2012 MPN Midwest Symposium
Over 100 patients and caregivers attended the MPNRF Midwest Patient Symposium on September 20th in downtown Chicago. Great energy flowed through the room as each speaker shared their recent findings in research, clinical trial outcomes, treatment options, and new initiatives underway that will impact the entire MPN community. September 20th held greater meaning for all MF patients as it was officially proclaimed MF Awareness Day in Illinois by Governor Pat Quinn.
Click here to watch the Midwest MPN Symposium
MPN Research Foundation founder and Chairman, Robert Rosen, kicked off the day by sharing his story and journey with PV and why he formed the Foundation. At the time of his diagnosis, little to no research was being conducted in the field. Since the Foundation’s inception, over $8 million has been awarded for critical research that might not have been done or funded by other sources.
Barbara Van Husen, President, explained the new Myelofibrosis Challenge initiative. In partnership with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the MPN Research Foundation is currently funding one year Challenge Grants to investigators seeking ways to reverse fibrosis or find a cure for all patients with this life threatening MPN.
Ann Brazeau, Vice President of Development, coordinated and facilitated the event throughout the day. She recognized the patient support group coordinators in attendance and addressed the importance of patient education. Ann is currently the chair of the MPN Coalition, a group of patient advocacy organizations focused on growing MPN awareness and patient access to information, treatments and education. The Coalition created and provided a Symptom Calendar and other materials geared toward MF patients that were available at the symposium.
Our Scientific Speakers
Dr. Ruben Mesa, MD, from the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona is committed to improving therapies and quality of life for patients with MPNs. He is very active in evaluating new treatments focusing on targeted small molecules aimed at key aspects of the diseases. Dr. Mesa is a committed researcher and clinician and sees many MPN patients. He is currently an MPN Research Foundation grant recipient.
Dr. Laura Michaelis, MD, from Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago has begun to collect data on the differences and similarities in male and female MPN patients. Dr. Michaelis has a great interest in MPNs and was instrumental in establishing a collaborative research group focused on MPNs, the Chicago Roundtable hosted by the MPN Research Foundation.
Dr. David Snyder, MD, from the City of Hope Cancer Center has been involved in basic research and clinical research for over 30 years. Dr. Snyder works extensively with MPN patients specifically in the area of bone marrow transplantation. He shared a very balanced perspective on survival and best practices.
Dr. Ross Levine, MD, is a physician scientist from Sloan Kettering. Dr. Levine’s lab has identified inherited disease alleles relevant to MPN and AML pathogenesis and characterized the effects of targeted therapies on signaling and outcome in MN mouse models. Dr. Levine addressed the issues surrounding the effectiveness and significance of JAK2 inhibitors. He is also a MPN Research Foundation current grant recipient.
Dr. Srdan Verstovsek, MD, PhD, from M.D. Anderson shared his clinical trial findings and comparisons in patients treated with JAK2 inhibitors. Dr. Verstovsek maintained an active interest in leukemia during most of his research and clinical training, and his main clinical interest now is in MPNs.
Dr. Brady Stein, MD, MHS from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine is interested in the clinical investigation and epidemiology of the MPNs. He has focused on the correlation between molecular and genetic abnormalities and clinical phenotype in these disorders, as well as the influence of gender on disease manifestations. Dr. Stein is co-chair of MPN Chicago Roundtable.
Dr. John Crispino, PhD, from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Crispino is a member of the Chicago MPN Roundtable and the scientific advisor to the MPN Research Foundation.