EBMT NEWSLETTER | January 2016 | Volume 50 - Issue 1

Important dates

Cellular Therapy and Immunobiology Working Party Scientific Symposium

From Transplantation to Gene Therapy: Cellular therapy in Evolution? 

November 11 - 13 2015 in Milano, Italy

On November 11-13, 2015 a warm and sunny Milano hosted the 1st EBMT Cellular Therapy and Immunobiology Working Party Scientific Symposium.
The provocative title of the meeting was:  From Transplantation to Gene Therapy:  Cellular therapy in evolution.
The meeting has been a success beyond our expectations for scientific quality and level of discussion.

31 outstanding speakers shared their most recent scientific results to an enthusiastic audience of more than 250 delegates.
The field of cellular therapy has clearly entered the phase of clinical testing, and has already produced impressive clinical results, for example in the treatment of B cell malignancies. These results have significantly raised expectations among the medical and scientific community, patient associations, biotech companies and general public. This wave of enthusiasm enforces us to address several issues ranging from feasibility, sustainability, regulations and harmonization. All these issues require proper discussion and answers.
In a pioneering atmosphere, we exploited the opportunity of hosting worldwide opinion leaders with complementary expertise, from gene transfer technology, to immunology, and stem cell transplantation, from ATMP regulation to JACIE certification, and started to discuss these issues, realizing that we are today proceeding, with continuity, from the path of stem cell transplantation, to the path of cellular therapy.
Participation to the meeting was free of charge, thanks the generous support from our sponsors: Novartis, ATARA Bio, Celgene, Cell Medica, Juno Therapeutics, Miltenyi Biotech, Molmed, Neovii and the EU-sponsored project SUPERSIST.
Chiara Bonini
CTIWP chair
Christian Chabannon
CTIWP Secretary

Acute Leukemia Working Party Educational Meeting and the 8th Symposium of the ALWP

Reduction of leukemic relapse after ALLO-HSCT: How to move forward?

November 27 – 28 2015 in Paris, France

The local host was Prof Mohamad Mohty, EBMT President.

The meeting was structured in three sessions. The first was entitled: "Bridging to transplant" and was devoted to novel therapies that bridge a patient with Leukaemia to allogeneic stem cell transplantation increasing his chance by reducing tumor mass, achieving a deeper and more stable response or gaining time to allocate a suitable donor or combat a serious infection. Prof Dombret from France discussed the novel Bispecific T cell Engager (Bite) antibodies for Acute Lymphatic Leukemia. Prof Marie from Paris discussed anti fms related tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) compounds for Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) including Midostaurin that have been recently shown to improve overall survival when added to standard chemotherapy with one year maintenance in patients with newly diagnosed AML positive for the FLT3 mutation. Prof Craddock discussed hypomethylating agents.

The second session was entitled "Optimizing conditioning" and it included three talks: Novel alkylating agents, reduced toxicity regimens and targeted radiotherapy.

The afternoon (third session) was devoted to prevention and treatment of relapse by: 1st: donor lymphocyte infusions (DLIs), 2nd: second transplant and 3rd: Cellular therapies .The cellular therapies talk given by Dr Eolia  Brissot from Saint Antoine Paris that discussed cutting edge therapies like engineered anti tumoral T cells manipulating the T cell receptors and chimeric antigen receptors (CARs).The key note guest of the meeting was Prof Brunangelo Falini from Perugia, Italy who gave a brilliant talk entitled "Genetic pathogenesis of AML" detailing the fascinating story of the Nucleophosmin (NPM1) exon-12 gene mutations that he discovered in 2005 in a seminal paper he published in NEJM being the most prevalent mutation and the one that implies a favorable prognosis if not accompanied by additional mutations like FLT3.The very recent discovery of the response of the NPM1 mutation to Arsenic acid was presented as well. Similar data were recently published by Prof Ali Bazarbachi in Blood.

We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of this educational event, especially the speakers and session chairs, the ALWP office and mainly Ms. Emmanuelle Polge, the supporting Pharma, the local organizers and the participants.
Arnon Nagler

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