Novel hematological therapies were the main focus of the EHA congress

Elena Riboldi

Several new agents and combination therapies for the treatments of haematological malignant and non-malignant diseases were presented at the 24th congress of the European Haematology Association (EHA) that took place 13-16 June 2019 in Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

“In these days, we heard very interesting news coming from study groups about novel drugs that can be used in leukaemia, myeloma, and lymphoma – said Pieter Sonneveld, head of the Department of Haematology at the Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, and President of EHA –  Some of these drugs really bring a change in everyday practice, maybe not today, but over the next years this will come. They will improve outcomes in many patients, especially in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia or multiple myeloma.”

Targeted therapies (small-molecule inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies, and their combinations) were the most represented strategies discussed during the congress, however advanced therapy medicinal products attracted attention from the delegates. “We have seen new developments in the field of cellular immunotherapy, in particular about CAR-T cell therapies. CAR-T cells lead to really good responses and even minimal residual disease negativity in several diseases. The expectation is that, by moving CAR-T cell therapy to the frontline of treatment, results will improve even further.”

While presenting new opportunities, challenges of the new era of oncohaematology were not ignored.  “EHA also focus on the availability and the affordability of these expensive treatments. They should be available to many patient groups in all countries in Europe and hopefully also beyond. EHA will increase its efforts to make these drugs available by working with agencies, governments, and pharma companies.

The congress was attended by about over 12.000 delegates, not only from Europe but from all over the world.  EHA aims to connect haematologists worldwide, to support their career development and research, and to educate people in haematology. In this regard, the online learning platform EHA Campus, provides junior haematologists the opportunity to learn from experts. EHA Campus is freely accessible until 15 September 2019.

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