Friday, May 02, 2008

My week

A week of little blogging, largely because I have been so busy. This is how my week went.

Monday morning: take train to London. Listen to podcasts from Radio 4 on my newly acquired iPod.
Monday lunchtime: interviewed by New Zealand TV about the Northwick Park affair. I had to mug that one up, it's a long time since it happened and already the details are indistinct. They hired a room at the National Heart Hospital in Westmoreland St for the interview.
Monday afternoon: walk across to the Holiday Inn, Regent's Park for an Advisory Board for Roche. If they decided to bomb it, they would wipe out almost every UK CLL expert. The question was what trials should be done on Rituximab while we are waiting for NICE to approve it for CLL (which they surely will after the German CLL8 trial).
Monday evening dinner. A short walk to the restaurant. I sat between Nick Chiorazzi and Danny Catovsky, so it was an interesting evening.

Tuesday morning: Executive Board of the UK CLL Forum. This was in the Royal Institute of British Architects, close by in Portman Place. 8.30 am was an unreasonable start, but the scientific meeting was in the same building at 10.30. The meeting had talks by Nick Chiorazzi and Sylvia Deaglio as well as a few domestic speakers. It was focused on the microenvironment of the CLL cell in lymph nodes and bone marrow.
Tuesday afternoon: Presented the Hamblin prize for the best British paper on CLL during 2007. It went to Andrea Buggins for her work on IL-6. I made a little controversial speech about the journal publishing it as a 'Letter' rather than as an 'article'. This is a blatant attempt to raise the impact factor of Leukemia, and it isn't the first time they have tried underhand methods. They were caught out some time ago suggesting to authors that they should cite papers previously published in Leukemia. Impact factors work by dividing the number of times papers in a particular journal are cited by the number of papers published. Citations of 'Letters' count in the nominator but 'Letters' do not count in the denominator. Therefore to call an 'Article' a 'Letter' is dishonest. Some might call it 'gaming' the system. I call it dishonest.
Tuesday evening: take train back home in time to watch Manchester United versus Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final. United win 1-0, so it will be an all English final in Moscow.

Wednesday morning: Early train to London for GTAC committee. We have five protocols to discuss and I will be leading the discussion on one about a new type of adoptive immunotherapy for adenovirus infections in stem cell transplant recipients. It's not really gene therapy and the trial design has never been seen by a statistician. However, we pass it after suggesting a major design change. The rest of the day seems to drag and I drop off during a particularly boring discussion about prostate cancer. After the meeting we have a cake in honour of Monika, our secretary who is leaving for greener fields.
Wednesday evening: train back home in time for the Liverpool v Chelsea semi-final. It is an exciting match which Chelsea win 3-2. They will meet Man Utd in Moscow. For American readers, this is as big as the Superbowl.

Thursday morning: I spend all day writing a medico-legal report on a CLL patient who to my mind got poor treatment.
Thursday evening: We go out to vote in the local elections then off to church for the mid-week prayer meeting and then home to watch ER. Afterwards, I go back to the medico-legal report, which I finish at 1-30 am.

Friday morning: I referee a paper for Blood and one for British Journal of Haematology, then edit a few papers for Leukemia Research. Then I photocopy some papers to go with the medico-legal report, then phone a couple of contacts about our search for an associate pastor.
Friday evening: Off to the gym for an hour with my personal trainer. She really puts me through it. Then back for a shower and after dinner, at last, a bit of blogging.


Anonymous said...

It sounds as though you had a nice, full week.

I also had a full week. I went to the emergency room on Saturday because of a suddenly-worseing lung/sinus infection. I get blood drawn and have a chest X-ray. I wait from 8:00 pm until 2:00 am without seeing a doctor. I go home.

I got a prescription for antibiotic from the onc doc on Monday. I flew down to see my CLL doc on Tuesday. Spent day there. Miserable from cold/infection or whatever it is.

Try to work a bit on Wednesday and Thursday. Woke up on Friday feeling not right. Debating whether to go to the ER again to get another chest X-ray to see if something is growing in my lungs.

Research a bit on the net for latest developments in CLL. Nothing to speak of. Lots of nibbling at the margins, I guess you'd call it. Seems like better treatments are a decade or more away. Good, long-term career for CLL docs I think.

Call lawyer to make appointment to update trust/will etc. I grow increasingly concerned about what is going on with me. Discuss with wife funeral plans and estate matters.

Prepare for next trip to oncologist on Monday. Undecided on next treatment because there are so few effective treatments out there for high-risk CLL.

That was my week.

Anonymous said...

Dear Prof Hamblin
This is a clinical query hence I have placed the comment after a more clinical post.
A 70y old Dx CLL on LN biopsy (presented to ENT) Dec 07, Lymphocyte count 6, normal Hb and Plt, immuno on PB CLL score 5/5, BM shows t(1;16) and del(6)(q), requires treatment by March 08 for increasingly bulky cervial LN, with generalised LN on radiology, responds within 1wk of first FC, but glands back up two week later. In your opinion would adding R be sufficient, or is there a better alternative?
Many Thanks

Terry Hamblin said...

There is nothing to be lost by adding rituximab, but bulky nodes are often best treated by adding high dose steroids.