EBMT 2017: Highlighting the hottest topics in the field of transplantation

Mohamad Mohty, MD, PhD, from the Saint-Antonine Hospital, Paris, France, discusses the highlights from the 2017 annual meeting of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) in Marseille, France. The meeting included various types of sessions, such as educational sessions, satellite symposiums and meet-the-expert sessions, attracting a record number of participants. He points out that satellite symposium sessions tackled some of the hottest topics in the field of myeloma and how transplants should be considered in the era of novel agents. According to Prof. Mohty, impressive unpublished data was shown, such as the value of deep minimal residual disease (MRD) negativity, showing that patients achieving deep MRD negativity have clear survival benefits. Novel induction regiments were also discussed, such as the replacement of first- with second-generation proteasome inhibitors such as carfilzomib. Another main focus of the meeting was double-autologous stem cell transplantation which has recently been rejuvenated, particularly in patients with high-risk cytogenetics. Other sessions related to acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), discussing biclonal antibodies such a blinatumomab and the value of inotuzumab, novel therapies which are modifying the natural history of ALL. Prof. Mohty also highlights the value of supportive care: there were a number of sessions at EBMT about novel antifungal drugs and cytomegalovirus (CMV) management. He concludes that the field is moving rapidly, and it is no longer a simple story of transplant or no transplant; in fact, the whole community is now convinced that to improve patient outcomes, combinations of novel agents and transplant are needed to give a full treatment package from diagnosis to, hopefully, cure for all patients.

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