The 22nd of September is recognised by the CML community as International CML Awareness Day. This year 22nd September fell during the iCMLf-ESH International CML meeting: Biology and Therapy. Over 450 hematologists, scientists and patient advocates met in Baltimore, USA to discuss the latest advances in CML science, therapy and care. International CML Awareness Day was marked by Professor Jorge Cortes during his opening presentation on 9/22, recognizing the importance of the close collaboration between scientists, clinicians and patients to continue the dramatic progress made treating CML. On the day, patient organisations in more than 30 countries celebrated International CML Awareness Day with various initiatives.
The treatment of CML over the last 50 years can be divided into three distinct eras, first cytotoxic drugs, then the choice of allogeneic stem cell transplantation or interferon-alfa (IFN) and most recently the era of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI).
22 September 2011 is a very special date for patients affected by Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML), a rare blood cancer that has played a key role in the path towards personalized medicine in cancer. For the first time, patient advocacy groups from all continents will celebrate "International CML Awareness Day" on that date. Patient organisations of the CML Advocates Network from 49 countries, supported by The Max Foundation, Alianza Latina and the International CML Foundation, call on caregivers, healthcare professionals, government and industry to work together to improve on timely access to diagnosis, treatment and care.
The CML Advocates Network, a worldwide network of CML patient associations, is suggesting the proclamation of 22 September (9/22) as International CML Awareness Day. The date represents the genetic change of Chromosomes 9 and 22 which causes CML. The iCMLf welcomes the initiative, and calls on all physicians worldwide to actively support it.
The activities of the iCMLf are supporting healthcare professionals to access knowledge, skills and tools in order to achieve the best possible outcomes, especially in regions where this assistance is most needed. As a charitable foundation, this is only possible through unrestricted grants and donations. We are grateful for the first private donations that have reached us. Please donate, we appreciate your support!
In addition, for 2011, the iCMLf is very pleased to recognise Novartis Oncology and Bristol Myers-Squibb as a Premium Sponsors, Ariad as Major Sponsor, and The Max Foundation for sponsoring the Virtual Education Program. We are grateful for all support that enables us to support better care for CML patients.