Patients and caregivers are invited to join Dr. Jeff Sharman, WVCI’s Director of Research and a world-renowned expert in the field of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), for a town meeting on Saturday, Sept. 23, that will be live-streamed around the globe.

Hosted by Patient Power, in conjunction with Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and Research Center, The US Oncology Network, the CLL Global Research Foundation and Compass Oncology, this free educational gathering will discuss all aspects of CLL, including new therapies, current treatments and clinical trials, as well as management of common symptoms and side effects.

“The event will consist of interviews and Q & A time with experts in the field of CLL,” Dr. Sharman said. “Some of those questions will come by way of Patient Power, but there will also be opportunities for patients and caregivers to ask questions that are important to them.”

In addition to Dr. Sharman, panelists for the event will include Dr. Michael Keating of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Kathryn Kolibaba of Compass Oncology and Dr. Stephen Spurgeon of OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.

The event will be held in Portland. You can attend in person, or interact online. Register here.

What is CLL?
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a cancer of the immune system, specifically an abnormal growth of lymphocytes, the cells that produce antibodies to help fight off infection.

“The lymphocytes are not only in abundance, but in excess. They crowd out the bone marrow and cause patients to develop anemia, low red blood cells, low platelets and they become more prone to infections.”

“There has been an explosion of scientific advances in this disease,” Dr. Sharman said, highlighting the 2014 designation by the American Society of Clinical Oncology as “cancer of the year.” Several of the exciting new therapies for CLL were developed in clinical trials in Eugene. With the multitude of new options and approaches available, this town meeting will seek to provide guidance on disease management.

CLL is the most common type of leukemia in adults and can progress slowly or quickly, depending on the form it takes. In the U.S., it’s estimated that up to 300,000 people are currently living with the disease.

Empowering patients
Dr. Sharman encourages anyone interested in learning more about CLL, the latest research and therapies, to attend the Patient Power town meeting, or participate by streaming it live online.

When: Saturday, Sept. 23, 9:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Where: Embassy Suites by Hilton Portland Downtown, 319 SW Pine St, Portland, OR, 97204
Cost: Free, but registration is required.

“With so much information online, it can be difficult for patients to know what’s reputable or not,” said Dr. Sharman. “Patient Power is a quality organization that does a great job providing patient education.”