25 April, 2013

Calling All Bloggers

I am planning to add several new features to my blog in the coming weeks and months, and the first one I'd like to tackle is the development of a slide library which readers can peruse and download. 

I think I make reasonably nice slides. The few I have included in prior posts are personally made using PowerPoint. As an art-major-turned-oncologist, I take some pride in the graphics I create for my lectures. 

I inserted the images above as screen shots, not editable slides. It is important to me that the content be editable to make it as useful to users as possible.  What I am envisioning is essentially an amyloidosis/protein folding disorder/myeloma/hematology/cell biology reference deck one can use in his/her own talks.

No plans to upload entire lectures complete with copyrighted survival curves or tables snatched from journals. 

The question at hand: best way to do it? Advice from blogging gurus out there? Looking at SlideShare currently, but it seems like I would have to load slides in as multiple one-slide files. A friend suggested I also take a peek at Google Docs. 

Any other suggestions? Anybody create something similar to this to which they can point me?

21 April, 2013

Rewarding Morning in Detroit

Since my last post, I attended the International Myeloma Workshop in Kyoto, Japan. I spent much of the first day of this 4-day symposium taking notes in the form of a draft blog post and simultaneously tweeting in real time from the conference. It quickly became evident that Twitter was better suited for disseminating info to those unable to attend. Please find me on Twitter (@amyloidplanet) if you want to see my feed from the conference.  Japan was excellent, and I am certain I'll be in the mood for sashimi again sometime in the next year or two.

This weekend, I was able to participate in TWO very satisfying events.

First, I spoke at a CME conference organized by the Karmanos Cancer Institute focusing on cancer-related bone disease. Topics covered included myeloma, prostate cancer, and breast cancer, as well as specific treatment modalities - kyphoplasty, radiopharmaceuticals, external beam radiation, etc. 

Brochure from today's symposium in Troy, MI: 130 registered attendees!

I discussed multiple myeloma with my colleague Muneer Abidi in a debate-style format:

Me (right) and my "opponent" (Dr. Muneer Abidi, left) squared off in front of colleagues, discussing myeloma-related bone disease. This is a PowerPoint slide from my talk, designed to lull him into a false sense of security from the outset. Not sure it worked. 

We discussed two questions which plague oncologists, even ones with particular expertise in myeloma:
  • Should all patients with active myeloma receive zoledronic acid as part of their therapy (even in the absence of bone lesions)? Traditionally, bisphosphonates (BPs) are used to treat hypercalcemia (high calcium) and to prevent skeletal complications in myeloma patients with either osteopenia or frank lytic bone lesions. The MRC IX Trial, which randomized myeloma patients treated with one of four different anti-myeloma induction regimens to additional treatment with either clodronate or zoledronic acid, found that patients treated with the latter not only had reduced skeletal events, but also modestly improved progression free survival (by about 2 months) and overall survival (by 5.5 months).