EBMT NEWSLETTER | May 2017 | EBMT 2017 Post Congress Bulletin

Important dates

43rd Meeting of the Physicians
33rd Meeting of the Nurses Group
16th Meeting of the Data Management Group
11th Patient, Family & Donor Day
9th Meeting of the Quality Management Group
6th Cellular Therapy Day
6th Paediatrics Day
2nd Pharmacists Day
1st Psy Day

Channel hopping


33rd Meeting of the Nurses Group

Under the blue skies in the South of France the 33rd Meeting of the Nurses Group commenced with the Education Day for Nurses & Allied Health Professionals. This stimulating and inspiring session focussed on the patient journey and covered many aspects of that our patients face from diagnosis, initial treatment, through BMT and beyond. There presentations were excellent with each individual session being followed by an overview of the psychological impact ... Read more, click HERE

16th Meeting of the Data Management Group

The 16th Data Management Group meeting in Marseille was attended by around 120 Data Managers from a variety of countries. It was a very enjoyable event, which offered a great opportunity for learning and exchange of opinions as well as for catching up with old friends and meeting new ones.

The main take home message is that we are all in it together and here to help and learn from each other!

A handcrafted explainer video about the EBMT Registry was launched and broadcast during the meeting to thank all the data managers and the parties involved. 

Education sessions that stirred the most interest were presentations about CAR-T cells, EBMT Activity Survey and “Haplo-identical” transplants.

The sessions by Centre Data Managers “How to document complicated patient histories“ (Asuncion Brager, Norway) and “How the new Med-A form has affected working practices” (Massimo Berger, Italy) were also very well attended, and Data Managers from centres were able to share their experiences and knowledge.

Chronic GvHD, Immunosuppressive Treatments in Aplastic Anaemia and RACE trial, Discussion forum on MED-A, Data protection, Long-term survivors, Use of HLA data, Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and Cytogenetics were among the topics covered during the DM Education days.

This year we also organised a Discussion forum on MED-A: an interactive session during which the audience could engage directly with a panel of expert clinicians.  The panel consisted of Peter Dreger, Sebastian Giebel, Hildegard Greinix, and Johannes Schetelig, all of them active researchers in the EBMT. During the session, Data Managers had an opportunity to ask questions on a range of complex issues concerning the Med-A form, receiving the answers directly from the experts. The sessions was very well received, not only by the data managers in the audience, but also by the expert clinicians themselves who relished the opportunity to experience first-hand the range of issues data managers are exposed to when submitting data.
ProMISe Database Training sessions were as popular as ever. In addition to our regular training sessions, we introduced two new courses: Cell Therapy data entry and Donor outcome data entry.  

Data Management and Statistics posters were displayed in the Exhibition hall. Data Managers also enjoyed an evening reception on Monday that was kindly sponsored by the French Society of BMT and Cellular Therapy (SFGM-TC).
We would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to all our presenters, chairs and helpers and to everyone who attended.

Suggestions for the Data Management Programme next year in Lisbon are welcome. Please email them to khrystyna.valkiv@ebmt.org. The slide presentations & feedback report will be available on our website shortly. We look forward to seeing as many Data Managers as possible in Portugal next year! 

11th Patient, Family & Donor Day

The Saturday before the EBMT Annual Meeting was the Patient, Family and Donor Day, where patients, their families and donors got a chance to learn more about BMT and cell therapy, as well as discuss how best to support patients. 

The day was concluded with the testimonial of Mathias Malzieu, leader of the French band Dionysos. Mathias was diagnosed in 2013 with aplastic anaemia and received cord blood transplant that saved his life. He talked about his experience with his doctor Régis Peffault de Latour and sung a few songs of his album "vampire en pyjama" to the audience.  

