Topics-in-Focus is a new EHA program that aims to raise awareness, provide education, stimulate further research and build a network of experts high-impact hematology issues. One of the topics chosen for 2018-2019 is immunotherapy with a focus on CAR-T.
One of the first activities within this program was the organization of the 1st European CAR T Cell Meeting on February 14-16, 2019 in Paris. This meeting was jointly organized by the European Hematology Association (EHA) and the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT).
Medical professionals, patient organizations, regulatory agencies, and pharmaceutical industry gathered to hear the latest news about CAR T cell therapy and its implementation in Europe.
The meeting was chaired by Professors Hermann Einsele and Michael Hudecek from Germany and Professor Christian Chabannon from France. They composed a comprehensive program for the broad audience present in Paris. The speakers presented the impressive results of CAR T cell therapy in B-cell malignancies as well as progress in other indications. They also discussed research efforts to improve the efficacy and safety of CAR T cells, and the challenges associated with the implementation of this innovative therapy in European clinical practice.
The interest for this meeting reflected the popularity of the topic. CAR T is a new and promising treatment and Europe is on the eve of implementing this. In addition to more than 650 ‘in person’ participants, almost 200 persons followed the meeting via live stream.
The program featured 22 oral sessions, discussing topics that ranged from the molecular basis of CAR T cell therapy to its clinical implementation and the patient’s perspective. Presenters from the USA that pioneered the field provided first-hand experience. Presenters from Europe shared their experiences in implementing CAR T cell therapy here. The program enabled participants to learn how to select the right treatments, handle specific toxicities, organize treatment units, and cope with the high costs associated with CAR T therapy.
This report provides a summary of the meeting with links to recorded sessions. The report is divided in the following sections: