SPECIALS

Bringing care to the patient, anywhere, anytime

BJH - 2022, issue SPECIAL, april 2022

A. Enguita PhD, T. Feys MBA, MSc

During the 37th general annual meeting of the Belgian Haematology Society, Prof. Koen Kas, (University Hospital Ghent, Ghent, Belgium) provided some insights into the future of healthcare. In this future, hospital care will increasingly be substituted for home care in which patients will be monitored and treated 24/7 within the comfort of their home. In this way, healthcare can be brought to the patient anywhere, at any time. The first teleconsultation took place in 1924 (Teleheath 1924) and was seen as a revolutionary way to bring healthcare to the people.1 Early in 2020, the number of teleconsultations increased enormously as a result of the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic. However, the use of teleconsultations decreased again in the second half of the year in parallel with an improvement in the pandemic situation. It has now reached a new equilibrium: there are still more teleconsultations than before the COVID-19 pandemic, but less than during its peak (Figure 1).2 Nowadays, still 62% of patients feel that teleconsultations should remain an exception. However, with the emergence of new technological developments this perception is rapidly changing.3

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Highlights on novel cellular therapies

BJH - 2022, issue SPECIAL, april 2022

J. Blokken PhD, PharmD, T. Feys MBA, MSc

In a first presentation of the BHS-GAM 2022 session dedicated to novel cellular therapies, Dr. Sophie Servais (CHU Liège, Belgium) shared the results of the first Belgian real-world experience of anti-CD19 CAR-T cells in patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma. Next Prof. Dr. Barbara De Moerloose (University Hospital Ghent, Belgium) shared her personal experience with tisagenlecleucel in the treatment of paediatric and young adults with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). In a final presentation, Prof. Dr. Daan Dierickx (University Hospital Leuven, Belgium) discussed the potential of redirecting T-cells against the Epstein–Barr virus, mainly in patients with posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease.

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Advance care planning and specialist palliative care integration in haematology

BJH - 2022, issue SPECIAL, april 2022

J. Blokken PhD, PharmD, T. Feys MBA, MSc

Although palliative care is often associated with end-of-life and death, its concept is much broader than that and should focus on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of any serious illness. In the Ethics session of the 2022 BHS GAM meeting, Prof. Dr. Thomas LeBlanc (Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, North Carolina, USA) discussed the unmet needs regarding advance care planning and specialist palliative care integration in haematology. In addition, he shared the results of a randomised trial of integrated palliative and oncology care for patients with acute myeloid leukaemia, demonstrating significant advances of palliative care for patients.

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Pierre Stryckmans Memorial Lecture: AML diagnosis and treatment

BJH - 2022, issue SPECIAL, april 2022

J. Blokken PhD, PharmD, T. Feys MBA, MSc

The annual Pierre Stryckmans Memorial Lecture at this years’ BHS-GAM was presented by Prof. Dr. Bob Löwenberg (Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands), awarding him for his lifetime achievements in the diagnosis and treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).
Historically, intensive treatment for AML consists of induction chemotherapy, followed by post-remission consolidation therapy with chemotherapy and an autologous (auto-SCT) or allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) to eradicate potential residual cells.1 In order to improve on the treatment outcomes that can be achieved today, we need a deeper understanding of the molecular diversity of the disease and its functional consequences. Furthermore, we should aim for a further personalization of the treatment, tailored to the individual patient.

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Autoimmune haemolytic anaemia for the haematologist

BJH - 2022, issue SPECIAL, april 2022

J. Blokken PhD, PharmD, T. Feys MBA, MSc

Autoimmune haemolytic anaemias (AIHAs) are rare and heterogeneous disorders characterised by the destruction of red blood cells through warm or cold antibodies. During a special lecture during the 2022 BHS GAM, Prof. Marc Michel (Henri-Mondor University Hospital, Paris-Est Créteil, France) gave an overview of the diagnostic and treatment landscape for AIHA anno 2022. The incidence of AIHA runs from 1.8-2.4/100,000 individuals each year, with an increasing incidence in the last decade. The median age at onset for patients with warm AIHA (wAIHA) is 58 years, while cold agglutinin disease (CAD) mainly effects older patients (median age at onset of 67 years). AIHA patients are at a high risk of mortality and thrombosis.1

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Paradigm shifts in managing infections in high-risk haematology patients

BJH - 2022, issue SPECIAL, april 2022

A. Enguita PhD, T. Feys MBA, MSc

High-risk haematology patients present with a partial or totally disintegrated immune system. Consequently, infections remain one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality among these patients. During the 37th general annual meeting of the Belgian Haematology Society, Prof. Johan Maertens (University Hospital Leuven, Leuven, Belgium), walked us through the current advances in the management of infections in high-risk haematology patients, with a focus on patients undergoing aggressive chemotherapy for any type of leukaemia and allogenic non-transplanted siblings.

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Joint BeSHG-BHS meeting

BJH - 2022, issue SPECIAL, april 2022

J. Blokken PhD, PharmD, T. Feys MBA, MSc

The Belgian Society of Human Genetics (BeSHG) was launched in March 2000 and aims at promoting human genetics in its wider sense, i.e. by supporting genetic research, improving exchanges between Belgium and foreign countries, organising scientific meetings, and enhancing collaboration between Belgian labs. During the 37th general annual meeting of the Belgian Haematology Society, a joint BeSHG-BHS session was organised. In this session, Karlijn Brekelmans (University Hospital Leuven, Leuven, Belgium) first discussed how genetic predisposition in haemato-oncological disorders can be detected, with a focus on technique, type of tissue that can be used and turn-around-time. Her talk was followed by a presentation from Esmé Waanders (Princess Maxima Centre, Utrecht, The Netherlands) discussing geentic predisposition in lymphoid malignancies.

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