The skies were blue for most the Nurses Group Annual Meeting this year in Lisbon, however we did have to get our umbrellas out on a dew occasions. It was an amazing meeting with nursing attendance up by 20% with over 570 nurses in attendance. We had a number of interesting ‘How do I?’ sessions this year in Lisbon.
Over 100 Data Managers attended the Data Management Group meeting in Lisbon, our annual event at the EBMT Annual Meeting packed with science and data.
The focus of this year’s Data Management Group meeting was on the Registry Upgrade Project. We wanted to show everyone what we had been working on and give everyone an opportunity to see and “feel” the new Registry system, MACRO, for themselves.
Oli Cram (MACRO General Manager) and Ronald Schravendeel (MACRO Implementation & Training Manager) attended from Elsevier to introduce the software to the audience and demonstrate its capabilities. They also gave an overview of the history and the future of the software. It was a very engaging presentation and one that was most attended not only by Data Managers but Physicians and other interested parties.
In addition to the MACRO demo, we also offered two practical sessions on MACRO, where we showed a taster of data entry functions using disease specific Med-A forms. (The software is still being customised for EBMT and user training will be available at a later stage). Both of the sessions were fully booked and we received a very positive feedback. Many Data Managers shared their opinions and are looking forward to starting with the new Registry system when it goes live at the end of this year.
We also had a pleasure to host yet another Med-A Discussion Forum. Sebastian Giebel, Lidia Gil, Johannes Schetelig and Paolo Pedrazzoli volunteered to be in the Panel and Helen Baldomero facilitated the session. As in previous years, Data Managers had an opportunity to ask questions on a range of complex issues concerning the Med-A and Med-B forms, receiving answers directly from the experts. The session was very well received, not only by the data managers in the audience, but also by the expert clinicians themselves.
There were also educational sessions exploring the topics of Lymphoma - MED-A, new drugs and treatments by Silvia Montoto, Chimerism by Arjan Lankester, Gene Therapy by Aiuti Alessandro, Live Survey, interactive session on data collection issues by Beate Lindner, History of CML treatment by Eduardo Olavarria, Infections by Lidia Gil, Relevance of haematological values and sensitivity levels by Isabel Duggins, Allograft with the focus on Med-B form by Jacob Passweg, Cell Therapy with the focus on Cell Therapy form by Chiara Secco and Benchmarking of transplant outcomes by Hein Putter.
Apart from our regular ProMISe training sessions, we also offered a session on Using Reports to clean data in ProMISe. The session turned out to be very popular since many centres will have to use reports in ProMISe before the data migration to MACRO takes place.
We are currently working on uploading all the video recordings and presentations from our Education and Training sessions that took place in Lisbon onto our web site. We will provide links in the Data Management News.
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 Instituto Portugues de Oncologia.
We would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to all our presenters, chairs and helpers and to everyone who attended the Meeting.
If you have any suggestions for the Data Management Programme next year in Frankfurt, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. The slide presentations and feedback report will be available on our website shortly. We look forward to seeing as many Data Managers as possible in Frankfurt in 2019!
On Saturday March 17, EBMT hosted more than 160 patients, donors, family members and special guests to hear from experts in the field, patient advocates, exchange experiences and to learn from one another. There were presentations by the Portuguese, Spanish and Brazilian Donor Registries and by family related and unrelated donors on the meaning of being a donor. The World Network for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (WBMT), represented by A. Waldman and M. Bitan, was also present and gave a review of its activities. Highlights included a live guitar performance by a patient, João Lopes, and Francisco Palma. Additionally, several patients came to showcase their artwork and books they’ve written. Many patients say that expressing themselves creatively is an excellent way to give meaning to their rare experiences.
Also Saturday saw the first sitting of the new EBMT Patient, Family and Donor Committee. The Committee is composed of patient advocates of EU patient organisations representing patients with haematological diseases, and national patient associations as well as a representative of the EBMT Nurses Group from the country where the Annual Meeting is taking place to participate in the organisation of the PFD Day. For more information, please visit the website.
The 7th edition of the Standards concentrated a lot of the attention in Lisbon with attendees keen to know what the main changes in the new edition are. Nina Worel, Simon Hack, Olga López, Kim Orchard and Riccardo Saccardi took the listeners through the different sections of the new edition. Novel aspects such as the inclusion of immune effector cells within the scope of the hematopoietic cell therapy standards were of particular interest given the widespread excitement surrounding chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) T cell therapies and their imminent introduction to the clinical setting.
