Blood 2018 meeting brings the best in haematology

The organising committee of Blood 2018 meeting in Brisbane (21-24 Oct) might have had some fun nominating a Victorian Gothic Vampire theme for the Gala Dinner (Tues, 7pm) but they took their scientific programming responsibilities seriously enough.

The comprehensive program ensures broad representation from the five societies involved, speakers from all states in Australia and New Zealand as well as the invited overseas guests, and gender equity in the session chairs and presenters.

A/Prof Steve Lane

Convener Associate Professor Steven Lane told the limbic the program was very diverse with leading speakers from some of the most exciting areas in haematology.

“Stan Riddell for example is one of the driving forces behind the development of CAR T cells and widely acknowledged as one of the world’s experts,” he said.

“We also have great clinical trials specialists like Ann LaCasce in lymphoma and Steven Coutré, an expert in chronic leukaemia, and we have a couple of internationally renowned myeloma specialists coming out in Gareth Morgan and Ola Landgren.”

Associate Professor Lane said myeloma was a very exciting area at the moment because of the increase in the number of new drugs over the last few years.

“We have a myeloma spotlight session on Monday afternoon, a moderated debate rather than a didactic teaching session, where we are talking in a more informal way about some of the big problems and difficulties with treating patients with myeloma.”

“And that is going to involve our national expert Andrew Spencer moderating, together with Gareth Morgan and Ola Landgren who will do a back and forth about some of those issues.” (Mon, 4pm)

The opening session will address personalised medicine in haematology including the genomics of AML. (Sun, 10.30am)

“We are really focusing on how the genetic fingerprint of leukaemia influences the way that leukaemia develops, but much more importantly, how does it influence the way leukemia responds to treatment and the way we have to treat patients.”

“At the moment we know that the next generation in genetic testing is coming but we don’t really have access to it in Australia the way that most people would want. And so there is a big focus on what is happening in the world of genomics and how do we bring that into our current practice.”

He said topical issues in transfusion medicine included the safety of blood supplies and new alternatives to blood.

Haemophilia expert Saskia Middledorp, from The Netherlands, would also be presenting in the opening session.

The program also includes the regular featured lectures:

  • THANZ’s Barry Firkin Oration by Professor Paul Monagle (Sun 1pm)
  • ANZSBT’s Ruth Sanger Oration by Dr David Roxby (Mon 1pm)
  • HSANZ’s Carl de Gruchy Oration by Dr Kerry Taylor (Tues 1pm)

Associate Professor Lane said the six young investigator finalists were selected from about 400 abstracts and therefore represented ‘the absolute cutting edge of science – both clinical and laboratory science’. (Tues, 10.30am)

The social program also includes a welcome reception at the Queensland Art Gallery (Sun, 6pm) and a World Thrombosis Day Walk & Breakfast (Tues, 7am).

Blood 2018 is being held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, 21 to 24 October.

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