Updates in Hematology Conference, 2/2/19

One of the greatest strengths of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center (HCCC) at the University of Iowa is its ability to tap experts from a variety of disciplines to collaborate in new ways. At the tail end of the inaugural Updates in Hematology CME conference, some of those innovative collaborations were featured.

Melissa Bates, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Health and Human Physiology described how to incorporate exercise and movement for transfusion inpatients more effectively. Sharathkumar Bhagavathi, MBBS, MD, detailed just how specialized and cutting-edge his department’s Molecular Pathology Laboratory is compared to many other institutions.

These presentations had just as much potential to transform attendees’ practice as ones earlier in the day. Those followed more traditional paths, but no less interesting and insightful. Steven Lentz, MD, PhD, section chief of Hematology and director of the Medical Scientist Training Program, began the day with a welcome to attendees before handing off to Michael Tomasson, MD, professor in Internal Medicine and course director for the event. Tomasson, who is also director of the Hematopoietic Malignancies Section within the HCCC, served as emcee for the day, introducing speakers and making sure the nearly-day-long conference stayed on schedule.

With a view of snow-covered Kinnick Stadium just behind them, it was easy for attendees and presenters to approach topics in terms of teamwork. And, as Tomasson made clear, those three dozen or so in attendance–mostly members of University of Iowa Health Care themselves–were already on the same team. That awareness and the closeness of the room gave the day’s proceedings a relaxed atmosphere without a loss in scientific rigor in the material and discussions.

Those discussions included and were led by:

  • Yogesh Jethava, MD, on new drug combinations for multiple myeloma
  • Carlos Vigil, MD, on how genomics has affected treatments for MDS and AML
  • Grerk Sutamtewagul, MD, on the variety of diffuse large B-cell lymphomas
  • Umar Farooq, MD, on CAR-T cell therapies and new data on its implementation
  • Michael Tomasson, MD, on the changing landscape of acute lymphocytic leukemia

As the day drew to a close, Tomasson reminded attendees of one more element, which promised to bring dramatic change to the hematologists’ practice within University of Iowa Health Care. The new two-months-old Blood and Marrow Transplantation Unit, the first of its kind in the state, should serve as a stronger platform to provide more care to more people and in an environment that will allow for new discovery as well.

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