The American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT), a professional society dedicated to advancing the science and clinical care for patients who require blood and marrow transplants, today announced it has changed its name to the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT) in recognition of the rapid shift toward cellular therapies in this field of medicine. The ASTCT name will better reflect the organization’s commitment to serving as the professional home and community for healthcare providers, researchers, and other professionals who are dedicated to cures involving blood and marrow transplantation and cellular therapies.
The new name was announced at the annual Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Meetings, which the organization is hosting with the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) from Feb. 20 to 24 in Houston, Texas. The ASTCT name was chosen to acknowledge the rapid shift toward cellular therapies, and to reflect the organization’s 25 years of leadership in that field, along with transplantation.
“Our focus on cellular therapy and transplantation is certainly not new – and we felt our name needed to better reflect our focus and expertise in both fields,” explained Dr. Navneet Majhail, Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at the Cleveland Clinic and newly appointed ASTCT President. “There is an increasing emphasis on new cell therapies, and it is important that we educate and engage those in the field who have not worked in the transplantation arena, but are focused on cell therapies. We needed to communicate our expertise in cell therapies in order to best collaborate on research and improve the quality of care for patients undergoing these treatments. Of course, we are also excited to continue important work with our core constituency in the field of transplantation as well.”
The name change comes at a time when the ASTCT is providing critical leadership in cell therapy. The organization coordinated a consensus conference last month, and released a paper on chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy that proposes a new consensus grading scale for toxicities to be applied across clinical trials, academic research and commercial product development. (CAR) T cell therapy is considered one of the most promising new treatments for patients battling relapsed and refractory leukemia, lymphoma and other forms of cancer.
“Our organization has done great work under the ASBMT name, and our research and advancements in transplantation and cell therapy will continue to grow moving forward as ASTCT,” noted outgoing ASTCT President, Dr. John DiPersio MD, PhD. “This name change, along with recent contributions we’ve made to the grading scale in (CAR) T cell therapy, demonstrate our desire to include and engage medical professionals and researchers from all fields of study that are relevant to our mission.
About the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy
The American Society of Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT), formerly known as the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, is a professional society of more than 2,200 individuals from over 45 countries. The society is dedicated to advancing the science and clinical care for patients who require blood and marrow transplants, and cellular therapy, for blood cancers and other deadly diseases.