The high interest was clear when all the 160 available seats were occupied almost from the very start and an adjoining room had to be opened to accommodate all of the attendees with screens and audio providing a live feed from the presentations in the main room.
The programme of the Cell Therapy Day (CTD) was designed by the leaders and members of the EBMT Cell Therapy & Immunobiology Working Party (CTIWP), together with the local organizing committee and the governance of EBMT. CTIWP considers the CTD as a most important educational tool to raise interest and awareness about old and new forms of cellular therapies, and how optimizing cell collection, cell processing and interactions with other components of a transplant program can convert into improved patients outcome. For the 7th year in a row, the CTD offered an exciting string of presentations designed to foster exchanges and stimulate discussions across all categories of healthcare professionals that are involved in the delivery of « canonical » hematopoietic cell transplantation, as well as the development and administration of a new generation of somatic cell therapy and gene therapy medicinal products. This 7th edition illustrated how hospital or blood bank based cell collection and cell processing facilities keep improving their practices, through technical and organizational innovations. Concomitantly academia remains very active in the development of innovative cellular therapies, whether gene-modified or not, that add, bridge or substitute to hematopoietic cell transplant, and in many instances now find applications well outside of the field of hematopoietic cell transplantation. The organization needed for safe delivery and administration of industry-manufactured cell-based medicinal products was also discussed. The joint EBMT-CARAT session held for the first time was especially well attended, and beautifully illustrated the potential benefits of these innovative treatments – particularly CAR-T cells - for many groups of patients affected with debilitating or lethal diseases.
The CTIWP also held its Scientific Session during the Annual Meeting. Pr HJ Kolb pronounced an obituary for J van Rood, a founder of EBMT who recently passed away. The two awardees of the Jon van Rood award: Andreu Galleu and Enrico Velardi, then received their award before both delivering a presentation describing the results of their selected publications. Dr Michael Hudecek beautifully concluded the session by presenting on-going projects on the development of CAR-T cells targeting other neoplasms than CD19-positive lymphoid malignancies. Finally, Chiara Bonini presented the important achievements of CTIWP under her chairwomanship, as she was stepping down at the conclusion of her mandate.
Review in Science Translational Medicine
Leaders and members of the CTIWP published a review entitled “Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in its 60s: A platform for cellular therapies” in Science Translational Medicine. The manuscript describes the transition from haematopoietic cell transplantation practices to the development and clinical implementation of innovative cellular therapy and gene therapy medicinal products. These will likely add, bridge or substitute to canonical hematopoietic cell transplantation procedure, or further find their way outside of the historical field of HCT to impact on other medical disciplines. The review illustrates how deciphering many biological mechanisms that underlie efficacy or toxicities of HCT led to design innovative therapies with applications at virtually every step of the procedure.
For more information about the CTIWP, please visit the website
The 2018’s Paediatrics Day was opened by an evergreen session focusing on the detection and prevention of ALL relapse. Peter Bader stressed the nowadays well-established molecular methods, mainly chimerism and MRD analysis, to diagnose impending relapse. Adriana Balduzzi spanned a wide range of strategies to prevent relapse from the well-known infusion of donor lymphocytes to the modern era of monoclonal antibodies. Persis Amrolia closed this early morning session with a current overview of the most burning topic in the field: CAR-T cells to treat relapsed and refractory ALL.
Later, the audience’s attention was drawn to an ongoing challenge of paediatric SCT: AML. It was Martin Sauer’s privilege to contribute to the presidential symposium with the encouraging results of the prospective AML-SCT BFM 2007 trial for the treatment of very high risk paediatric AML. Since CAR-T therapy might control also other malignancies than ALL/NHL, Sarah Tettamanti gave insight into the options to treat AML with these cells.
In the afternoon, Kirk Schultz highlighted the prognostic value of NKREGS and CD19+CD21low B-Cells for chronic and late acute GvHD. This approach could contribute to a better classification of this serious iatrogenic side effect of allogeneic SCT.
The Inborn Errors Working Party (IEWP) session included two excellent state-of-the-art presentations on stem cell gene therapy in ADA-SCID by Bobby Gaspar and β-thalassemia by Alessandro Aiuti, and an overview on emerging haplo-identical SCT approaches in hemoglobinopathies by Josu de la Fuente. In addition, results from two ongoing IEWP studies on outcome of SCT in leukocyte adhesion deficiency and cord blood transplantation in inherited metabolic diseases were presented by Shahrzad Bakhtiar and Su Han Lum.
