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Scottish conference highlights new developments

Education and Training Manager Helen Mee reflects on the first of a series of conferences for people with lymphoma


Our Glasgow conference on Saturday was the first in a series of three regional events taking place this autumn that focus on new developments in treatments for both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Aimed at people personally affected by lymphoma, these days provide a mix of fascinating talks, subtype specific discussion sessions and time to meet and chat with others who have been through a similar experience. As with all our events, they also feature plenty of tea and coffee and a tasty lunch!

Saturday’s Glasgow city centre event attracted well over 50 guests from across Scotland who came to hear talks from medical and nurse experts. The venue was located on the very aptly named ‘Hope Street’, there was certainly a positive atmosphere on the day, and I came away with plenty of hope for the future.
Dr Katrina Farrell a Consultant Haematologist from Forth Valley opened the programme with a talk thoroughly explaining what lymphoma is and what current approaches are to the treatment and management. She highlighted the improvements in our understanding of lymphoma and significant treatment advances, which have helped to improve lymphoma survivorship quite dramatically since the 1960s.

Dr Pam McKay a Consultant from the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, was next to the lectern with a comprehensive update on clinical trials. Dr McKay covered trials which have recently closed, and have changed UK lymphoma management practice and then went on to highlight some studies, which are at an earlier stage but are showing great promise. The amount of research into new agents was inspiring to hear.

Lois Eddie, Haematology Research Nurse from Edinburgh delivered an interesting talk discussing how cancer research is reported in the press and how sometimes we need to see past the attention grabbing headlines which can mislead. She gave useful tips for finding reliable sources of information.

Dr Alison Michie provided a behind the scenes look at how scientists at the Paul O’Gormon Leukaemia Research Centre at the University of Glasgow are contributing to our understanding of CLL and devising better treatments in the lab, which will hopefully translate to future novel agents. Dr Noelle O’Rourke’s presentation reminded us not to forget that radiotherapy can be a very effective treatment option for many people with lymphoma and that improvements in radiotherapy techniques mean side effects can be minimised.

Our subtype specific parallel sessions proved a real hit with attendees, with plenty of time for audience questions.

This has been a very encouraging day to realise how much things have changed since my diagnosis in 2014.
A delegate at the Glasgow conference

We are looking forward to welcoming our guests to the events still to come in this series:

Liverpool 10 November 2018 and Basingstoke 17 November 2018.

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