Bright Red recently provided funding to Dr Nuno Borges, enabling him to attend the 44th annual meeting of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) in Lisbon, Portugal. Here, Nuno was able to present his abstract on the impact of cell doses on bone marrow transplant outcomes at Newcastle.
Nuno said “This was a fantastic opportunity to learn about cutting edge developments in the field of bone marrow transplantation, as well to network with some of the top names in haematology in the world.
The four day conference included a range of talks and presentations. The ‘meet the expert’ sessions gave delegates the opportunity to have a one on one discussion with an international transplant expert and learn about how they manage their patients. The advent of CAR T cells carries new hope to patients with leukaemia and lymphoma, as trials show promising results. The subject of minimal residual disease (MRD) was also a hot topic, with a growing body of experts making use of it to guide treatment of patients with leukaemia and, more recently, myeloma. Multiple talks and posters were dedicated to conditioning, with much ongoing debate into how best to prepare patients for transplant and also to balance the fine line between transplant related mortality and disease relapse. Complications in the post-transplant period are still a significant problem, and a large number of speakers presented their work on how best to prevent and manage them.
A considerable proportion of the talks was dedicated to discussing the psychological impact of bone marrow transplant on patients and their relatives, emphasising the need for them to have the appropriate level of emotional support during this process. Equally, the EBMT nurses group ran parallel sessions looking into the challenges of nursing for this group of patients, and how best to improve their experience of the transplant process.
Interestingly, I was surprised by how haematology treatments can reach out to other specialties. One session focused on bone marrow transplants for patients with auto-immune conditions, such as multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease. For patients who qualify, results seem to be quite impressive.
This experience has been an excellent opportunity for me to develop my knowledge in the field of bone marrow transplantation and further my interest in haematology as a specialty. This was made a possibility with generous support from Bright Red, thanks to whom I can now better understand and support the treatment of patients undergoing a bone marrow transplant.”