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Report of the 5th European CAR T-cell Meeting - Nurses Sessions - 9-11 February 2023 – Rotterdam, The Netherlands & Online

Nursing Research Committee
Nursing Scientific Committee
Nursing Paediatric Committee
Nursing Global Education Committee

The 5th European CAR T-cell Meeting was jointly organised by the EBMT and the EHA. 800 delegates got the chance to meet again physically in Rotterdam after the 2020 edition in Sitges, Spain and two virtual editions. The meeting was also attended virtually by 500 attendees.

The meeting was a real celebration; a celebration of science and innovation, a celebration of patient care and advocacy and an opportunity to meet once again in person for practice sharing and real networking.

Nurses’ sessions

Keynote Lecture – Joint session

Chair: Michelle Kenyon (UK) & Michael Hudecek (DE) & Anna Sureda (ES) & Carl June (US)

Journey to CAR-T Cell Therapy & Beyond, Emily Whitehead's Story Tom Whitehead (US)

Continuing along the theme of celebration, we were delighted to welcome Tom Whitehead, father of Emily, herself celebrating 10 years cancer free. Tom, keynote speaker for this session, began with an incredible video, telling Emily’s story and the challenges and hopes that the family had faced. The room remained silent as this was followed by a further, incredibly personal account of their experiences during treatment and recovery. The discussion panel of Anna Sureda, Michael Hudecek and Carl June were then joined by Tom and we heard further insights of this epic journey, with some great questions from the audience. Moving and inspirational. A very fitting standing ovation rounded off this session beautifully.

Opening and Session 1

Chairs: Erik Aerts (CH) & Michelle Kenyon (UK)
Haematology Nurses and Healthcare Professionals (HNHCP) – CAR T-cell therapy learning program: a resource for healthcare professionals Erik Aerts (CH)
IEC Forum Ruth Clout (UK)
The nurse and the patient pathway Rose Ellard (UK)
CAR T Cell therapy: past, present, future Elaine Vickers (UK)

As the Nurses Programme got underway, we heard from Erik about the HNHCP CAR-T Education materials which are freely available and translated into a number of different languages. Rose Ellard followed with her brief overview of the EBMT Nursing guidelines for CART and cell therapy published in 2022 ( This was followed by Ruth Clout who gave an important update on the new EBMT Nurses IEC forum, a specially created area on the EBMT Website for posting and sharing information and questions on everything CART.

We were delighted to welcome Elaine Vickers, Science Communications expert to provide us with an update of CART present and future. As always Elaine’s skill in reducing the complex scientific terminology into accessible information made this session a fantastic opener to the rest of the day. We then heard from Rose Ellard and the role of the CART CNS in the patient pathway, an incredibly important link for patients referred for treatment that supports and advocates for patients at all stages of the treatment journey.

Session 2

Chairs: Ruth Clout (UK) & Rose Ellard (UK)
Disease update lymphoma, leukaemia and Myeloma Ibrahim Yakoub-Agha (FR)
Horizon scanning: paediatrics Marjola Gjergji (IT)

Prof. Ibrahim Yakoub-Agha gave an update on the role of CAR-T within haematological malignancies. He discussed the need for new strategies and explained the roles of both CAR-T and bispecific therapies and their effective encouraging results.

Marjola Gjergji, updated the group on CAR-T therapy in the paediatric population. Marjola discussed the current indications in ALL. Additionally, she spoke about future clinical trials that are focusing on some of challenging childhood solid tumours.

Session 3

Chairs: Ruth Clout (UK) & Rose Ellard (UK)
From prehab to rehab: nutritional support in patients treated with CAR-T therapy Amanda Casirati (IT)
Adapted Physical Activity Nicolas Brelot (FR)
Prehab/ rehab psychology Vera Hinderling-Baertschi (CH)

This session covered nutrition, physical activity and psychological impact. We first heard from Amanda Casirati. Amanda gave an excellent overview of the nutritional challenges that CAR-T patients can face during their pathway, explaining the reasons why. Also, the importance of MDT rehabilitation in both prehab and rehab phases. Next was Nicolas Brelot a physical activity. Nicolas discussed the importance of physical activity fitting with the patients’ needs. Vera Hinderling-Baertschi from Switzerland finished the session with psychological support in prehab and rehab in CAR-T therapy. She discussed the role of early and ongoing psychological and included a patient case.

Session 4

Chairs: Ruth Clout (UK) & Rose Ellard (UK)
Early and late infections in patients undergoing CAR T-cell Therapy Andriyana Bankova (CH)
Experiences of CAR T Cell Therapy: What Nurses report Martina Spalt (AT)
Advance care planning Jennifer Vidrine (UK)

We heard from Andriyana Bankova who discussed early and late complications in CAR-T therapy. Along with the important discussions of long term follow up in recognising late phase infections. Martina Spalt delivered her session on experiences of CAR-T therapy hearing about the perspectives of nurse and experiences of patient. Next was Dr Jen Vidrine who talked about Advance Care Planning highlighting the different experiences that patients with haematological malignancies have. Plus, the challenges and barriers of ACP and why and how it’s important to get it right.

Session 5

Chairs: Ruth Clout (UK) & Rose Ellard (UK)
Ethical considerations Anna Castleton (UK)
CAR T-Cell Therapies: A Patient's Perspective Jonathan Clark (NL)
CAR T-cell Therapy: Patients- and Family Caregivers ‘Needs Post-treatment Britt Snoek (NL)
Nutritional Status during CAR-T Therapy Nicola Scott (UK)
Panel Discussion

Dr Anna Castleton covered ethical considerations in CAR-T, articulating the varying challenges that patients, families and the MDT face when making decisions. Additionally, presenting a complex patient case and the ethical issues that were faced. Next was the patient speaker Jonathan Clark who delivered a wonderful and emotional presentation of his story and experience as a CAR-T patient. The session understandably was greatly received with a huge support from the audience.

Next, we heard from the two abstract speakers which were selected. Britt Snoek’s abstract submission was experiences and counselling needs of patients and family caregivers after treatment with CD19-directed CAR T cell therapy. Nicola Scott presented the nutritional status during CAR-T therapy across 4 haematology units and the risk of malnutrition and weight loss during CAR-T therapy. Both sessions included patient experiences. The session was concluded with a panel discussion which had lots of questions and interactions from the delegates.

Session 6 and closing

Chair: Erik Aerts (CH) & Michelle Kenyon (UK)
Delivering a single national adult CAR T service Liz Higgins (IE)
Capacity building and future proofing Peter Dreger (DE)
Closing remarks Michelle Kenyon (UK) Erik Aerts (CH)

The closing session was chaired by Michelle and Erik. The final presentation was from Liz Higgins on delivering a single national adult CAR-T service. Liz delivered a detailed presentation on setting up the service in Dublin, and how this was achieved.

The nurse’s day closed with comments from Michelle summarising the event and thanking the speakers, EBMT and EHA team for making the event really successful.

CAR T-cell Meeting_expert interviews by VJHemOnc