It is nice to see the days warming up even though in Wellington we seem to be getting perpetual rain. Spare a thought for our UK brethren who will be having a lockdown until Easter. My London based son has managed to flee to a Greek island and says he will look at staying until after Christmas now.
Although our activities have been markedly curtailed by lockdowns, we have recently managed to arrange two recent seminars. I enjoyed going up to Whangarei last week and with Dr Sarah Poplar, we talked to about 30 people. Then Dr Henry Chan went to Hamilton last Saturday and joined up with Dr Hugh Goodman where they had similar numbers attending. We will have videos of these two seminars available on our website in due course. We have plans to run seminars in Tauranga, Palmerston North and central Auckland in the first half of next year.
The third International Myeloma Summit meeting was held in Queenstown recently and was deemed a great success. We were fortunate in having three prominent overseas experts giving virtual presentations. Professor Jackson from Newcastle talked about the benefits of various maintenance treatments, which are conferring survival advantages for patients. Professor Ola Landgren is now based in Miami and gave an excellent update on the approach to refractory patients. This is a significant unmet clinical need for New Zealand patients at present and we hope to continue our dialogue with Pharmac and try to assist in getting some more drugs funded. The participants at the meeting really enjoyed the face-to-face element that had been denied them this year.
Our Facebook group continues to grow well and is a great source of advice and comfort for people. We will be looking at having 500 members by early next year if the trend continues.
Good wishes for a happy Christmas with loved ones and the hope of a more settled year in 2021. The vaccine news is promising and hopefully will allow more opportunities to travel.