SWG Educational Activities

15th Annual Sickle Cell and Thalassemia & 1st EHA European Sickle

Cell Conference

Date: October 26-31, 2020,

Location: Virtual Global Conference

Steering Committee: B Andemariam, A Campbell, M Cappellini, S Chakravorty,

R Colombatti, B Inusa, R Kesse-Adu, D Rees, A Taher, M Treadwell


In the last week of October, consultants and specialist psychologists, nurses, scientists, and all relevant experts joined the Annual Scientific Conference on Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Conference to see the latest advances in diagnosis, treatment, and emerging fields in hemoglobinopathies. The conference provided the opportunity to interact on the latest advances in clinical care, transition services and emerging new therapies including updates for curative treatment options. This year’s theme ‘Hemoglobinopathies: Emerging Challenges and Future Therapies’ reflected the rapid progress in research for new drug therapies and curative therapies. The fact that most patients with Sickle Cell Disease and Thalassemia live in low resource settings where these new therapies may not be readily accessible or affordable, means that we must therefore refocus our attention to improve newborn screening and comprehensive care, hydroxyurea therapy, blood transfusion and effective iron chelation.

Over 100 abstracts were accepted for either oral or poster presentations held and displayed on our online platform this year. The Abstract Book of the 15th Annual Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia, 1st EHA European Sickle Cell Conference, and 60th Anniversary of BSH is published as a supplement of HemaSphere. The 2020 abstract categories included:

  • Basic Sciences and Emerging Therapies; Psychology, QOL and Patient Outcomes
  • Clinical and Community Implementation Research; Public Health and Health Education
  • Aging and Hemoglobinopathies; other aspects of Hemoglobinopathies 

The meeting was completely transformed into a virtual conference, with a new fully functioning online forum, which was accessible for the delegates on the morning of October 26. The platform allowed 900 delegates and 103 speakers worldwide to come together to share best practice and develop strategies for the future. The 15th ASCAT meeting also hosted the 1st European Sickle Cell Conference (EHA) and was also the occasion to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the British Society for Hematology (BSH). The conference content is available until August 2021 and to date, the total registrations for this year’s conference is over 1,000 delegates.