Dear EBMT members, colleagues and friends,
The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting our professional and personal life as well as the intertwined healthcare systems and economies of EBMT member countries in a way unlike anything any of us have experienced. Despite lower numbers of new infections with SARS-CoV-2 in Europe and in other parts of the world, and the re-opening of borders, schools, restaurants and cafés, we are all struggling to come to terms with a new normality which is so different to anything we anticipated at the start of 2020.
During the last months many of us have lost relatives, friends or loved ones due to COVID-19. On behalf of EBMT I want to pay tribute to all the nurses, health care providers and physicians round the world who have worked hard and tirelessly to save the life of COVID-19 infected patients. It is a tragedy of enormous proportions that so many health care providers have been infected by SARS-CoV-2 some of whom have paid the ultimate price for their dedication and selflessness. EBMT will always hold old them in the highest regard and honor.
EBMT has continued to deliver its key activities during the COVID-19 pandemic and has successfully adapted to the crisis by organizing virtual board meetings, virtual conferences with our sister societies and Working Party meetings as well as numerous educational webinars. For the very first time in EBMT history the Annual Meeting 2020 will be conducted as a completely virtual event from August 29 to September 1 - please visit our website to see the exciting program and to register. Please also look at the upcoming “Midterm Focus Meeting on Non-Malignant Diseases” jointly organized by the Paediatric, Inborn Errors and Aplastic Anaemia Working Parties which will take place virtually from July 8 to July 10 2020.
Major progress has also been made in the last months within the Patient Engagement Task force and I’d like to encourage you to participate in the EBMT Patient Engagement Survey which will help us to develop future projects involving patient engagement within our society.
I am also delighted to announce a major achievement for EBMT in the form of an innovative collaboration with Kite, a Gilead company to study long term outcome regarding safety and efficacy of Yescarta®, a CAR- T cell product for aggressive Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma within our EBMT registry.
Lastly, we warmly welcome the newly-elected Executive Committee and scientific council members: John Snowden as the new Secretary of EBMT, Bertram Glass as new chair of the Lymphoma Working Party (LWP), Rafael de la Cámara as new chair of the Infectious Disease WP (IDWP) and Raffaella Greco as new Chair of the Autoimmune disease WP (ADWP) as well as Isabel Sánchez-Ortega who was appointed for the newly established Medical Officer position within our society. I also want to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing board members Rafael Duarte (EBMT secretary), Silvia Montoto (LWP chair), John Snowden (ADWP chair) and Jan Styczynski (IDWP chair) for their excellent and invaluable contribution to our society!
Please take your time, and enjoy reading this EBMT Newsletter.
Best wishes and stay safe,
Nicolaus Kröger, MD
Professor of Medicine