The ASCO 2014 annual meeting starts on Friday in Chicago and there’s some interesting Multiple Myeloma (MM) data that we’ll be covering.

This preview outlines which MM data may be noteworthy at ASCO and for those going, I’ve included the session times and locations so you can mark your dance card accordingly. There will be more on the potential commercial implications of the data once they have been presented.

Although ASCO is mainly considered a solid tumour meeting, it has not been without some excellent data on hematologic malignancies over the years.

ASCO will always have a particularly soft spot for me since we launched imatinib (Gleevec) for advanced CML on the Friday of ASCO way back in 2001. Many readers may know that I was in new products at Novartis Oncology and was heavily involved in bringing STI571, as it was originally known, to market and subsequently moved on to the brand team.

Gleevec on cover of Time MagazineThe meeting happened in a blur; on Friday we shipped drug for the first scripts the same day within hours of approval received that morning, flew to the conference, had a packed hall with standing room only for 2,000 people in a CME session in the afternoon, presented the one-year phase 3 IRIS data on the Monday, and received a very nice mention from Dr David Scheinberg (MSK), one of the phase 2 trialists during the Sunday plenary session. All these events occurred only a few days after hitting the front page of TIME magazine. It took quite a few weeks to come down from that incredible high!

When people insist ASCO is a solid tumour meeting, I always smile and remember that isn’t always the case.

Hematologic malignancies can generate excellent data mid year. This year, there is good news to discuss, not in CML, but multiple myeloma (MM) at both ASCO and at the European Hematology Association (EHA) Congress in Milan from June 12-15. There is also some nice CLL data, which I will cover in a separate Preview.

What’s different at ASCO this year?

This year, ASCO promises to offer some rather interesting data on some studies in multiple myeloma that missed the ASH deadline last September. You can’t always predict when a readout will occur, so good data can also abound at ASCO, EHA or the Lugano Lymphoma meeting.

As part of our commitment to continuous improvement, we plan a slightly different approach to the daily coverage for ASCO.

This year, we’ll be posting a live blog each day (for subscribers) where we’ll put quick comments about our impressions of data or our thoughts on what’s generating interest, short audio notes and excerpts of interviews with experts.

Given we’re in a lot of sessions and ASCO is pretty spread out (#BlisterWalk), so the live blog won’t be real-time, but we plan to make frequent updates to it during the day.

Please do check back at the blog for daily for updates and insights as they happen.

To learn more about our second ASCO Preview, which is on multiple myeloma, you can sign in or sign up below.