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Chronic Malignancies Working Party Scientific and Educational Meeting - January 2021 [Virtual]

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Chronic Malignancies Working Party (CMWP)

Friday 29th and Saturday 30th January, 2021

Report written by Dr. Patrick Hayden, Secretary CMWP, Department of Hematology, St. James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

Our second virtual, web-based CMWP scientific meeting took place on Friday, 29th January, 2020. We’ve all become more familiar with the virtual platform and colleagues welcomed the ability to join the meeting from home offices and hospitals across Europe. For the first time, we made this meeting open to all interested parties. Our goal was to make our processes more visible to colleagues in EBMT-affiliated transplant centres and to encourage transplanters and fellows to submit study proposals. Rather than go through all the current studies, each subcommittee (MDS, MPN, Plasma Cell Diseases, CML, CLL, and Practice Harmonisation and Guidelines) emphasised prominent recent publications. Despite the turbulent events of 2020, the CMWP had fifteen publications in the peer-reviewed medical literature. Our Data Management colleagues in Leiden, led by Linda Koster, continue to work on important Data Quality Initiatives in CML and Plasma Cell Diseases, among others. Johannes Schetelig provided an update on the EBMT Registry and ongoing efforts to ensure that no data is lost in transferring to any new platform. Finally, there was a discussion on promising developments within the Practice Harmonisation and Guidelines subcommittee. Donal McLornan (London) is working on Recommendations in the management of Myelofibrosis and Francesco Onida (Milan) is making progress on similar Recommendations on the Management of Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukaemia (CMML).

The EBMT Education & Events Department organised the educational meeting on Saturday, 30th January. This was an extended event with the Programme starting at 9am and not finishing until 4.30pm in the afternoon. As well as the pre-recorded presentations, we put more emphasis this time on Question & Answer sessions. These worked well and allowed for informative discussions around questions submitted in real-time by the virtual audience.

Following an introduction by working party chair, Ibrahim Yakoub-Agha (Lille), Donal McLornan (London) and Juan-Carlos Hernández-Boluda (Valencia) chaired the opening Myelofibrosis session. There were talks on ‘How to manage massive splenomegaly prior to transplantation: JAK inhibitors’ by Tomasz Czerw (Gliwice) and on ‘How to manage massive splenomegaly prior to transplantation: Splenectomy’ by Nicola Polverelli (Breschia). The second session on Multiple Myeloma was chaired by Stefan Schoenland (Heidelberg). We were fortunate to have two excellent presentations: ‘Scoring system for Auto-HCT: feasibility in MM patients’ by Meral Beksac (Ankara) and on ‘How to Optimize treatment for transplant candidate Myeloma patients’ by Jesus San Miguel (Navarra). After a short break, the Myelodysplasia session was jointly chaired by Ibrahim Yakoub-Agha (Lille) and Marie Robin (Paris). Christof Scheid (Koln) provided a comprehensive review on the role of bridging therapy before allo-HCT for high-risk MDS and Uwe Platzbecker (Leipzig) spoke about the evidence base for maintenance treatment after allo-HCT for MDS.

There was a lunchtime symposium on CAR T cells. Lydia Lee (UCL, London) gave us a state-of-the-art update on CAR T cells in Myeloma and Marie Jose Kersten (Amsterdam) gave an excellent overview on how much more we have learned about the management of infections in patients undergoing CAR T-cells over the last year.

Following the lunch break, the first session was chaired by Maaike de Ruijter (Amsterdam) and Yves Chalandon (Geneva). John Murray (Manchester) spoke about the role of nurses in the Practice Harmonisation & Guidelines process and I provided an update on the suite of activities currently under way in this active WP. These include a joint EBMT-EHA initiative to update the Recommendations on the Management of Adults and Children undergoing CAR T-cell therapy.

For the final session of the day, we were fortunate to have two comprehensive presentations, the first on allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation for CLL by Michel van Gelder (Amsterdam) followed by a keynote lecture on CAR T-cells for CLL by Jordan Gauthier (Seattle).

In summary, this virtual CMWP scientific and educational meeting was a great success. We in the CMWP would like to thank both our Leiden office colleagues and the EBMT Education & Events Department for their help in making the event a success.

With the ongoing roll-out of vaccinations, we look forward to meeting again in person at the Autumn 2021 meeting in Milan in September.