(WASHINGTON, November 8, 2016) - The American Society of Hematology (ASH) has partnered with several organizations on independent educational programming designed to help address knowledge gaps in the diagnosis and treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), the National Marrow Donor Program®/Be The Match®, and The France Foundation have joined ASH to create and implement a specialized curriculum, titled "Acute Myeloid Leukemia MATTERS: A Multidisciplinary Approach To Testing and Diagnosis, Evaluation of Risk, and Personalized Treatment Selection." ASH received educational grant funding from Summit, N.J.-based Celgene Corporation to support this initiative.
This year, approximately 20,000 Americans will be diagnosed with AML, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. An estimated 10,000 people die from this disease each year. While there have been recent advances in the diagnosis and management of AML, specialists caring for these patients are not always aware of these advances and how to implement them for clinical benefit. The multidisciplinary cancer care team involved in the management of patients with AML may include hematology/oncology physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and nurses; hematopathologist/pathologists; and hematologists as well as other clinicians specializing in hematopoietic cell transplantation.
AML MATTERS aims to address knowledge gaps in the entire multidisciplinary team, first by surveying AML care specialists to identify specific knowledge gaps and then by creating educational programs to address areas that are lacking. The program is intended to address issues pertaining to accurate diagnosis of AML, risk stratification of patients, appropriate treatment options based on clinical guidelines, monitoring and managing adverse events, and engaging and providing patients with information about the disease and their treatment options.
"Caring for a patient with a challenging disease like AML requires the collaborative efforts of a highly skilled multidisciplinary team," said 2016 ASH President Charles S. Abrams, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania. "ASH is pleased to join a diverse and committed group of partners who represent all of the different types of providers who comprise the multidisciplinary team that cares for AML patients. By improving the way AML is approached from the bench to the bedside, we will change the survival prognosis for our patients."
The curriculum, which will begin in 2017, includes four educational summits, presentations at both the ASH and ASCP annual meetings, and the creation of updated materials for physicians and nurses.
"Celgene is committed to supporting this unique partnership of ASH, ASCP, ONS, National Marrow Donor Program®/Be The Match®, and the France Foundation in addressing educational gaps pertaining to the diagnosis and treatment of AML," said Mary Sugrue, MD, PhD, Executive Director of Celgene Corp.
"Hematologic neoplasms have long been on the advancing edge of the personalized medicine revolution, and AML is no exception," said ASCP Past President Steven H. Kroft, MD, MASCP, of the Medical College of Wisconsin. "With the recent explosion of knowledge regarding molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis and refinement of pathologically defined risk factors, coupled with the availability of new treatment modalities, including target therapies, it becomes more important than ever for the caregiving team to understand the complexities of this disorder."
"The Oncology Nursing Society is honored to join the American Society of Hematology in this new educational program to address the needs of patients with AML," said ONS Chief Clinical Officer Lisa Kennedy Sheldon, PhD, APRN, AOCNP®, FAAN, and editor of the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing. "Oncology nurses are integral members of the multidisciplinary oncology team and have a special focus on patient-centered care, assessing adverse events and educating patients about their disease. The new AML program will provide key concepts to healthcare providers and improve patient outcomes."
"Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is a potentially curative therapy for many patients with AML," said Linda J. Burns, MD, vice president and medical director, health services research at the National Marrow Donor Program®/Be The Match®. "We look forward to collaborating with our partners in this unique educational effort to help the medical community better understand AML and therapies like HCT."
"This is an exciting opportunity to facilitate an ongoing conversation between the collaborative care team and leverage recent advances in AML to affect patient care," said Ted Bruno, MD, chief medical officer of The France Foundation. "This educational effort will seek to create robust, real-world learning experiences that bolster clinician learning, patient engagement, and prepare the multidisciplinary care team for ongoing challenges and opportunities in AML patient care. The France Foundation is pleased to join this team of dedicated partners in an effort to improve the lives of individuals with AML."
About the American Society of Hematology
The American Society of Hematology (ASH) (http://www.hematology.org) is the world's largest professional society of hematologists dedicated to furthering the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the blood. For more than 50 years, the Society has led the development of hematology as a discipline by promoting research, patient care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology. The official journal of ASH is Blood (http://www.bloodjournal.org), the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field, which is available weekly in print and online.