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End of Year Message from Anna Sureda, EBMT President

EBMT Organization

Dear EBMT members, dear friends and colleagues,

As we are preparing ourselves to spend some days of rest with our families and friends to enjoy the Christmas break, it is also the time of the year where we have to stand still and look back into what we have achieved over the last 365 days.

It has been a very busy year for all of us. In spite of the fact that COVID19 pandemics is still not over, we have tried to go back to the so-called “new normality”. After the big disappointment associated to our incapacity to have a face-to-face 48th Annual Meeting of the EBMT in Prague, EBMT has been successful in bringing many of us together in educational events during the second half of the year; the 7th International Transplant Course as well as the educational meetings of the Working Parties (WPs) have been a success and have allowed our community to directly interact without the need of the computer screen. My deepest gratitude and recognition to all the active members of the Trainee Committee that have incorporated a rejuvenated flavor to all these activities. Today and with our eyes looking into the future, we are anxiously waiting for our Annual Meeting 2023 in Paris, the first one to be presential after 3 years of virtuality.

The promotion and development of scientific, educational and partnership opportunities related to the use of CAR T-cells in our patients have formed a significant part of our activities in 2022; the number of patients treated with CAR T-cells and reported to our Registry has significantly increased overtime. The implementation of Castor and the training of the centers clearly impacted in the process. Increasing numbers of retrospective analysis being performed under the umbrella of the WPs and the development of Working Package # 6 of the GoCART Coalition in summer this year with the announcement and development of the second call for scientific studies will, without any doubt, bring additional information on the management and long term follow-up of this new treatment modality in Europe.

Partnership and collaboration have also represented a clear message from EBMT to other stakeholders during this year. I am confident that our regular meetings with the representatives of the National Societies for Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy have fostered interaction and closer communication, the governance charter of the EBMT-EHA GoCART Coalition has been finished, educational activities consolidated and big efforts have been made in the harmonisation of the CAR T-cell centers accreditation process together with our industry partners. EBMT–EHA collaboration has also been crystalised in the 4th European CAR T-cell Meeting that happened in a virtual format at the beginning of the year; a successful story that will be followed by the 5th Edition, this time in Rotterdam in February 2023 in a face-to-face format (EBMT-EHA 5th European CAR T-cell Meeting). The EBMT – China project has also been consolidated this year, despite the still significant impact of COVID19, with the 2nd EBMT-China Scientific Forum held in November in a hybrid format, increasing the number of Chinese centers being full members of the EBMT as well as the scientific collaborative output. Last but not least and with the risk of forgetting other significant activities of our society, the Harmonisation of Definitions Committee, a joint effort lead by EBMT, ASTCT, CIBMTR and APBMT that has the objective to harmonise and update the current definitions in the field of SCT and CT has already given the first fruit; the thrombotic microangiopathy harmonisation manuscript is out.

In the light of the Russian invasion in Ukraine and the devastating impact it had on civilians and patients in the affected regions, EBMT immediately set up the initiative called the EBMT Ukrainian Crisis Assistance Program (UCAP) that has been continuously active throughout this year and that has allowed a forum of discussion of potential candidates for cellular therapy strategies.

Going back to the beginning of my message, we have now to look into the future, which is full of new projects and activities. We are working with enthusiasm in the development of the EBMT Strategic Plan that has the objective to renovate and upgrade the way in which EBMT is working and looking into Science, Education and Quality of Care and Accreditation (JACIE and the already successful benchmarking project) in order to make the society more competitive for the future and, above all, more aligned with our partners and stakeholders needs. Hopefully, the Registry Upgrade, still a significant hurdle in the society’s life, will be a reality in 2023.

None of these achievements and assets could have been possible without your collaboration. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the EBMT Staff, Board of EBMT, EBMT Centers and individual members and all our partners around the world for your constant work and dedication to our society and for sharing our common objective to make EBMT an even more successful story.

On behalf of the entire EBMT society, I wish you Happy Holidays this season!

Anna Sureda
EBMT President

EBMT Christmas Card 2023