Yesterday I presented our work at ASCO Medical Student & Resident Abstract Forum. It was a great experience for me and I am very happy to be a part of this meeting. I learned and enjoyed it a lot. I listened to great presentations from other MDs and medical students. I am amazed by the level of science they are doing right now. Maryam Alasfour, Chris George, Mallory Kane, and Sainiteesh Maddineni impressed me with their wonderful presentations. Also, Dr. Zaid Abdel-Rahman and Dr. Manuel R. Espinoza-GutarraI contributed with their valuable comments and questions. Glad to have them as hosts. Learned a lot from their point of view too.

I am thankful to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Selami Koçak Toprak and Dr. Ekin Kırcalı for this opportunity. I would like to thank Dr. İbrahim Özden for his help in the study. After the AACR presentation, I am happy to be able to present abstracts at the conferences of two of the largest cancer research organizations.

Now, I would like to give some background information and describe our study in detail. I received an email from the ASCO medical student and resident community and as always I read it carefully. I learned about the Medical Student & Resident Abstract Forum. Even though I didn’t have a study to present at that time, I was excited. When I visited Dr. Toprak I mentioned this meeting and I said if they had any study available for me to work on it and present at the meeting. They didn’t have one at the moment but we started working on a new one that night. In a short time, I was able to gather many patient data, and after that Dr. Özden helped me to complete our study. A total of 250 patients were included in our study at the end.

Take Home Messages

As an incoming last year medical student, I experienced many things during my medical school education. I enjoyed most parts of it. There are many important factors contributing to our careers, however, I think one of the most important things of all is honesty. If you are honest with yourself about the things that you want to do, you will. If you are honest with your advisors they will support your development. Be honest and don’t hesitate to ask for help from people. As you can see from this abstract too, I asked my professor, but nobody gave me a study and told me “do a presentation at ASCO”. So, you better start asking.

Our Study

We investigated the multiple myeloma (MM) and CD20 relationship. MM is a highly complex plasma cell neoplasia. Over the years there were great advancements in the treatment of MM. Overall survival of MM has increased greatly with these developments, yet there is still no cure. The cost of MM treatment has also increased and it is an increasing problem in many low-middle-income countries. CD20, a transmembrane protein, is a B cell marker. It is downregulated during plasma cell differentiation. MM is accepted as CD20 negative.

In our study, we analyzed clinical data (sex, age, disease stage, Ig type), flow cytometry results (CD20, CD38, and CD138), and FISH results of 250 patients. We then compared CD20 expression with everything. We found that t(11;14) and CD20 expression were significantly correlated. Also, CD138 positivity at diagnosis was significantly correlated with lower overall survival. Although we didn’t reach so many conclusive results CD20-MM relationship is quite interesting and worth further exploration. Happy to contribute to CD20-MM research.

You can read our abstract here:

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