Hal E. Broxmeyer, PhD
One of the privileges of being ASH president is the opportunity to represent our Society at other organizations’ meetings where we have the opportunity to bring a “taste of ASH” to researchers and clinicians in related disciplines. Whenever I attend these meetings, I am struck by the scientific and clinical diversity of our membership, the breadth of impact that hematologists have in related fields, and the respect that ASH and its members engender all around the world. Our global reach has grown significantly during this past year; we have a number of joint and ongoing efforts with the European Hematology Association (EHA), and we have extended our renowned Highlights of ASH® programs internationally.
As I reported in the last issue of The Hematologist, our Society held its second Highlights of ASH in Latin America in Rio de Janeiro in May. We are now planning a third Highlights of ASH in Latin America, which will be held in Punta del Este, Uruguay, on April 29-30, 2011. Drs. Raul Gabus and Sebastian Galeano of the Sociedad de Hematología del Uruguay are working with ASH Co-Chairs Drs. Bradford Schwartz and Joseph Mikhael to organize what I know will be an excellent scientific program.
I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting with Dr. Changgeng Ruan, president of the Chinese Society of Hematology (CSH), and Dr. Kaiyan Liu, secretary of CSH, who will serve as co-chairs of the first Highlights of ASH that will be held in Beijing, China, April 1-3, 2011. We are planning scientific presentations featuring not only the highlights from the ASH meeting, but also topics of special interest to Chinese hematologists.
On June 4, I had the opportunity to co-chair the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)/ASH Joint Session at ASCO’s annual meeting in Chicago with ASCO President Dr. Douglas Blayney. This was put together from presentations at the last ASH annual meeting in New Orleans that we felt ASCO members would find of interest. Dr. Mark Levis, from Johns Hopkins University, presented results from a randomized trial of salvage chemotherapy followed by lestaurtinib for Flt3 mutant AML patients in first relapse, Dr. Noopur Raje, from Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, spoke about a phase III study to determine efficacy and safety of lenalidomide in combination with melphalan and prednisone (MPR) in elderly patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, Dr. Mathias J. Rummel, of Hospital of Justus-Liebig University, touched on the final results of a randomized phase III study of the Study Group Indolent Lymphomas, Germany (StiL), and Dr. Peter Borchmann, of University Hospital of Cologne, presented the final analysis of the randomized German Hodgkin Study Group (GHSG) High-Dose Therapy (HDT) trial examining optimal treatment of early-stage disease. I anticipate an exciting ASH/ASCO Symposium at our upcoming annual meeting in Orlando, and I look forward to working with new ASCO President, Dr. George Sledge, a colleague at Indiana University.
On June 12, at the EHA meeting in Barcelona, EHA and ASH coordinated a joint symposium: “Challenges and Opportunities in Hematology and Oncology in Developing Countries.” This was co-chaired with long-time friend Dr. Robin Foà, EHA president. The talk was given by Dr. Ian Magrath, president of the International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR) in Brussels. I received positive feedback regarding his presentation from a number of EHA members who felt, as we do, that more needs to be done to help those in developing countries attain access to better health care.
This September, ASH will participate in the 72nd Japanese Society of Hematology (JSH) Annual Meeting. With Dr. Keiya Ozawa, I will co-chair a joint symposium on Comprehensive Genomic Analyses of Lymphoid Malignancies: Future Clinical Applications. This will be the first JSH/ASH joint symposium; Drs. Louis Staudt of the National Cancer Institute and Margaret Shipp from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute will join me in representing ASH in this exciting program.
I look forward to continuing the partnerships we are building through symposia and other joint initiatives, as we continue to extend our reach as an organization and collaborate with hematologists both here and abroad.
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