9th Meeting of the Quality Management Group

A packed room was testimony to the high interest in the quality management content in Marseille. Speakers presented on the draft 7th edition of the FACT-JACIE Standards, a basic introduction to accreditation, an open Inspectors Session and a series of real-life cases on Corrective-and-Preventive-Actions and Outcome Assessment that kept the audience stimulated all day. A rough count showed 90 attendees from almost 30 countries of which approximately 40% were inspectors.
... Read more, click HERE

6th Cellular Therapy Day

The program for the 6th edition of the Cellular Therapy Day, held on Monday March 27th, was jointly designed by members of the Cell Therapy & Immunobiology Working Party and by members of the Local Organizing Committee.
It included four sessions that allowed for the presentation and discussion of practical aspects of cell procurement and cell engineering, intended for the preparation of minimally-manipulated hematopoietic cell grafts, as well as for the manufacturing of substantially manipulated somatic cell therapy or gene therapy medicinal products.
The four sessions followed a logical progression to illustrate how – in an era that 60 years after the description of the first HSCT in humans, may represent a landmark transition in the history of medicine - we are moving from “cell transplants” to “cellular therapies”, designed to take advantage of our ever-expanding technological capacities in cell and gene engineering. Processing of minimally-manipulated cell products is still undergoing significant improvements, as a result of the implementation of new equipment and new procedures in cell collection and cell processing facilities that locally serve the needs of transplant programmes; this allows to improve care for donors and patients, improve and harmonize the quality of cell product, and better comply with FACT-JACIE standards as well as other regulatory requirements. Simultaneously, we witness the emergence of far more complex and advanced cellular therapies that will be manufactured by industry, similarly to chemical medicinal products or other biologics; this not only represents a medical and biological challenge, but also an organizational, financial and ethical challenge since it may disrupt our historical organization for the delivery of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in the middle to long-term. However, academic facilities are currently important players in the development and validation of new cellular therapies, and conditions in which they collaborate with industry were also discussed. The last session of the Cell Therapy Day was indeed devoted to European regulations and financial conditions that surround the development and evaluation of cell transplants and advanced therapy medicinal products.
Two of the sessions were jointly sponsored by EBMT and by ISCT, the International Society for Cell Therapy, the two professional societies having established long-term collaboration in the implementation of the JACIE accreditation program; for the first time, the joint ISCT-EBMT award was delivered to Dr Arpad Zsoor by the two Presidents: Catherine Bollard on behalf of ISCT and Mohamad Mohty on behalf of EBMT, for his work submitted for abstract presentation at the EBMT Annual meeting Two-pronged Cell Therapy: Engineering NK cells to target CD22 and redirect bystander T cells to CD19 for the adoptive immunotherapy of B-cell malignancies. Reciprocity is planned, with a joint EBMT-ISCT session that took place as part of the “Cell Processing Track” at the 20th Annual Meeting of ISCT in London beginning of May. Attendance at all sessions of the EBMT Cell Therapy Day was high again, testifying of the great interest raised by these topics.
In addition to organizing the 6th edition of the Cell Therapy Day, the CTIWP also held its Working Party Session on Tuesday, March 28th. The 1st part of the session was dedicated to the Jon van Rood Award. This year, the award, supported by EBMT, was delivered to Dr Sarina Ravens, following a competitive selection process and the recent publication of the paper entitled “Human γδ T cells are quickly reconstituted after stem-cell transplantation and show adaptive clonal expansion in response to viral infection” and published in Nature Immunology.

6th Paediatrics Day

This year’s Paediatrics Day focused again on cellular-immunotherapy since this topic is still revolutionizing the field of SCT.

Highlights from the Monday morning session covered the fascinating field of gene edited CAR19 T-cells and reported on European experiences of the CTL019 clinical trial for refractory and relapsed ALL. The session was completed by two additional highlights: The inducible Caspase 9 to improve immune recovery after haploidentical SCT and first results of the preemptive use of cytokine-induced-killer cells to prevent relapse for children with acute leukemia.

The Tuesday morning session concentrated on the impact of NK cells on the balance of GVL and GvHD and studied biomarkers in chronic GvHD. Furthermore two very important PDWP driven studies reported on the outcome of GvHD III/IV and the treatment of severe acute GvHD focusing on mesenchymal stem cells as well as on the outcome of second allogeneic SCT for post-transplant relapse of acute leukemia. The session was completed by a report on the progress of the PDWP-driven prospective FORUM study, aiming for omitting radiation under majority age in the conditioning of patients with ALL. The IEWP morning session covered updates and treatment advances in treatment of HLH, transplantation for monogenic autoimmune diseases, the latest data analysis from the SCETIDE registry and outcome of transplantation of older patients with ALD.

