The Southern California Myeloma Community Chapter welcomes Myo Htut, M.D., from City of Hope to speak on the latest news, research and successes he is seeing with CAR-T Therapy for treating myeloma patients. CAR-T stands for chimeric antigen receptor and, in simplistic terms, it involves re-engineering patients’ own immune system cells to destroy their cancer. CAR-T is proving to be a game-changer for many myeloma patients. Come learn more about this treatment and whether it may be a an option for you now or in the future.
Todd Kennedy is a Myeloma Coach and grateful patient. His background includes over 30 years working in the pharmaceutical industry until he and his wife Diane retired from their respective first careers to devote their time and talents as patient advocates, Myeloma Crowd coaches, and ambassadors for City of Hope’s expansion to Orange County. Todd is living life to the fullest with his wife and sons in Orange County, CA.
Diane has lived in Southern California for most of her life. Her husband Todd was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2017. She spent her career working in marketing until January 2020 when she and Todd retired from their respective first careers, to devote their time and talents as patient advocates, Myeloma Crowd coaches, and ambassadors for City of Hope’s expansion to Orange County. She and her husband are committed to helping improve and advance cancer care for all patients and feel a collaborative, virtual support group that draws from this region is an excellent way to help current patients and their families, and future generations of cancer thrivers as well.
Audrey joined the HealthTree Foundation as the Myeloma Community Program Director in 2020. While not knowing much about myeloma at the start, she has since worked hard to educate herself, empathize and learn from others' experiences. She loves this job. Audrey is passionate about serving others, loves learning, and enjoys a nice mug of hot chocolate no matter the weather.
Myo Htut, M.D., is determined to find more effective treatments for multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer which strikes about 30,000 Americans each year. He believes the body's own immune system may hold the key. He's especially excited about the potential of CAR T cells – immune cells taken from the patient, re-engineered to destroy cancer, then re-introduced. “It’s like we’re taking infantry soldiers and training them to be Navy SEALs whose only job is to find and kill these cancer cells,” he says. A native of Myanmar, Dr. Htut received his medical degree at Yangon's Institute of Medicine. After interning at Yangon General Hospital he completed his residency at Harbor Hospital, Baltimore, as well as fellowships at University of Colorado and here at City of Hope. Dr. Htut is conducting multiple clinical trials examining immunotherapy options for multiple myeloma. Rounding out a decade at City of Hope, Dr. Htut says it is the “best place to take care of patients as well as doing research.
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