The afternoon selected abstracts sessions of both Paediatric Diseases Working Party (PDWP) and IEWP covered a broad spectrum of excellent presentations on topics including disease-specific outcome studies, graft manipulation approaches, conditioning and SCT-related complications in paediatric, adolescent and young adult patients with contributions from Europe, North America and Asia.
In conclusion, this year’s Paediatrics Day was again extremely well attended, denoted by the overcrowded Auditorium V, indicating the outstanding position of paediatric SCT within the EBMT.
The 3rd edition of the Pharmacist Day was held in Lisbon on 20th March. It was designed by the members of the Local Organizing Committee (Vera Pires and Vera Domingos) with the contribution of the Erik van Maarseveen, Claudia Langebrake, Tiene Bauters, Estela Moreno, Boris Calmels and Karen Sweiss.
The first session was dedicated to special populations (elderly and patients with acute leukemia) and also included a lecture about pharmaceutical technology: an intelligent video camera system to secure sterile product compounding.
The second was focused on immune-monitoring in HCT and individualization of therapy, which included the PK/PD of ATG, clinical practice of busulfan TDM in Europe and the experience of the Portuguese Oncology Institute of Lisbon.
The lectures on the third session comprised the clinical development and management of toxicities of CAR-T cells and incidences and solutions of the drug shortages. It also focused the role of the pharmacist in the JACIE process and drug interactions in HSCT.
In recognition of the important role of the Pharmacist in the HSCT multidisciplinary team it was launched the Pharmacist Committee to provide specific training and education, case series discussion, training into fundamental basis of HSCT. The first chair is Tiene Bauters from Ghent University Hospital.
With more than 180 attendees in total, we could share our experiences and compare our practices!
The 4th Pharmacist day will be held in March 2019 during the 45th EBMT Annual Meeting in Frankfurt, Germany. See you then!
In addition, the EBMT Pharmacist Committee was created and the members gathered for their first meeting during the Annual Meeting. For more information, please visit the website.
Following the innovating footsteps of the first psy group, which organised the very first EBMT Psy Day held in Marseille, Portugal, continued this ambitious legacy. The 2nd Psy Day sessions caught the attention of 140 attendees (psycho-oncologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses…) and tried to be as interactive as possible. We considered that we have achieved our goals, again taking benefit of the opportunity to gather “psys” which work in Haematology, Bone Marrow and Stem Cells transplant Units.
The Psy meeting was organised by two local psycho-oncologists, Cristina Nave and Andreia Ribeiro, psychologist and psychiatrist, both practicing at the Lisbon’s Portuguese Institute of Oncology Francisco Gentil, the main Cancer Centre in Portugal lodging the main national BMT unit.
The day’s work began welcoming Patrick Ben Soussan and Yolande Arnault, from Institut Paoli Calmettes, the hosts and mentors of the 1st Psy Day. The main meeting focus was that of a clinical nature, discussing diverse clinical approaches to patients, donors and their caregivers all through the disease path. We reflected upon a multidisciplinary framework model, integrating the biological and the psychosocial aspects of the patient/caregivers, bearing also in mind better care and staff communication. The overall therapeutic success can no longer neglect the “psy” interventions as part of the process and as contribution to increasing quality of life and healthier survivorship.
The keynote opening lecture was held by Anna Barata, a PhD Psycho-oncologist working at the University Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in Barcelona. She delivered a comprehensive update upon “Patient-Centered Practice”.
The following major topics selected were divided in three parts, “Psychosocial support to…”: Patient, Family and Staff. We invited local and other European speakers, including: Angela Scherwath, a German psychologist post-doc researcher, who presented “The CaSpo study”. Jane Elfer, an UK Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, who discussed “The emotional impact of donating bone marrow to a sibling during adolescence”. Luís Calado, a Portuguese Clinical Psychologist working with Haematology and Oncology Clinics, presented “GACIDHO: Support group to the informal caregivers of the haemato-oncologic patient” Alex King and Troy Chase, both UK psycho-oncologists, explained their work: “Helping our colleagues do what they like best: The UK experience of psychological skills training and supervision for nurse specialists”
At last, the keynote closing lecture was performed by the French Clinical Psychologist Alice Polomeni, entitled “Teams' difficulties in the HSCT setting - psychological and ethical issues”.
We were very enthusiastic to have enabled the Psy Day continuity and looking forward next year 3rd Psy Day in Frankfurt!