Wolfgang Hiddemann, MD, PhD, from the University Hospital Grosshadern, Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU), Munich, Germany describes his highlights from the International Symposium on Acute Leukemias (ISAL) 2017 in Munich, Germany. He discusses the philosophy behind this biennial meeting first held 31 years ago, which aims to bring together basic researchers and clinicians, and facilitate the translation of basic research into clinical practice and the design of clinical trials. This year, Prof. Hiddemann is particularly interested in sessions on epigenetic changes and their impact on patient outcomes, as well as discussions of preclinical risk factors and clinical trials which take these into consideration in diseases including acute promyelocytic leukemia (APML, APL), acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). He is also especially interested in the session on the use of additional tools, such as the assessment of minimal residual disease (MRD), to guide acute leukemia treatment. Prof. Hiddemann concludes that there is no one highlight of the International Symposium on Acute Leukemias 2017, as every session is a highlight on its own.