Highlights from ICALL 2019

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Published: 24 May 2019
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Prof Hervé Dombret - University Paris Diderot, Paris, France

Prof Hervé Dombret talks to ecancer at the European School of Haematology (ESH) meeting: International Conference on Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia about the background and highlights from this year's conference.

He emphasises the interaction between clinicians, scientists and students at this conference as a highlight as well as his visions for the future of the European School of Haematology (ESH).

ecancer's filming has been kindly supported by Amgen through the ecancer Global Foundation. ecancer is editorially independent and there is no influence over content.

Highlights from ICALL 2019

Prof Hervé Dombret, University Paris Diderot, Paris, France

The European School of Haematology is a non-profit organisation and we are organising conferences in the field of haematology, not only in malignant haematology but also non-malignant haematology. Basically we do have different format conferences, these conferences these days are what we call international conferences and it’s disease based so we do have some conferences for myeloma, for lymphoma, for acute leukaemia, AML and now ALL. This is the first time we are doing a conference of that type on acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and we are repeating these conferences, international conferences, either each year – for CML, for instance, it was each year – or mostly every other year. We will do that for ALL, for instance. This is the first and we plan to have another one in two years. So this is international conferences.

This conference has the two key words of ESH – translational and interactive. So we want to have an overview of the disease from the basic science to the clinic, so this is really a translational approach, and to mix attendees coming from the clinician area to the lab. So really we have MD, we have PhD, we have MD PhD and also students because it’s a school so we do have also students and, again, clinicians, residents, doctorate or post-doc doctors. The aim is to create interaction, to create interaction between all these people and that’s really what we want to do within these international conferences. We do have some other formats of conferences like, for instance, clinical updates, smaller conferences but really oriented to clinical questions and patient management.

What have been the highlights of the meeting for you?

I’m quite happy with this first conference on ALL because the attendance is good and we do achieve what I just mentioned, I mean the mixture between scientists and clinicians. I prefer to have more interaction, to be frank, but it’s always difficult to stimulate the people to ask questions and to discuss with the others. But I’m quite happy with that and actually ALL is a good field because there is a lot of new treatment and new avenues coming from the lab to treat the patients so this is really a good field for this kind of conference. So I’m quite happy with that.

What is your vision for the future of ESH?

I think we will continue as we are doing currently because it’s relatively successful and I’m happy to see that my colleagues not only in Europe but also in America, for instance, or in Asia or Australia think that these conferences are very useful. Because there is a gap in the big meetings organised currently in haematology and we are filling this gap, at least partly. So I’m quite happy with that and we will continue. In terms of attendance we have achieved a plateau in terms of number of attendees, all these conferences, but the plateau is quite high and we will continue like that. We have limited resources as well so we cannot extend or enlarge these conferences more than this at the present time but we have initiated some collaboration with a pharmaceutical company to sponsor our conferences and maybe we can do better or larger in the next years.