EBMT NEWSLETTER | May 2018 | EBMT 2018 Post Congress Bulletin

Important dates
We have asked our nine young ambassadors what they liked the most about the EBMT Annual Meeting 2018 and their take home messages. Here is what they say:

Evgeniya Kharchenko
Medical oncologist in hematology and BMT unit in National Medical Research center of oncology named after N.N. Petrov, Russia - @Zhekoshka

Before young specialist will start to move fast on their career-path, it is important firstly to obtain basic things, like statistics, and EBMT annual meeting kindly provided it for us.
Basic statistics had been lasting for two days. Highly experienced speakers explained all necessary information and gave us understanding of clinical study’s interpretation. Inspired by this science, now I am dreaming to attend EBMT statistics course in Netherland this year to become more proficient in this field.
«How to get published» were dedicated to all procedures which you should follow before application process to journals either international with high impact factor or local ones. Editors of popular journals shared advices how to avoid common mistakes and, finally, get published!
For sure, I cannot forget to mention about social media session. All «twitter star» in hematology and oncology topics, which I had seen before only at my sell-phone’s screen, made their excellent presentation. They did great talks about big impact of social networks on their career and how it can potentially help to collaborate oncohematologists from all over the world. At the end of the session, while we were taking picture together, we didn’t say «cheese», we said «tweet».

Abdul Hamid Bazarbachi
4th year medical student, American University of Beirut (AUB), Beirut, Lebanon - @abazarbachi

EBMT 2018 was really an amazing experience - beautifully organized in the charming and delightful city of Lisbon, with rich content and an impressive number of attendees. Whether it was about CAR T-Cell therapies, new effective strategies in preventing and managing GVHD or simply updated guidelines in treating some of the most resistant hematological malignancies and preventing BMT failure, there was a good display of novel and original data which genuinely tickled my curiosity. As a young ambassador in this year’s EBMT, I was genuinely impressed with the dynamics of the event, the enthusiasm everyone shared and the hunger for advancing the field. It was a lovely experience promoting the event on social media while meeting new potential colleagues and following their updates. I can state with certainty that I wouldn’t want to miss any future EBMT events, and that I am looking forward to meeting everybody again in Frankfurt’s EBMT 2019.

Malvi Bipin Savani
Internal Medicine resident physician at University of Minnesota Medical Center, USA - @MalviSavani

Serving as a young ambassador for the EBMT 2018 meeting was an educational and professional privilege. My experience started off with sessions on statistical methods in analysis of stem cell transplant data and statistical survival analysis particularly relevant to medical practice as we conduct research and interpret published data. Moreover, the didactic session on CMV diagnosis, treatment and prevention in HSCT patients was also enlightening in its interactive format. Cost statistics of BMT highlighted by Dr. Satwani emphasized the importance of evidence-based assessment of cost for resource intensive procedures. With HSCT as a hub for cellular therapies, a plethora of interesting highlights were addressed including virus-specific engineered T-cells that co-express tumor-specific receptors with simultaneous anti-tumor and anti-viral activity by Dr. Einsele, the different mechanisms to increase T-cell efficiency by preventing CAR T-cell loss by Dr. John Barrett, the use of cord blood CAR NK cells for R/R B-lymphoid malignancies with clinical response in 4 out of 6 patients discussed by Dr. Rezvani. One of my favorite sessions included the highly informative social media session held by Dr. Mohty and Dr. Majhail who emphasized the widespread impact of twitter in the HCT community as an efficient modality to disseminate information to patients and other healthcare providers.

Razan Mohty
Internal Medicine resident at the Lebanese University, Beirut, Lebanon - @razan_mohty

The #EBMT18 was the most exciting meeting I have ever attended and it had a great impact on my career. This year, I participated in the congress as a young ambassador, which made me passionate and more devoted to attending all sessions.
One of the most successful sessions I have attended this year is the social media session. I have learned how social media is important to bring patients, experts, and stakeholders together in one platform. Moreover, I discovered how online presence could enhance my career and present opportunities for me. As a young ambassador, I used social media and mainly twitter to summarize sessions and share them so I can provide others with time efficient and trustworthy source of information. I attended plenty of other important sessions tackling innovations in the field of hematology and bone marrow transplant, most importantly CAR T-cell therapy and immunotherapy. All the sessions were very well attended; most of the time overcrowded which obliged the wonderful meeting team to establish unplanned overflow sessions.
During this meeting, I find out that the EBMT is not only a European meeting, but also becoming more and more global receiving attendees and speakers from all over the world.
The #EBMT18 was a great opportunity to meet with other young ambassadors from different parts of the world. We shared thoughts, future plans, and discussed about our opportunities. Furthermore, we were able to meet with pioneers in the field and with the EBMT leadership.
Finally, the #EBMT18 was hosted by the wonderful Portuguese people. We enjoyed visiting Lisbon, a historical city, and eating tasty food and we loved our nights hearing the Fado songs.

