We are living a decisive moment for the hematology specialty, marked by precision therapy, techniques of massive molecular diagnosis, promising new treatments for hematological malignancies, and the introduction of gene therapy and cell therapy; developments that have transformed the landscape making now possible to treat and chronify deadly diseases. These, among other relevant topics were discussed during the National Congress of the Spanish Society of Hematology and Hemotherapy (SEHH) that was held in Granada from October 11 to 13, 2018.
The Congress, which celebrated its 60th anniversary, consolidated once again as the most important scientific appointment of the specialty, and addressed the main challenges of the specialty such as the progress of CART-T therapy, the optimization of bone marrow transplants, advances in the techniques of genomic diagnosis in Hemato-Oncology, the updating in the field of lymphomas, the achievements obtained with new oncological drugs, the lack of public resources for research and the management of big data.
It is well known that big data is one of the great challenges in medicine. As HARMONY´s partners we know the analysis of a huge amount of information from massive genome analysis, phenotypic data and epidemiological data opens new challenges in the field of medicine. The computerized records of large databases will enable new expectations from analysis that will help to better understand diseases and the efficacy and safety of treatments, which will probably have a significant impact on health policy. That´s exactly what HARMONY offers, and that´s why it is so imperative to integrate clinicians, researchers, academia, data managers, and patient representatives in the processes how to record the information we generate, and how that information is shared and analyzed.
Even though only in an educational way, another important topic presented was the commitment to achieve that the period of training of hematologists be at least five years. Being a broad specialty, moving from 4 to 5 years would facilitate the acquisition of the necessary skills for professional development in hematology and hemotherapy with its clinical aspect, laboratory and hemotherapy, in addition to equipping us with European training, as it was stated in the Madrid Declaration signed in the last 2017 EHA congress.
The SEHH national congress welcomed an estimated attendance of more than 1,600 hematologists and professionals from related fields, both national and international, and 868 communications of very high level. In parallel to the congress, for the sixth consecutive year, the SEHH organized a joint symposium with the European Hematology Association (EHA), entitled "Innovation in Hematology: present and future."
The specialty of Hematology and Hemotherapy (recognized in Spain since 1955) has become one of the medical disciplines that have made the biggest progress in their knowledge and technology during the last decades. The clinical and biological advances have allowed a better understanding of the hematological disease (especially blood cancer), reaching levels of remarkable maturity and ensuring the future of increasingly multidisciplinary teams.
About the Spanish Society of Hematology and Hemotherapy (SEHH): The SEHH is a scientific society whose purpose is the promotion, development and dissemination of the integrity and content of the specialty of Hematology and Hemotherapy in its medical, scientific, organizational, welfare, teaching and research. Hematology as a specialty covers all aspects related to the physiology of blood and hematopoietic organs, the diagnosis and treatment of benign and malignant diseases of the blood, the study of the hemostasis and coagulation system, and all aspects related to the transfusional medicine, including the transplantation of hematopoietic progenitors. The professional function of the hematologist covers all aspects of the specialty.
The SEHH, with 59 years of life, is today an organization with important scientific impact. Many of the more than 2,600 professionals that form it are internationally recognized figures and contribute to make Hematology one of the most prestigious parts of Spanish medicine abroad.
The obstruction of the progress of science and excellence in medical care, through the implementation of economic measures or trying to break down the specialty and break the functional unit that requires hematological patient care, is a matter of concern particularly to the SEHH. The Society considers that for optimal patient care it is essential to have access to medical advances, encourage research and have well-trained and highly qualified specialists in the management of hematological diseases.
Blog by Prof. Natacha Natacha Bolaños, Lymphoma Coalition, HARMONY Partner
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