Research highlights from the 60th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting (ASH)

The 60th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting (ASH) took place from 1-4 December 2018 in San Diego, California. Our Director of Research, Simon Ridley, and Director of Healthcare Advocacy Services, Ira Laketic-Ljubojevic, attended the meeting to learn about all the latest myeloma research. This report summarises some of their highlights from this year’s conference.

Research news // 11th January 2019

ASH 2018 was attended by almost 30,000 scientists and clinicians from around the world and covered almost 6,000 topics including approximately 500 myeloma specific research.

Simon Ridley, Director of Research says:

Research cannot make real progress in isolation and so conferences like ASH are valuable opportunities to share and learn about new data and ideas. ASH is a platform to meet with key stakeholders such as academic researchers, Pharma companies and other organisations from around the world also working on myeloma. For us at Myeloma UK it’s very important to keep up-to-date on progress and challenges in the global research and clinical effort against myeloma, to ensure that we can play the best possible part in it.

UK myeloma research groups were well represented through a number of talks and poster presentations. This included the presentation of results from the Myeloma UK Clinical Trials Network, Myeloma UK-funded research at the Institute of Cancer Research and from our new Board member, Dr Karthik Ramasamy from Oxford.

Copyright: American Society of Hematology (ASH


The myeloma research topics included updates on research looking at ways to optimise and improve myeloma treatment either by optimising current treatments, improving patient stratification (grouping of patients to help tailor treatment) or by discovering new ways to treat myeloma.

In 2019 Myeloma UK will continue to work hard to translate these clinical advances into access for patients.

Shelagh McKinlay, Head of Patient Advocacy says;

“There has been an exciting research pipeline in myeloma and the number and range of treatments available to patients has improved hugely in recent years.  However, we have to make sure that access continues to keep pace with scientific breakthroughs and new trial data. We have had some important successes in the past couple of years, for example the Cancer Drugs Fund approval of the first novel triplet combination of ixazomib, lenalidomide and dexamethasone – but we need to make sure that this doesn’t prove to be an exception.

Next year we will be upping our focus on getting the system ready to give the best possible chance for new treatments to be approved.  We will be joining with leading clinicians in a new access advisory group and working more closely with patients and their families to help us”

Copyright: American Society of Hematology (ASH

Read our highlights