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Kos 2007 Conference Overview

The Fourth International Workshop of Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia (IWWM-4) was held on the island of Kos, Greece, home, and known to many as the “father of medicine”, Hippocrates. This was the first time that a Waldenstrom’s workshop partnered with the international Multiple Myeloma Workshop. Aside from the Waldenstrom’s guests, this collaboration brought high interest and education about Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia to many multiple myeloma guests.

The full event was under the direction of Dr Meletios A Dimopoulos. As chairman of the organizing committee and professor of the medical school at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Dr Dimopoulos succeeded (aside from the multiple myeloma investigators) in bringing together over two dozen Waldenstrom’s investigators from several nations who had brought to the conference several new and advanced ideas, therapies and directions for the B-cell malignancy, Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia.

Highlights of the fourth international Workshop on Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia included a lifetime contribution award dedicated to a tireless effort of defining the understanding of Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia, the Bob Kyle Award, given to Dr Morie Gertz from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN on the opening day of the Scientific program, Friday, June 29, 2007. In the following days, exciting new research was presented on the genetic basis, molecular pathogenesis, frontline and novel treatment approaches as well as treatment therapies of advanced disease of Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia. On the eve of Thursday, June 28, 2007, a Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia Satellite symposium was presented on the Advances in Biology & therapy of Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia. The presenters of that meeting were Dr Steven Treon, Dr Meletios Dimopoulos, Dr Robert Kyle and Dr Irene Ghobrial (the abstracts of their presentations can be found in the Abstract section).

Concluding the conference, an intense interactive dialogue aimed at updating treatment and response criteria for Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia was held with an open-audience consensus panel session of about 150 persons. Prior to the consensus panel, closing ceremonies were held on the evening of Friday, June 29, 2007, that featured a Hippocratic Oath ceremony performed at the Aescalapian ruins, followed by a farewell dinner and cultural dance along the harbor on Kos Island, Greece.