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The field of immunotherapy has generated novel immune-based strategies and improved the utility of existing treatment options for various hematologic diseases. As such, ASH has had an enduring interest in improving immunotherapies for all hematologic diseases. This is evident in the Society’s programs and activities supporting this research priority and in the creation of a dedicated Task Force on Immunotherapies.

The task force has focused its recent efforts on improved access to clinical trials, fostering scientific exchange in the field of immunotherapy as it relates to hematology, and establishing strategic collaborations aimed at developing resources for management of adverse events resulting from the use of immunotherapies.

Specifically, ASH has a goal of building on the scientific discussions that began at the 2018 ASH Summit on Emerging Immunotherapies for Hematologic Diseases. To continually address the important scientific questions that are relevant to developing and applying immunotherapies for the treatment of hematologic diseases, ASH will offer another immunotherapy summit to be held in Washington, DC, in spring of 2021. In addition to spring-boarding from the previous event, the forthcoming summit will explore why immunotherapies fail in certain patients, addressing current critical limitations of these therapies, exploring ways to improve widespread use, and addressing the application of these therapies in nonmalignant hematologic diseases. More details about the summit will be available in early 2020.

In addition to the summit, ASH has collaborated with the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) to develop a four-hour joint session titled “Lessons and Challenges from the Immunotherapy of Hematologic Malignancies: Informing the Next Generation of Cancer Immunotherapies.” The session was co-chaired by Katayoun Rezvani, MD, PhD (ASH Co-chair) and John M. Timmerman, MD (SITC Co-chair), and took place November 7, 2019. 

With respect to clinical trials, ASH and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society are collaborating to enhance physician and patient access to clinical trials for hematologic malignancies. The result is a free clinical trial resource that clinicians can use to identify appropriate trials that their patients could benefit from. Read more about this resource in Sunday’s ASH News Daily.



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