Hematology and hematologists worldwide are working in an exciting fast-paced medical field and an ever-changing world around them.
The field’s internal speed of changes and front-line accomplishments in the medical field create an increasing need for adaptions to new techniques and therapies. Immunotherapy is one of those rapidly developing treatments, with promising components like chimeric-antigen-receptor therapy (CAR T) and other treatments.
At the same time, socio-economic developments also have a considerable impact on health care, as mass migration and an aging population incrementally change the incidence of diseases previously rare in Europe. These change the incidence of hemoglobinopathies and a new need for education arises to ensure the appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Furthermore, language barriers and political issues like immigration status have a further influence on the access to medicine.
Following these developments, the EHA Board decided to launch two dedicated Topics-in-Focus Programs aimed at tackling these high-impact issues.
Within the area of immunotherapy, CAR T will be the starting point while within the area of hemoglobinopathies, this will be Sickle Cell Disease (SCD): two fields earmarked by rapid and promising developments.
At the 2018 EHA Congress in Stockholm, Sweden, the first initiatives were revealed which is the beginning of developing and implementing focused programs aimed at raising awareness, providing education, furthering research, and building a network of experts with the goal to improve patient care.