Review of the 50th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT)

Review of the 50th Annual Meeting of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT)

2 Mins

Glasgow, UK 


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THERE was no better place to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) than Glasgow, UK, a city not only known for its friendly hospitality and “unique sense of wit and wisdom,” as described by Glasgow’s Lord Provost in the opening ceremony, but also for its longstanding history of medical innovation and excellence, particularly in stem cell transplants. EBMT 2024 welcomed thousands of international experts, including physicians, nurses, paediatricians, transplant coordinators, cell therapists, and psychologists, to deliver its crucial mission of education, patient advocacy, and exchange of cutting-edge research. 

In a heartfelt welcome, EBMT President Anna Sureda praised the European and international transplant community for half a century of remarkable achievements. Grant McQuaker, Congress Co-President, introduced two innovative sessions in this year’s programme. With an exciting discussion entitled ‘What lessons can transplant and cellular therapy professionals learn from other medical and scientific disciplines?’, and a joint session between physicians and nurses to address post-transplant complications, offering a unique patient perspective, EBMT 2024 spotlighted the importance of multidisciplinary care. Other key sessions looked towards the future of the field, focusing on the evolving landscape of cellular therapies and delivery of patient care, the emerging role of artificial intelligence, and the key issue of global disparities in healthcare access.  

In honour of the EBMT spirit of collaboration, cooperation, and friendship, the EBMT Patient Advocacy Committee (PAC) and the Nurses Group also extended their own welcome in the opening ceremony. The EBMT PAC’s chief mission is to integrate patient perspectives into clinical practice to help improve patient outcomes, bringing a Patient, Family, and Donor Day to EBMT 2024, along with two special Patient Advocacy sessions. Michelle Kenyon, President of the Nurses Group, spoke out about the crucial, and often undervalued, role that nurses play in patient care. “As nurses, we are the sum of our patients’ experiences,” she said. She recognised the unwavering commitment, courage, and dedication of healthcare workers, and urged the audience to work together towards a future of compassion and inclusivity.  

In recognition of their outstanding contributions to the field of haematopoietic cell transplantation, Jakob Passweg and Helen Baldomero, Basel University Hospital, Switzerland, were honoured with the EBMT Distinguished Merit Award. Clinical Achievement awards were then granted to Anne Parker, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow, UK; and Achilles Anagnostopoulos, Papanikolaou Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece. Finally, Arnon Nagler, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Ramat Gan, Israel; and Jane Apperley, Imperial College London, UK, were recognised for their dedicated service to EBMT with the two Honorary Membership Awards.  

One of the distinguishing features of the EBMT in the last 50 years has been its ability to demonstrate real translation of cutting-edge science into improvement of clinical outcomes. Marcel van den Brink, President of the City of Hope Cancer Center, Duarte, California, USA, a globally recognised leader in the field of graft-versus-host disease and immune-oncology, followed the award session with a fascinating keynote lecture on the impact of the intestinal microbiome in cancer immunotherapy.  

Celebrating 50 years of collaboration and progress in the EBMT, the opening ceremony came to a close on a hopeful note with a video featuring heartfelt messages from members of the EBMT Committee over the years. Bone marrow transplantation has undergone significant advances in the past decades, and next generation cellular therapies, with the advent of CAR-T cells, now continue to revolutionise the field of haematology. Through education, cutting-edge science, and advocacy methods, one of EBMT’s key missions is to increase awareness of, and access to, these new cellular therapy strategies worldwide.  

Read on for more key insights into EBMT 2024, and make sure to come back next year for updates from EBMT 2025, taking place in Florence, Italy, from 30th March–2nd April 2025. 

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