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Innovations in Hematology: Experts Share Key Takeaways From the EHA 2024 Congress

Experts share their biggest takeaways from the European Hematology Association (EHA) 2024 Congress.

At the European Hematology Association (EHA) 2024 Congress, experts discussed the latest updates and innovations across the hematology field. We spoke with 4 of these experts about their biggest takeaways from this year's meeting:

  • Ana Lacerda, MD, MSc, pediatric oncologist and head of the pediatric palliative care team at the Portuguese Institute of Oncology
  • Joseph Mikhael, MD, MEd, FRCPC, FACP, chief medical officer of the International Myeloma Foundation, professor at the Translational Genomics Research Institute, and myeloma research director and consultant hematologist at HonorHealth
  • Marta Rodríguez Martínez, PhD, sustainability officer of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory
  • Mohamad Mohty, MD, PhD, professor of hematology and head of the hematology and cellular therapy department at Sorbonne University and Saint-Antoine Hospital

Transcript:

What is your biggest takeaway from this year's EHA Congress?

Lacerda: This year, being invited to talk about pediatric end-of-life care really does mean a lot to me. I wish to believe that the European Hematology Association is moving forward in the path of the early integration of palliative care.

It's very important, also, that I see a lot of patient advocates, so patient and public involvement is also moving forward here in Europe; I think that's really something that I'm looking forward to in the near future.

Mikhael: It's always a privilege to meet with other hematologists and, specifically, myeloma experts like myself. To meet here at EHA has been great, not only because we had our IMWG [International Myeloma Working Group] summit before, but, also, this meeting has been great. There's so much to take away from it. We are so united in our effort to work together, the degree of camaraderie among the different groups that are fighting myeloma is actually quite inspirational. So, it's always fun to enjoy that and to enjoy a great city like Madrid.

But in terms of key myeloma takeaways, it's remarkable. We have seen data presented across the whole spectrum, from early understanding of, should we even be screening for multiple myeloma? Are there things that we can do to catch this disease even earlier, knowing one of the great disparities of myeloma is delayed diagnosis?

To frontline therapies, I mean, these are arguably the top-line abstracts at EHA. Studies like the IMROZ study, where we now introduce a quadruplet, adding isatuximab to VRd [bortezomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone] for patients that are transplant ineligible. Also, in early and late relapse, in particular, we have seen some remarkable data about CAR [chimeric antigen receptor] T-cell therapy and bispecifics and other approaches in patients that have heavily-relapsed multiple myeloma. Really, the takeaway is across the whole spectrum of myeloma.

Rodríguez Martínez: My biggest takeaway from this EHA Congress has actually changed after having my session. I had two big takeaways before, that would be, first, the fact that there's been a session organized around reducing the environmental impact of hematology research; it is very important, this is something that was not done a few years ago. Also, the fact that there's been a statement from the organizers about the measures they've taken to become more sustainable in this EHA Congress.

So, these were going to be my main 2 focuses before my session. Afterwards, I'm a molecular biology, so I know that as a molecular biologist we're really putting a lot of effort into transitioning, and we are also thinking about this problematic, and I was very happy to see that hematology is exactly in the same place. So, we are all really together in this fight.

Mohty: This EHA 2024 annual meeting proved to be an exciting and great meeting for the hematology field. We can see developments in malignant but also nonmalignant diseases. There are incredible advances in multiple myeloma, especially immunotherapies. There are advances, now, especially using fixed duration therapies, in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

We can see now the advent of bispecific antibodies, but also antibody drug conjugates, in non-Hodgkin lymphoma. You have now very small, targeted molecules, anti-complement, very exciting molecules in different complications. We have also, we should not forget, all the gene therapies in thalassemia, sickle cell disease. I think the hematology field is really booming, and this is really a very exciting, very impressive era for all those guys involved in hematology.

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