the presentations provided by physicians from three emerging countries. They addressed challenges of CML management in their countries and discussed case studies of patients with the audience. Ximena Jordan Bruno from Bolivia presented about the "Management of CML in Young Patients and in Children", Peter Mwamba from Kenya spoke about "The Road from Symptoms to Access to Treatment", and Neelam Varma from India gave a perspective on "Managing CML - Decision Making in a Developing Country". All presentations were followed by lively discussions with the audience, offering the opportunity to share views about the special challenges of treating CML patients in countries with low resources.

John Goldman closed the meeting, thanking everyone for dedicating their precious time at ASH to this meeting, and thanking the iCMLf team for all the progress the iCMLf has made in these three years. He called on the audience to spread the word about the iCMLf in order to ensure that physicians in emerging countries become aware about iCMLf's activities.