Dear Friends and Colleagues,
One more year has passed and a New Year is already here! I wish you all a healthy, joyful, exciting, productive, peaceful and enjoyable 2016 from the personal and professional standpoints.
Early January is probably my favourite period of the year. That is because I try to remember all the fabulous things that we plan for the year ahead, like launching new protocols, attending new meetings or visiting friends and colleagues. Over the past five years, haematology has been reinventing itself as a discipline at the forefront of medical innovation. Attending the last ASH meeting in Orlando further confirmed my perception of our speciality. As I am writing this, I am thinking about how dynamic our field is.
It is no secret that the haematology and transplant fields, have changed drastically over the years. When I started as a junior haematologist 20 years ago, CHOP, chloraminophene, VAD, Bu-Cy, Cy-TBI were the “standards of care”, and many of my mentors were praising the value of these “well established regimens”. Today CHOP, VAD, chloraminophene are almost gone, and I expect the Bu-Cy and Cy-TBI conditioning regimens to be retired soon! It is out with the old and in with the new!
More than four decades ago, EBMT pioneers revolutionised the medical field with the introduction of bone marrow transplantation into routine practice. Today, we are reinventing that milestone by pursuing the path of innovation for the benefit of our patients. The advent of novel immunotherapy strategies is taking it one step further for those patients who are most in need. The unique positioning of stem cell transplanters provides a high-end opportunity for the development of such novel cellular therapies. EBMT has a rich history of success, serving patients with yet incurable diseases, and I am proud of being part of that legacy.
In 2016, EBMT will be holding in Valencia (Spain) another one of the most successful international haematology and transplant meetings. And, with dozens of original features, it is only getting more and more exciting. If you are planning to attend, you will enjoy the second edition of the “How do I?” practical workshops organised on Saturday. You will also discover the first EBMT pharmacists' day, recognizing the major role and involvement of our fellow pharmacists in an era which witnessed, for example, the approval of 3 new myeloma drugs, in less than two weeks, last November! And, of course, the remarkable number of small “meet the expert” sessions will allow you to get access to the top worldwide specialists in a given domain. Although it is what is on the inside that matters most, the whole output of the Annual Meeting is changing, and you will see firsthand the difference these new features can make to your meeting experience. On behalf of the scientific council of EBMT and the local organising committee, I do thank you in advance for joining us in Valencia for #EBMT16.
However, it is not all just about the Annual Meeting, but it is rather also about the year-round scientific activity of EBMT. In December 2015, the different working parties proudly presented around 40 communications at the ASH meeting. I am confident that more publications and projects will emerge during 2016. Our greatest challenge for the near future will be to refine the role of stem cell transplantation with or without novel agents, with the aim to achieve disease cure. We, at EBMT, are committed to designing effective and affordable treatment strategies to all patients who put their lives in our hands.
Last but not least, I would like to thank all colleagues and friends for their continuous support which makes my EBMT presidency so enjoyable. It is a true pleasure and honour to serve the transplant community and engage it in the exploration of new frontiers and in advancing the boundaries of haematology.
I won't keep you further, other than to wish you a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR! And, please do not forget to follow the EBMT news on Twitter @TheEBMT and @Mohty_EBMT.