ISTH 2022 Congress: swinging back to London to keep haematologists up to date


By Selina Wellbelove

16 Jun 2022

After two years of virtual meetings, the ISTH’s annual congress is coming out of the pandemic and back as a hybrid in-person/online event, to be held in London on 9-13 July. Professor Beverly Hunt, Professor of Thrombosis and Haemostasis at King’s College London, a Consultant at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospitals, and ISTH 2022 Congress Chair, tells the limbic why haematologists should attend, either in the UK venue or online.

So, we’re finally back to face-to-face…

Yes and it’s a huge thing, there’s a huge appetite for it out there. People want to meet face-to-face, to be able to network and to catch up with others. [It allows for] those chance comments you might make to someone that might just tip their lives in a different direction – it’s so important. And I think people want to have fun as well!

What’s in store for delegates this year?

The format is much as it ever has been. We have four really good plenaries looking at cutting-edge science, and a large number of people who are key in their field who [will provide] a summary of where we are in all the major important areas. And we have people from diverse backgrounds, so I think it’s going to be quite dynamic.

We had about 2,000 abstracts (oral and posters), so have a good selection of science on offer, and we’ve also had over 100 late-breaking abstracts, which is extraordinary, and we’re just in the process of evaluating those.

So the science is going to be good, and we have laid on social and networking events to make sure people can meet up and share views and what they’re working on. It’s really exciting.

What excites you most about the program?

For me, as the Chair of the Committee, we have introduced a new section on acquired bleeding disorders. ISTH has always been really good on inherited bleeding disorders, but not so much on acquired bleeding disorders.

If you look at global deaths, just under 10% are due to trauma, so interpersonal violence, road traffic accidence, shootings, postpartum haemorrhage, etc, and the major preventable cause of death due to trauma is bleeding.

So we’re going to focus much more in that area. One of the plenary talks* is going to set the scene, and we’ve got quite a lot of related state-of-the-art research. We’re trying to encourage people to do more research in those areas.

*Personalized Management of Acquired Bleeding Disorders, Katharine Dormandy Memorial Lecture, July 11, 9:30-10:15, Dr Anne Godier

Is there much on COVID?

There is quite a lot. I do think as a community we’ve got to grips with what’s happening with COVID, and we have had a lot of major clinical trials telling us what thromboprophylaxis to use.

As to where are we going with COVID, there’s interest in long COVID and there are a few talks at ISTH on that, but there’s just not quite enough science there yet for it to be a big thing, though I suspect it will be next year.

[e.g Long COVID-19: What are the Haemostatic Consequences? July 10, 2:00 PM – 2:20 PM, Dr Resia Pretorius]

What about novel and emerging treatments?

Whilst the pandemic has been going on we have had advancing work looking at anti factor XI and XII agents, so we have a fair number of abstracts on those, and also reviews of those areas.

It’s quite an exciting field as we’re trying to find that perfect anticoagulant that induces thrombosis without increasing bleeding, and there is preliminary messaging to suggest that the anti factor XIs might be heading in that direction, more than the other DOACs.

[e.g New Antithrombotic Approaches: The Promise of Targeting Factor XI, July 11 7:15 AM – 7:25 AM, Dr Paula H.B Bolton-Maggs]

Anything else to highlight?

It’s in London! In the most dynamic and extraordinary city in the world! And never mind our tumultuous politics, we have so much to offer! It’s a great place to come, there’s a lot to do. The last time it was in London was in 1979, chaired by Gus Bourne.

Why should haematologists attend?

Because they will get up to date in what is happening in thrombosis and haemostasis and hopefully impassioned about the area. I hope that a lot of young haematologists will attend and that they will see what a wonderful area it is and join in in the good clinical research work in those areas.

ISTH 2022 is taking place on July 9-13 at ExCel London. Click here to view the full programme

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