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Message from the President - July 2021

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Dear Colleagues and Friends,

The last few months have been filled with virtual conferences, meetings and webinars, lots of hours working from home, and restricting our social outings as well as contacts. But with each new day we see the number of newly diagnosed SARS-CoV-2 in Europe is decreasing plus the rate of vaccination is steadily increasing. Many countries are lifting their travel restrictions just in time for the long-awaited and well-deserved summer holidays.

Despite the obvious logistical problems in the pan-European COVID-19 management (i.e., the delay in vaccination) the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 knowledge and development of effective vaccination is fascinating. To further increase related knowledge in this area, EBMT has successful launched a COVID-19 task force. The goal of the taskforce is to update our members and the community with recommendations and vaccine information and to perform several scientific studies (www.ebmt.org/covid-19-and-bmt). In addition, EBMT hosted the first ever Summit on COVID-19 virtual 3-day event featuring the latest essential aspects of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic from key speakers both within and outside of EBMT’s community (read the event report here: www.ebmt.org/ebmt/news/reports-ebmt-summit-covid-19-29-june-1-july-2021-virtual.

Regarding our Registry upgrade project, the migration process from ProMISe to MACRO has not concluded as expected. It was too complex, and unexpected hurdles on both sides have prevented a go-live within a reasonable amount of time and cost. That being said, in the end, the EBMT Board decided in alignment with Elsevier to part ways and end the contract. Bas Middlekoop, the EBMT Registry Director, has provided us a new perspective on how we will continue and succeed in the process of upgrading our Registry in his latest message (see: www.ebmt.org/ebmt/news/important-updates-about-ebmt-registry). 

Switching topics, I have a personal request to those centers who are certified for treatment of commercial CAR T-cells (Yescarta and Kymriah), please report these patient data in the EBMT Registry and complete the Data Request Forms you receive from your country’s clinical study coordinators. It is equally important to ensure that you obtain ethical approval for and (re-)consent of your patients with the updated informed consent form. The updated informed consent form allows us, if the patient consents, to share the collected data with our collaboration partners and is crucial to report EMA safety results about this new exciting treatment. Details regarding remuneration, participation and reporting and answers to frequently asked questions are extensively explained here:
www.ebmt.org/registry/data-collection-car-t-cells.

I hope you will have time for relaxing holidays amongst your family and friends, and find some minutes to read and enjoy the summer edition of our EBMT Newsletter.

Most importantly, please stay safe and let’s meet at our virtual International Transplant Course in September or at one of the numerous Working Party Educational Events this Autumn (see the full list of upcoming events here: www.ebmt.org/events).

Nicolaus Kröger
EBMT President