(WASHINGTON, July 12, 2018) -- Today, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) will convene laboratory investigators, clinical researchers, regulators, patient advocates, and industry leaders in Washington, DC, for the ASH Summit on Emerging Immunotherapies for Hematologic Diseases.
Immunotherapies, treatments designed to leverage the immune system and ignite the body's own disease-fighting mechanisms, have revolutionized care for patients with hematologic diseases. Increased understanding of the biology of the immune system and its function in recent years has led to significant advances in the development of these therapies. Most recently, last year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies - immune cells engineered to target cancer - to treat leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The summit, which will focus on the effective development, regulation, and implementation of immunotherapies for malignant and non-malignant hematologic diseases, is an extension of the Society's commitment to accelerate the delivery of personalized therapies as described in the ASH Agenda for Hematology Research.
"From developing strategies to enhance the efficacy of immunotherapies for aplastic anemia to dramatically improving outcomes of patients with blood cancers, hematologists have achieved immense success in harnessing patients' own immune systems to conquer devastating hematologic diseases," said meeting co-chair Catherine M. Bollard, MD, of Children's National Health System in Washington, DC. "With this summit, ASH aims to foster collaborations among stakeholders that will propel more of these groundbreaking advancements out of the lab and into the clinics where they have the potential to save lives."
The ASH Summit on Emerging Immunotherapies for Hematologic Diseases will be held July 12-13 and will include interactive breakout sessions on topics such as clinical trial design, commercialization of cell therapy products, toxicity management, and the use of immunotherapies as a treatment modality for non-malignant hematologic diseases.
An accompanying review series, Emerging Immunotherapies for Hematologic Diseases, was recently published in the Society's journal Blood. Articles in this review series include discussions of vaccine therapy in hematologic malignancies, the expanded use of CAR T-cell therapies, and strategies for preventing graft-versus-host disease in bone marrow transplant.
The American Society of Hematology (ASH) (http://www.