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Letter from the Editor

Prof. Gert Ossenkoppele, Amsterdam UMC, the Netherlands
ASH 2021
Dear Reader,

It is with great pleasure to introduce this peer-reviewed ASH 2021 Medicom Conference Report. Although it was organised as a hybrid meeting, most of you stayed home and followed the conference virtual. I wonder whether this will be the future of major congresses. As always, the ASH annual meeting is a great event to which everyone is looking forward. Also, this years meeting turned out to represent a wonderful programme. From this years’ ASH we selected a number of interesting abstracts that will most likely change your daily practice now or in the near future. The abstracts are summarised in a way that the information is easy to digest in a rather short time.

The rapidly evolving field of immunotherapy including bispecific antibody and CAR T-cell treatment applied in a variety of haematological malignancies was also this year of major importance. Gene therapy is now rapidly moving from bench to bedside, resulting in new treatments for haemoglobinopathies and haemophilia. Treatment of AML, a disease in which no new developments emerged for a long time, is rapidly changing with the development of new effective targeted treatments and successful maintenance treatment. But also in the other malignant and non-malignant haematological diseases, new drugs are rapidly developed and approved by the regulatory authorities. Measurable residual disease becomes an important surrogate endpoint for outcome in many hematological malignancies.

You will find snapshots of all these new developments in this report. I hope that these are helpful in your daily practice and am sure you will enjoy.


Gert Ossenkoppele


Gert Ossenkoppele was appointed in 2003 as professor of Hematology at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam. He obtained his doctorate of medicine at that same University in 1977. He is board certified in Hematology and Internal medicine (1984). The title of his PhD thesis (1990) was: ‚ÄĚDifferentiation induction in AML‚ÄĚ. Gert Ossenkoppele has authored over 450 publications in peer-reviewed journals and is invited speaker at many national and international scientific meetings. His research interests is mainly translational and include the (stem cell) biology of AML, leukemic stem cell target discovery, immunotherapy and measurable residual disease (MRD) detection using flow cytometry to inform treatment of AML. He is PI of national and international clinical trials in myeloid malignancies. He is reviewer on a regular basis for many high impact hematological journals (Blood, Leukemia, Haematologica, JAMA Oncology, Lancet Oncology NEJM). He chairs the AML working party of HOVON (Dutch-Belgian Hematology Trial Group) and recently stepped down as vice-chair of the HOVON Executive Board. He is a lead participant of the AML Work package of the European LeukemiaNet(ELN) as well as a board member of the ELN foundation. He co-leads the AML WP of HARMONY. He rotated of as board member of the European Hematology Association and was very recently appointed as vice-chair of the EHA Educational Committee. He just rotated off as chair of the AML Scientific working group of EHA and is now a member of this group. He is member of the Global and EU steering committee of the AMLGlobalPortal an educational portal for hematologists (www.amlglobalportal.com). He chairs the institutional DSMB of his University. He has now because of retirement an honorary position as hematologist at the Amsterdam University Medical Center.

Conflicts of Interest

Prof. Gert Ossenkoppele received research support from Novartis, J&J and BMS-Celgene. He functions as a consultant for J&J, Daiichi-Sanyko, BMS-Celgene, Servier, and Roche. Lastly, he is a member of the advisory boards of Novartis, Pfizer, Abbvie, J&J, Daiichi-Sanyko, BMS-Celgene, AGIOS, Amgen, Astellas, Roche, Jazz pharmaceuticals, and Merus.

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