CureTalks 2017 Round Up – A Poster Gallery

CureTalks had a spectacular 2017 with great topics discussed on the global platform. 2017 saw CureTalks hosting 21 talks. The creative team at CureTalks churns out world class imagery for each and every talk.

Compiled below are the posters that were created in 2017.



1 – Social egg freezing less commonly known as non-medical egg freezing is being increasingly seen as a secure way of delaying childbearing by more and more women, especially in the US. But is it safe for all women? Who should be opting for it? What do the specialists think about it? In late 2012, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) lifted their “experimental” label for egg freezing, but both cautioned against egg freezing, owing to limited data on safety, efficacy and emotional risks involved. Listen here

2 – The treatment options for myeloma continued to evolve in 2016 with new agents, immune based therapies and re purposing of existing approved agents. High-dose therapy and autologus stem cell transplantation remain the backbone of upfront treatment in myeloma. We talked to Dr. Ravi Vij, about the evolution of myeloma treatments in the past year and what we can look forward to in the new year. Listen here

3 – Yoga is a practice that incorporates multiple components, multiple techniques that include not only the physical posture but also physical exercise, breathing techniques, deep relaxation techniques and very importantly the contemplative side which is meditation practice, practice of mindfulness. The yoga panel discussed yoga practice and programs that can help veterans through post traumatic stress disorder, dealing with traumatic brain injuries, learning to live with amputated limbs, healing from moral injury and more. Listen here

4 – Myeloma is classified as high-risk based on presence of cytogenetic abnormalities and poor treatment outcomes. Despite many new drugs and drug combinations being approved, long term benefits for high risk multiple myeloma patients is less clear. We continued our discussion on high risk myeloma with Dr. Robert Orlowski and talked about the treatment options that are available for a high risk patient. Listen here

5 – Hallmark of most multiple myeloma cases is the persistent production of some form of immunoglobulins, a phenomenon that brings the disease to attention. However, there is a subset of multiple myeloma patients who do not secrete immunoglobulin or its component parts into either the blood or urine, hence called non-secretory myeloma. Some non-secretory myeloma patients may produce the immunoglobulin proteins but they have defects in secretion. Due to lack of these protein biomarkers in blood and urine, it may be difficult to assess and treat the disease. Our myeloma panel talked to Dr. Frits Van Rhee about latest developments and new options available in assessment and treatment of nonsecretory myeloma. Listen here

6 – In this era of personalized medicine the standard “one dose fits all” approach to cancer care has been ineffective leading to treatment failures. Personalized medicine is a new healthcare paradigm that allows physicians to choose treatment methodology optimally based on person’s genetic or protein profiles. Our breast cancer panel talked to Dr. Jame Abraham of Cleveland Clinic to learn about the developments in personalized medicine in breast cancer treatment. The panel will also discussed research in this field and new options available for breast cancer treatment. Listen here

7 – Recent years have seen the emergence of immunotherapy as a leading form of treatment for multiple myeloma. New strategies such as monoclonal antibody therapies. antibody-drug conjugates, immune checkpoint therapy, adoptive cell therapies such as natural killer cells, marrow infiltrating lymphocytes, dendritic cells, CAR T cell therapies and cancer vaccines represent the basis for next generation myeloma therapies. We talked to Dr. Saad Usmani of Levine Cancer Institute / Carolinas Healthcare System about the latest advances in immunotherapy for multiple myeloma. Listen here

8 – Quality of life is a major concern of patients when they are choosing treatment for prostate cancer. Our prostate cancer panel led by Mike Scott talked to Dr. Paul Schellhammer, a prostate cancer survivor himself, about treatment outcomes and post treatment quality of life, from his own experience as a patient and 40+ years of treating prostate cancer patients.  Listen here

9 – Precision, or personalized, medicine has made a sea-change in cancer treatment. A pipe dream for most patients 10 years ago, it is a reality today. Precision Medicine’s keystone is the ability to identify personal gene characteristics and match them to specific treatment options. This discussion will consider many questions surrounding precision medicine and targeted treatment, helping to answer:

  • Genetic (germline) versus genomic (somatic) testing
  • Who should get tested and for what?
  • Getting tested and educating your doctor
  • The pros and cons of testing
  • Is gene testing affordable?
  • What is an actionable mutation?
  • How do actionable mutations impact treatment?
  • Immunotherapy and personalized medicine

We had a knowledgeable panel of physicians, patients and patient advocates to help patients, caregivers and advocates understand precision medicine and targeted treatment, including David Marshak, Manager Patient Advocacy at Foundation Medicine, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Foundation Medicine performs comprehensive genomic sequencing to identify the molecular alterations in each patient’s unique cancer and match them with relevant targeted therapies, immunotherapies, and clinical trials. Rick Davis moderated the panel. Listen here

10 – A high risk pregnancy can be life-threatening to the mother as well as the baby. Women must be trained to tell, when they need medical attention themselves, in addition to the baby care training they receive. We talked to Dr. Shannon Clark, a double board certified obstetrician and gynecologist and maternal-fetal medicine specialist, about who falls in the high risk category, about the challenges and experiences involved in a high risk pregnancy, and the care that is available. Listen here.