Afternoon oral presentations covered a range of themes including outcome of transplantation for new diseases, as well as emerging data on fertility outcomes of patients transplanted as infants for severe immunodeficiencies.
These sessions underlined again the driving influence of pediatricians on current developments in stem cell transplantation and immunotherapy.

Of note this year the prestigious Van Vekkum Award was given to Paediatric Working Party Chair Peter Bader for his abstract on the “Impact of minimal residual disease before and after allo-HSCT of Childhood ALL by FC and qPCR: A retrospective study on behalf of the COG, the PBMTC, the I-BFM, the PDWP of the EBMT and the Westhafen-Intercontinental-Group”.

Networking remained again an essential part of the Paediatrics Day including discussion of difficult cases, developing projects and last but not least meeting friends. All sessions have been very well attended and all the educational events fully booked.

2nd Pharmacists Day

The 1st Pharmacist Day was launched at the 42nd EBMT Annual Meeting in Valencia and in the light of the success of this recent initiative; it was decided to renew it this year. Attendance at all sessions was high, demonstrating the great interest raised by these topics.
After a plenary session dealing with the manipulation of drug combinations in pre transplant conditioning therapy and for GvHD prophylaxis, the first session was focused on conditioning regimen, with particular emphasis on drug monitoring in children, patients with renal impairment, haplo-identical transplants and aplastic anaemia.

The second session was dedicated to recent advances in HSCT specific treatments such as mobilisation regimen, management of steroid resistant acute GvHD and vaccination post-HSCT. The third session focused on cell-based approaches, with presentations on manufacturing of GMP-grade mesenchymal stromal cells, their subsequent use for the treatment of steroid resistant acute GvHD, the management of patients treated with CAR-T cells and lastly the promise of fecal microbiota transplantation.

New this year, and to close this 2nd Pharmacist Day, an oral session featuring six oral presentations of selected abstracts.

The success of this 2nd edition underlines the pharmacists’ great interest for the management of transplanted patients and illustrates how they contribute to patient care through drug therapy optimisation. These days are also a unique opportunity for pharmacists, from around the world, to network and exchange about practices and projects.

For Lisbon 2018, proposals have already been made, such as round table discussions or physician/pharmacist expectations on hot topics. Don’t hesitate to submit ideas and proposals to keep these Pharmacist Days lively and innovative!

1st Psy Day

This year for the very first time, we had the pleasure and honor of hosting the first Psy Day during the 43rd edition of the EBMT Annual Meeting and it was a great success. One hundred attentive and interested professionals gathered: psychologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts but also nurses, social workers and oncologists from all over Europe and from China, Australia, the United States, Emirates, and so on. There were not only professionals, but also patients and their relatives. Together, we shared our experiences, compared our practices across Europe and exchanged a lot.
This first Psy Day was a pioneer program designed to highlight significant contributions made by psychologists, psychiatrists and psychoanalysts in hematology, bone marrow and stem cell transplant units across Europe.
Philippe Bataille, EHESS (École des hautes études en sciences sociales—The School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences), is a sociologist and medical ethics specialist who has led patient focus groups for several years. In his opening keynote lecture entitled “Living and Defeating Cancer”, he allowed us to hear the voices and words of cancer patients.  Danièle Deschamps, a Swiss psychoanalyst, closed the conference in her keynote lecture entitled “About Rebirth, or, How to Give Back Life after Trauma”.
Other speakers included Emanuela Mecaglia from Italy, Cécile Glineur from Belgium, Alice Polomeni from France, Susanne Cebulla from Germany, Anna Barata from Spain, and Troy Chase and Gill Brisley from the UK.  Each speaker underlined the fact that “psy professionals” are key players in enhancing patients' quality of life, which, as we all know, is an essential criterion to measure the outcome of the therapeutic procedure. Equally important is their part in supporting the patients' relatives, caregivers, donors and the entire BMT team!
This first meeting, chaired and led by Yolande Arnault, psychologist, and Patrick Ben Soussan, psychiatrist, both working at Paoli Calmette Institute, a comprehensive cancer care and research center in Marseille, was the occasion to set up new cooperation and to begin future close collaboration in publication and research projects.
We are very proud that the EBMT Society has given us the opportunity to organise this first Psy Day and we invite you to join us in Lisbon next year, for the second Psy Day! See you then!

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