Thursday, September 13, 2012


If you or someone you care about has follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, the most common of all non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, you won't want to miss a groundbreaking symposium taking place this Saturday in Chicago. 

The Chicago Blood Cancer Foundation, Rush University Cancer Center, Hope for Lymphoma, ten top lymphoma physicians, and several leading patient advocates will come together this weekend to present “Follicular Lymphoma – On the Road to Cure.” 

And you don't have to visit the Windy City to be a part of it. The entire event will be streamed live on the Internet for patients around the world - and you can check it out on your mobile devices. For information and registration, just visit

If you can't join them in person, just send an email to and provide your full name, city, telephone number, and email address. They will provide you with access to presentation materials and you can listen, watch, and participate.

Organizers are expecting 10,000 people, or more, to screen it live.

As a 16-year survivor of follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, I can tell you that there has never been a symposium quite like this one.

It won't just be offering up random doctors talking about the basics. 

At this dynamic event, some of the world's leading experts on the disease will be sharing the very latest "inside info" about how this type of cancer can actually be managed, what they're really seeing and thinking about the latest treatments, what the clinical trials are telling us, and where to go from here.

The event is co-sponsored by Teva, makers of a very effective lymphoma drug called TREANDA (Bendamustine). TREANDA, which is indicated for the treatment of patients with indolent B-cell NHL that has progressed during or within six months of treatment with Rituxan or a Rituxan-containing regimen, is showing very positive results and is less toxic than some of the other treatments in its class.

Teva's support of this symposium is a positive indication that this company really wants to reach out to and be part of the nationwide lymphoma community. 

The symposium will address everything from the latest info on Rituxan to lymphoma vaccines to radio-immunotherapy to clinical trials of a whole new generation of treatments. 

The symposium's coordinator is a very good friend and trusted lymphoma patient advocate Liz Hart McMillan. 

Speakers will include another dear friend and fellow NHL survivor Betsy de Parry, an author and very passionate patient advocate, and my close friends Scott Seaman and Charlene McMann, co-founders of the Chicago Blood Cancer Foundation.

Here's the entire program schedule:

Welcoming remarks
By Howard Kaufman, MD, Director of Rush University Cancer Center and Scott Seaman, Esq, and Charlene McMann, Co-Founders, Chicago Blood Cancer Foundation

9:15 am

Introductory remarks by symposium chair, Stephanie A. Gregory, MD, FACP, The Elodia Kehm Chair of Hematology, Rush University Medical Center and Rush University Cancer Center

9:25–9:50 am

Follicular Lymphoma Basics; Advances in First Line Treatment and Management of Asymptomatic and/or Low Tumor Presentation Burden Disease. Brad S. Kahl, MD, Director of Lymphoma Service and Clinical Research Director for Hematologic Malignancies for the University of Wisconsin Paul P. Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center.

10:00–10:30 am

Management of Symptomatic, High Tumor Burden or Bulky Disease; and What to do if Chemo isn't Working (So That's What Presentation Refractory Means). Mathias J. Rummel, MD, PhD, Head of the Department of Hematology at the Clinic for Hematology and Medical Oncology at the Justus-Liebig University-Hospital, Gießen, Germany and founder of STiL (The German Study Group for Indolent Lymphomas)

10:40–11:00 am

Coffee Break

11:00–11:30 am

Is Watch & Wait Out of Date? What Early Treatments Should be Considered? Is Rituximab Maintenance for Everyone? A lively look at Panel Discussion emerging paradigms and new approaches to treating Follicular Lymphoma. Rush expert Parmeswaran Venugopal, MD, Samuel G. Taylor III, MD, Professor of Oncology; Associate Director, Division of Hematology-Oncology-Cell Therapy; Director, Section of Hematology at Rush University Medical Center, joins guest faculty, Dr. Brad S. Kahl, Principle Investigator on the RESORT Trial, Dr. Mathias J Rummel (bendamustine) and Dr. Stephen J. Schuster, Director, Lymphoma Program; Director, Lymphoma Translational Research, Abramson Cancer Center, the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, The University of Pennsylvania Health System

11:30–12:00 pm

Latest Options for Relapse. Christopher R. Flowers, MD, MS, Director Lymphoma Program at Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute; Presentation Associate Professor, Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplantation at Emory University School of Medicine; Medical Director, Oncology Data Center, Center for Comprehensive Informatics, Emory University

12:10–12:40 pm

Progress in Stem Cell Transplants: Curative for Some Patients, Now How Might We Cure More? Christopher R. Flowers, MD, MS, along with Rush experts Panel Discussion and researchers, Henry Fung, MD, FRCPE, Coleman Foundation Professor of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Director, Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cell Therapy and Sunita Nathan, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Section of Bone Marrow Transplant and Cell Therapy, Rush University Medical Center, in an exploration of who benefits most from transplant and the many advances in autologous (patient's own cells) and allogeneic (donor cells) transplantation today.

12:40–1:30 pm

The Winding Road: Our Journeys to Long Term Survival. Lunch while listening to 10-year refractory follicular lymphoma survivor Betsy de Parry, author, journalist, television host and cancer advocate, share practical tips and tales of optimizing survival.

1:30–2:00 pm

How Close Are We To Cure? The Most Exciting Novel and Emerging Treatments in the Pipeline. Dr. Stephen J. Schuster, Director, Lymphoma Program; Presentation Director, Lymphoma Translational Research, Abramson Cancer Center, the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, The University of Pennsylvania Health System

2:15–2:45 pm

The Road Ahead: Managing Follicular Lymphoma For Long Term, Optimum Survivorship. Guest faculty and Rush faculty, key opinion leaders in the lymphoma world, share their best thoughts on where we are headed and what survivors can do to help improve outcome and go the distance. Joining our panel of experts is Janine E. Gauthier, PhD, Director Clinical Services, Cancer Integrative Medicine Program; and Director of Psychosocial Services, Rush University Medical Center.

This panel will touch on such topics as:

* the importance of obtaining a second opinion from a lymphoma expert

* the role of complementary and integrative medicine
* can stress make my cancer come back?
* what is Myelodysplastic Syndrome; how is it treated; how to help avoid it
* what is transformation and do we know enough to reduce its risks?
* is a clinical trial right for you; evaluating them with your oncologist.


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