Uno dei più bei regali di questo primo natale solitario, l’ho ricevuto da una cara amica nonché medico personale ed ematologa preferita di Alessandro, Elena Zamagni, e mi è arrivato il 27 dicembre da Atlanta via sms.
[One of the best presents I received for this first Christmas on my own was from Elena Zamagni, not just a friend but also Alessandro’s personal doctor and his favourite. This is the message I received from her on 27th December from Atlanta]
“Cara Mariangela, qui all’ASH di Atlanta alla sessione educazionale sul mieloma multiplo, Vincent Rajkumar della Majo Clinic ha aperto la sua lettura con una foto di Alessandro. Non lo conosceva ma ha molto apprezzato la sua lettera a Lancet ed ha usato le parole di Ale per sostenere la sua visione e le problematiche attuali sulla terapia del Mieloma.”
[Dear Mariangela – here at the ASH conference in Atlanta at the educational session on multiple myeloma, Vincent Rajkumar of the Majo Clinic opened his talk with a photo of Alessandro. He didn’t know him personally but he highly appreciated his letter to the Lancet and used the words of Ale to affirm his vision and the current problems on Myeloma therapy.]
Mi ha fatto tanto piacere il pensiero di Elena da Atlanta, ma ciò che più mi ha reso felice è sapere che al di là di tutte le manifestazioni di stima e di condivisione che abbiamo realizzato in questo anno, un importante ricercatore, oncologo clinico ad un congresso come ASH, abbia lanciato un appello ai giovani in formazione, per cercare di cambiare le priorità e le strategie di ricerca. Ero in montagna sprovvista di mezzi informatici e perciò ho girato il messaggio a Luca De Fiore che ha contattato il Prof Rajkumar, che in poco tempo ha risposto così :
[I was more then pleased to hear the thoughts of Elena from Atlanta but what made me really happy was that as well as all the demonstrations of esteem and sharing of memories that we had achieved this year, an important researcher in clinical oncology, at a Conference as important as ASH, had made a plea to young researchers that they should try to change priorities and strategies in research.
I was up in the mountains and cut off from communications but managed to send the message to Luca De Fiore who contacted Prof Rajkumar who then in turn replied]
“Thanks for writing.
Yes, it was an honor for me to open my two education session presentations at the ASH meeting talking about Dr. Liberati. I told the audience that Dr. Liberati worked all his life for evidence based medicine, and pointed out in his Lancet letter weeks before his death of the major problems with clinical trials in myeloma today.
I chose to do this because Dr. Liberati pointed out what so many of us in the myeloma field should realize: the trials we are doing are often not the trials that patients need. We are not testing strategies. We are no doing head to head trials comparing drugs. We are doing mostly small clinical trials, and the phase III trials we are doing are asking questions that are not strategic. And we continue to rely on surrogate endpoints instead of overall survival. The fact that a person who worked his life for evidence based medicine and one who struggled with myeloma bravely for so many years chose to provide a much needed insight in his letter was very inspiring to me. I am a strong believer in evidence based medicine, and very much agree and echo Dr. Liberati’s thoughts in this regard. I am sorry that I did not know Dr. Liberati in person. But i read a lot about him, and watched his videos and interviews in the last year after reading the Lancet letter.
Sincerely, S. Vincent Rajkumar, MD”
Questo post è dedicato a tutti voi amici e colleghi che a vario titolo (come oncologi, ematologi, ricercatori, clinici, organizzatori/gestori della ricerca, cittadini, pazienti ecc.) siete impegnati in questo campo, perché non smettiate mai di credere e di agire per una ricerca più trasparente e più vicina ai bisogni dei pazienti.
[This post is dedicated to you all, friends and colleagues, who are involved in some way or another (as oncologists, haematologists, researchers, clinicians, organizers/managers of research programmes, citizens, patients), that you never stop believing in research and putting up a fight for it and that it becomes more transparent and closer to patients’ needs.]