Dzenana Dzaferagic
Bacc. med. techn., Bone marrow transplant unit, Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Centre Zagreb, Croatia

This year in Lisbon I had a privilege to attend the EBMT Annual Meeting as a Young Ambassador and I was very excited about that. It was my truly pleasure to meet the other Ambassadors and to attend some sessions with them and with my nurses colleagues from all over the world.
Like one of my colleagues said few years ago, EBMT Meeting is Mecca for  nurses, physicians, psychologists, and all other experts who are working in haematology departments, especially in BMT units. And she was absolutely right. So many interesting sessions every day, sometimes at the same time, but using social media (Twitter) at Meeting for  the first time I realized that I can attend even more sessions parallely.
Although I have 15 years experience in BMT field and sometimes I think I know everything, BMT field is mooving rapidly and there is always something new to learn. Treatment options are various and changing all the time and important for nurses is to keap informed about  that changes, and EBMT Meeting is definetely the best place for learn about all new changes and treatment options.
It was great to see all those great people who work in the BMT field and who are willing to share their knowledge and experience with others, it was great to see very well attended sessions, sometimes even colleagues sitting on the floor. It was great to meet some extraordinary people and to get in contact with other colleagues. It was also great to explore some interesting places in beautiful Lisbon during the Meeting. Networking party, it was also great!
This Annual Meeting was great way to increase my knowledge  and share it among my colleagues in my BMT unit where I work, with aim to improve QOL of our patients.
I can and will reccomend to all my nurses colleagues to apply for Young Ambassador program in the future.

Sara Piccinelli
Physician and PhD student of the Molecular Medicine program of the University of Perugia, Italy - @SaraPicci_MD

I had the honor of attending the 2018 EMBT congress as an EBMT Young Ambassador.
The EBMT meeting brings together the greatest experts on bone marrow transplantation and haematologic malignancies and it is the perfect occasion for researchers and physicians to get in touch with new ideas and studies and to create networks among various groups in Europe and farther. As an EBMT Young Ambassador I had the opportunity to connect with other junior specialists and with the EBMT leadership and to participate more actively in the meeting sessions. In my opinion, the most interesting sessions were those about immunotherapy and CAR-T cells because they open many possibilities for my own PhD research. In particular I found very informative the lectures by Stephan Grupp and John Barrett on this topic. I enjoyed the “Cellular Therapy and Immunobiology Working Party Session” where young scientists disclosed about exciting discoveries and innovative studies. In addition, as a physician, I really appreciated the “Microbiota Forum” that highlighted the impact of microbiota on stem cells transplantation outcomes in particular GvHD. I would recommend to my young colleagues to attend the EBMT annual meeting because it is an unmissable experience that can put them in touch with the state of art of diagnosis and treatment of haematologic malignancies and haematopoietic stem cells transplantation.

Teresa Garrido
Hematologist at the Hospital São João, Porto, Portugal - @TeresaGarrido84

The 2018 EBMT Meeting in Lisbon has ended and I came home with a feeling of fulfillment. So many highlights, so many updates on cellular therapy (CAR-T cells are upon us!), novel/ targeted agentes in combination with transplant (before or after), new strategies to improve outcomes of specific types of transplant (such has haploidentical), etc. Apart from all the scientific knowledge, being a Young Ambassador at this meeting has showed me an entire new world of modern hematology, and how important social media is becoming in our daily practice. I started using Tweeter (and now I am a regular user) and this app, that is not so well disseminated in Portugal, was a whole new concept for me because not many people use it, and especially not for work. I did not know its potential advantages, how rapidly you can get updated on what's new and exciting happening in the medical community and what good it can do to your career. So this has been a really good experience and I advise everyone to get connected and start using it in the future. I’ve met so many interesting people through this program, and I am looking forward to meeting and working with a lot more in the future. I hope you all enjoyed this congress as much as I did, and… see you next year!

Ana Zelic Kerep
2nd year of residency at University Hospital Zagreb, currently a special volunteer at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA - @AnaKerep

I was fortunate to be selected as one of the Young Ambassadors for the EBMT 2018 meeting in Lisbon, Portugal. The role of a Young Ambassador is to contribute to the meeting by promoting latest medical advances using social media platforms, as well as creating a tighter network of young enthusiasts willing to give more to society and medicine. The program gave me the opportunity to connect to some of the brightest and most proactive young people in the world. Truly, it brought out an important message on how to advance science and provide better care for our patients, which is trough teamwork, support and community, in which each person is an important resource. I did not emphasize physicians, nurses or students, since the title is only the tip of the iceberg – our entire being – our intellect, values and grit – is what is really important. The cellular therapy field is being vehemently revolutionized by immunotherapy and the challenges before us grow rapidly. Learning objectives and skills necessary to provide good care are becoming more and more burdening for all in healthcare. Which is why, in my opinion, the Young Ambassador Program represents a vision for the future, where young leaders are recognized early and their talents nurtured for the benefit of all.

Alexandra Gomez
Hematology and Oncology fellow, Weill Cornell Medicine/New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, USA - @AGomez_MD

Being selected as one of the 2018 Young EBMT ambassadors was definitely the highlight of my EBMT experience. First of all, it provided me with an opportunity to change my role from a passive twitter consumer to an active twitter participant and I lively experienced why social media is changing our interactions among institutions, physicians, researchers, data managers and patients. With the Social Media Session, I learned how I can use Twitter for learning purposes and as a key part of my career development (really important for trainees in any field). This experience, also challenged my ability for data interpretation and written communications skills in order to adequately summarize and share results in the medical field.
Second, and the most important, was that the opportunity to meet and interact with so many participants from all around the world. I feel so honored to call this amazing group of young ambassadors my new friends and colleagues. We shared experiences of being trainees or young attending in the field and it was really nice to receive and provide mentorship. This is definitely an incredible initiative from the EBMT leadership to provide a new platform to mentor and support the next generation of physicians, researchers and nurses in BMT and cellular therapies.  I go home with a new set of skills as well as new network of colleagues and mentors as I continue my training.

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