This week I have been at the IWCLL meeting in London. This meeting began many years ago in Paris and I have been to most of them. We were shown a photograph of the meeting in Barcelona in 1991 where there were 44 delegates. Most of the 44 were at the London meeting, along with over 700 others. It is no longer a workshop. Nevertheless I would suspect that no disease has shown such an increase in interest over the past 20 years as CLL.
I will be blogging about some of the new stuff to come out of the meeting at a later date, but the hot news is about the Binet-Rai Medal which is presented at the meeting. The medal was first given to Kanti Rai and Jaques-Louis Binet for their invention of the CLL scoring systems. The third medal was given to Michael Keating for his work with fludarabine. The fourth and fifth medals were given to Nick Chiorazzi and myself for the discovery of the importance of VH mutations. The sixth medal was given to Daniel Catovsky for his work on the morphology of CLL and the MRC trials. The seventh medal was awarded this year posthumously to David Galton who died earlier this year. David was one of the first physician scientists to work on CLL and established many of the features of the disease and described lymphocyte doubling time as a prognostic factor. His widow and children accepted it on his behalf. The eighth medal went to Carlo Croce for his discovery of the miR genes 15 and 16 at 13q14 in the minimally deleted region and his TCL-1 mouse model of the disease.