The 52nd American Society of Hematology annual meeting was held in Orlando, Florida, December 4-7, 2010. The meeting included more than 4,000 new abstracts discussing various aspects of benign and malignant hematologic disorders, as well as basic scientific research with promise for future clinical application.
Among the highlights of the meeting were the top six abstracts, which made it to the plenary session. In abstract 6, patients with low-grade lymphoma were randomized to Rituximab versus watch-and-wait strategy for stage II, III, and IV asymptomatic non-bulky follicular lymphoma. The study showed that Rituximab improved freedom from progression and delayed time for next chemotherapy treatment.
Abstract 2 discussed the potential for using the anopheline orthologs of the human erythroid heme-exporter, FLVCR, exporting receptor as a potential target to inhibit plasmodium transmission potentially through vaccine therapy. Such an approach, if successful, could result in future reduction in the rate of malaria infections worldwide.
Dr. Maria Grazia Roncarlo discussed the scientific background for correction of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome by hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy – an approach which may, in the future, find its way to correcting other disorders through gene therapy.
In addition to multiple educational sessions, exhibits, and oral presentation of important abstracts, the ASH meeting also highlighted the healthcare reform, with a presentation from Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel. He gave an insider’s perspective from the White House on the future of healthcare reform, comparative research, and payment systems with focus cost effectiveness.
Overall, this year’s ASH event was successful in meeting the expectations of healthcare providers and in highlighting the steady progress in finding effective solutions for malignant and benign hematologic disorders.
Al E. Soltan, M.D.
Georgia Cancer Specialists
1700 Hospital South Drive, Suite 102
Austell, Georgia 30106
Georgia Cancer Specialists is a Top 10 private cancer practice in the U.S. and a leader in advanced cancer treatment and research. The practice supports more than 200,000 patient visits each year. GCS offers community-based medical oncology and hematology services and is the first private oncology practice to also provide a full range of support services for patients in Georgia, including nutritional counseling, pain management, wellness counseling, and home health coordination. The GCS research department, whose focus is bringing targeted cancer therapy to communities, is the first in Georgia to offer Phase I clinical trials, the most novel cancer therapies available. GCS has 29 offices, 44 physicians, and more than 500 support staff members located in Metro Atlanta, North and Central Georgia, Southeast Tennessee, and Southwest North Carolina. Georgia Cancer Specialists can be found on the web at www.gacancer.com. GCS is The Cancer Answer.