EBMT NEWSLETTER | April 2014 | EBMT 2014 Post Congress Bulletin

Important dates

40th Meeting of the Physicians

The 40th anniversary edition of the EBMT Annual Meeting saw 4622 participants gather in Milan for the 5 day event. The Scientific Programme, designed by the local Organising Committee under the leadership of the Congress President Marco Bregni, covered a wide range of topics in varying session formats.

This year’s edition of the EBMT Abstract Book included a record total of 1153 abstracts and has already been visited 1466 times on its new online platform.

The EBMT would like to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of Marco Bregni, Paolo Corradini and the other members of the Local Organising Committee to the great success of the EBMT Annual Meeting in Milan. Sincere thanks are also extended to EBMT’s corporate sponsors and the 60 exhibitors present in Milan, whose contribution is key to making #EBMT2014 a flagship event in the field of HSCT. Last but not least, EBMT would like to recognise the work of the dedicated staff of MCI and their enormous contribution to the successful organisation of the Meeting.

30th Meeting of the Nurses Group

The 30th Anniversary of the Nurses Group started with a successful pre-meeting Education Day on Sunday. Nursing and medical expertise presented on aspects of management of early and late effects after Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) and their impact on the patient’s quality of life. With constant improvement in treatment options and an increased number of patients undergoing transplantation and cell therapy the importance of patient and donor care is evident. As a consequence of expanded possibilities we also see more long term survivors. This provides new challenges for follow-up care and observing quality-of-life issues, areas in which nurses get more and more involved and taking on new responsibilities, e.g. in nurse-led follow-up clinics.

Click here for a more detailed chronicle.

13th Meeting of the Data Management Group

The 13th Data Management Group meeting in Milan was attended by around 150 Data Managers from a variety of European countries and from as far afield as Australia, Canada, China and Brazil. It was a very enjoyable event. The clinical education sessions included: GvHD definitions, Multiple Myeloma, Viral serology, Graft manipulation, Aplastic Anaemia, Cell therapy, Cytogenetics & markers, Graft loss and Haplo transplants. There were also more general data management sessions regarding: Collecting long term follow up data, Common data reporting problems, Introduction to HSCT and Data Confidentiality.

In addition, Remedy Informatics, provider of the new EBMT Registry System, gave a demo to show how the new system will look before it goes live later in the year. There were a number of Database Training sessions to help users prepare for the forthcoming data migration. Five Data Management and Statistics posters were displayed in the poster hall. There was a Data Management reception, which was enjoyed by many Data Managers and colleagues.

Feedback forms and suggestions for the next Data Management Education Programme in Istanbul are welcomed - please contact: registryhelpdesk@ebmt.org  - and suggestions will be incorporated where possible. The feedback forms are very important to help with the planning of future sessions. A full feedback report will be available on our website shortly and we look forward to seeing as many as possible Data Managers in Istanbul next year.  

6th Quality Management Day

The room Amber 8 was busy from 08:00 until 17:00 with a wide variety of speakers and topics. In spite of obtaining a bigger space (130 seats) compared to 2013, the room was still full at peak moments in the programme. While this caused some frustration because of difficulties to access the room, it is a clear barometer of the significance of quality and accreditation among the transplanter community. We will look to increase the room size again in Istanbul in 2015.
Most presentations will be available within the next weeks and we will send a notification of how to find the slides.

There was very good feedback from the Workshop which featured 5 tables with specific topics being discussed and experiences shared. Thank you to the facilitators for their great work in preparing their topics and generating discussion and debate in their groups. We hope to make the materials used in the discussions available via the web site shortly.
The lively conversations showed that the formula works but next year we'll try for a bigger space to reduce the noise interference and help make sure that everyone can hear and speak.

3rd Cell Therapy Day

Following on the Geneva and London success, the 3rd edition actually saw the renaming of the « Cell Processing Day » into a “Cell Therapy Day”, to underline the importance of cell processing / cell manufacturing to the global community of hematopoietic stem cell transplant professionals as represented by EBMT. The one day program included several workshops that covered technical and regulatory aspects of cell procurement and cell processing for minimally-manipulated cell products that are nowadays commonly used in transplant programmes, as well as for substantially manipulated cell products that are or will be classified as Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) under European regulations, and that are likely to be progressively incorporated into the armamentarium to improve the outcome of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation recipients. One such example of innovative and sophisticated cell therapies was beautifully illustrated in the special lecture delivered by Stefan Grupp, who described the design, use and efficacy of T-cells engineered with Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CAR) to treat lymphoid malignancies. The continuing progress made in basic aspects of cell collection and cell processing over recent years were also covered by several presentations, reminding the audience that - while apparently less appealing - these improvements in medical and technical procedures may positively affect the outcome of large numbers of transplanted patients.
The workshop on regenerative medicine offered an opportunity for attendees to explore developments in cell and tissue engineering that take place beyond the field of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and in medical fields other than hematology and oncology. The workshop on GVHD illustrated the need for a thorough understanding of mechanisms that underlie diseases, and how complementary and competing innovative approaches can incorporate biological modifiers as well as cell therapies. Finally, the 3rd Cell Therapy Day included a session during which the best submitted abstracts on cell and gene therapies were presented: this reflected the high current interest for de development of immune therapies targeting tumor cells and infectious agents.

3rd Paediatric Day

The third edition of the Paediatric Day – an integral part of the scientific program - was organised to meet the specific interest of experts in paediatric SCT. The aim was to attract specialists from other fields involved in haemato-oncology for children and adolescents. The scientific program included topics on HSCT for malignant or non malignant diseases and specific considerations for adolescents. The day was distributed between plenary, educational, oral and poster sessions, Inborn Error and Paediatric Working Parties sessions and a business meeting. This third edition received a positive feedback from the paediatric physicians but also from interested associated specialists. This is motivating to work on the fourth edition and to design a specific program on paediatric transplantation issues in order to increase international and interdisciplinary collaboration.


The 8th Patient, Family and Donor Day

The 8th EBMT Patient, Family & Donor Day occurred at the prestigious “Aula Magna” within the central location of the University of Milan. About 180 people together with a number of patient associations participated in the event, which has been very successful. The meeting represented an exceptional opportunity to discuss the indications, the advantages and the problems of stem cell transplantation in real life, and to improve the partnership among all actors taking part in the process. The inclusion of donors and the involvement of the donor associations with two fully dedicated plenary sessions represented a specific innovation of this year’s edition. A session dedicated to the transplant issues in thalassemia was also original, as well as the presentation of “Lulla’s Journey”, a multidisciplinary project lead by Beat Leukemia  that explains in a short film the incredible journey of a stem cell from its harvesting to the patient. The 8th EBMT Patient, Family & Donor Day was honored with the special participation of Manrico Mologni, an extraordinary Italian singer and author who, after a brief description of his experience as a transplanted patient, gladdened the audience with some of his most famous songs.

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