AML Empowerment Lead
Art Flatau lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Gretchen. They have two grown children. He was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in 1992 at the age of 31, while still in graduate school at the University of Texas. Gretchen and Art’s kids were ages 2 and 4 at the time. He received chemotherapy (both induction chemotherapy and then consolidation). After graduating with a PhD in computer science in December 1992, he relapsed in early 1993 and then had a bone marrow transplant (BMT). His brother was a perfect match.
Being diagnosed with cancer, in particular AML is a terrifying experience. Most people have little idea of what to expect. A transplant in even more difficult. Art hopes to use his journey with AML as well as his experience with patient advocacy to help others through an AML diagnosis and/or transplant. As a 30-year survivor, he is interested in the late effect of cancer treatment, but more so in new treatment advances that may be more effective and hopefully have fewer side effects.
Some of his advocacy experience includes:
- National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)/Be The Match, Patient Representative on Donor Patient Safety Monitoring (DPSM) Committee and the Research & Publications Committee.
- Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMT) co-chair of the Consumer Advocacy Committee.
- Cord Blood Association, founding board member, Chair of the Public Education Committee, Member Public and Professional Relations Committee.
- Food and Drug Administration Patient Representative for a number of Advisory Committee meetings, most related to AML treatment or aspects of stem cell transplant.
In his free time, Art likes to cycle, swim, hike, and occasionally brew beer.
What type of cancer and stage?
A: I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in 1992 at the age of 31. AML does not have staging, but my disease was considered favorable.
What was your treatment path?
A: I was treated with induction chemo and then 1 round of consolidation chemo. I relapsed several months later and then had a bone marrow transplant in February, 1993.
As a PEN Empowerment Lead, what are your interests and how are you helping other patients?
A: I am interested in the latest therapies for AML and advances in stem cell transplant. As a long-term survivor, I also have a vested interested in new information on late effects.
How has cancer affected your life?
A: It made me realize that I am mortal. Although I am lucky, that I have fewer side effects than many other transplant/AML survivors, I do have some long-term effects. It amazes me what long term survivors must put up with.
Where can you find Art?