11 – The MMRF has built a unique model that provides the only end-to-end solution in cancer research. This model is based on three interrelated pillars fueled by data generation and integration; collaboration and discovery; and accelerating clinical trials. Integrating this model with precision medicine, MMRF aims to get closer to finding a cure for multiple myeloma. We talked to Anne Quinn Young of the MMRF to learn about the details of this initiative and also discuss the results and other developments of the CoMMpass trial. Listen here

12 – Male factor infertility accounts for 50% of total cases of troubled conception. Unfortunatley male infertility is not as promptly reported as female infertility which is tracked by Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology database. One key reason for under-reporting of male infertility is lesser availability of means of tracking it. When it comes to fertility testing, where women have quite a few over the counter products, men have very limited options. Curetalks male fertility advocates and panelists Kristen Darcy, Sara Naab, and Jonathan Boldt talked to Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt to learn about new options available for men and also discuss novel advancements in techniques to check male fertility status. Listen here

13 – Multiparametric MRI (mpMRI) is being considered as a game-changer in prostate cancer treatment and management. Our prostate cancer panel of Mike Scott, Tony Crispino, Allen Edel and Joel Nowak talked to Dr. Antonio Carlos Westphalen about the current roles of MRI and mpMRI in diagnosis and management of prostate cancer. The panel will touch upon current roles of older forms of bone scanning and CT as well as discuss the evolving roles of newer imaging techniques in the diagnosis and management of high risk and metastatic prostate cancer. Issues on access to high quality imaging and role of the expert uro-radiologist in diagnosis and management of prostate cancer are some of the other aspects that will be covered in this discussion. Listen here

14 – Most multiple myeloma patients, even those in complete response, may show signs of relapse at some point of time. So, testing and quantifying Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) has become essential to obtain better prognostic correlations. Researchers believe that MRD testing could help them compare myeloma therapy strategies, evaluate new treatments faster, and guide treatment decisions. The myeloma panelists talked to Dr. Ola Landgren, a lead researcher in the field, on what MRD testing could mean to your treatment, and about how MRD testing could become a new and earlier end-point in myeloma treatment. Listen here

15 – Relationship of our mental state and fertility is a very complex one. “Can stress cause infertility? Does stress impact ovulation? Can treating stress improve pregnancy rates? How does stress affect fertility in men and women? For answers, we turned to Dr. Parijat Deshpande who specializes in lifestyle medicine and guide women to lower stress and improve their overall wellness to have a safer pregnancy. Listen here

16 – In February 2017, along with 5 other patients and 10 individuals who have had their lives impacted by myeloma, Matt Goldman climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. They were raising funds for Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), which is a leading organization working to find myeloma cure. Kilimanjaro is 19,000 feet high. The journey took 8 days where they covered over 40 miles. Join us to hear Matt relive his experience. Listen here. 

17 – In 2017 stem cell transplants remains a key option for treatment of eligible multiple myeloma patients, and in majority of patients it is done as a part of frontline therapy. Research shows that stem cell transplants significantly increases the amount of time, for which a patient has their disease under control. How safe are transplants? Who is eligible to get one? What are the side effects and how can patients tackle them? The myeloma panel talked to Dr. Rafael Fonseca for answers to these and more on the latest developments in stem cell transplant technology in multiple myeloma treatment. Listen here

18 – FDA approval of the breakthrough CAR-T cell therapy for cancer brings the first approved gene therapy treatment to the United States. It reprograms the body’s own immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells. The therapy initially called CAR-T cell immunotherapy and now named Kymriah by Novartis, is approved to treat children and young adults with a recurrent form of the blood cancer called acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Dr. Carl June of University of Pennsylvania, is one of the pioneers of CAR-T cell research and leads the team responsible for the historic FDA approval. We discussed Dr. Junes CAR-T cell journey to understand nuances of the new therapy. The discussion will also bring to focus the opportunity that these engineered immune cells present to cancer treatment and possible use in treatment of other cancers. Listen here

19 – Surrogacy is a method of assisted reproduction for people who are unable to conceive due to medical complications or other reasons. It is an agreement where a woman agrees to carry a pregnancy for a couple or a person, who will become the baby’s parent after birth. Surrogacy has been a controversial issue around the world and involves a lot of complicated contracts that intended parents as well as surrogates need to abide by. We discussed the medical and legal aspects of surrogacy with reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Aimee D. Eyvazzadeh, reproductive/fertility lawyer Greggory M Field, and Emily M Field who became a mother through surrogacy. Listen here

20 – Multiple myeloma remains incurable despite improved remissions with novel agents. Relapse eventually occurs in the form of drug-resistant disease that carries a dismal prognosis. Relapse is dependent on stem cell functions. We talked to Dr. William Matsui of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to get a better understanding of the drivers of these functions and how they may lead to novel therapies for relapsed disease. Listen here

Happy Holidays!

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