Blogs

Be the first person to recommend this.
ASTCT is calling for nominations to the Board of Directors, and there could not be a more exciting and rewarding time to get involved! The members of the ASTCT Board of Directors work diligently throughout the year to identify and implement strategy to strengthen our society and the blood and marrow transplantation and cellular therapy community. The enthusiasm, excitement, spirit of collaboration, and professional camaraderie associated with the advancement of our society is truly contagious. We have come so far—and talented and spirited leaders are needed to ensure that we continue to make progress. Serving on the Board offers a tremendous opportunity to make ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
It didn’t matter how much training Naoto T. Ueno had, how many patients he had seen in his lifetime and how many medical books he had read. When he was sitting there on the other side of the table—as a patient and not as a doctor—nothing seemed to prepare him for how he felt. “I was scared,” said Ueno, MD, PhD, FACP. “I thought, ‘Am I going to die?’ and if I did, was it going to be slow or fast? When I was working I tried to stop worrying about it, but at home with my family, I was like ‘I can’t think about the future. I can’t visualize myself five years from now.’”   In 2008, Ueno—a world-renowned breast cancer doctor and researcher at The University of ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
In this month’s Pharmacy SIG Literature Update: Cryotherapy as prophylaxis against oral mucositis, CD19 CAR T cells in non-Hodgkin lymphoma, risk of latent tuberculosis reactivation after HCT, fertility preservation in HCT patients and much more! Literature summaries are provided as information only. Please refer to the original published articles for complete details on study methodology, results and discussion. ***        Must read. Landmark publication that affects practice **           Recommend reading. Secondary paper that adds to literature *             Consider reading. Cursory importance to the practice Allogeneic Transplantation ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
By Mikaela VanMoorleghem, FACT Education and Training Coordinator FACT Announces Events at the 2020 TCT | Transplantation & Cellular Therapy Meetings of ASTCT and CIBMTR  Cellular Therapy Inspection and Accreditation Workshop – February 18 We invite you to join us for upcoming FACT events at the 2020 TCT Meetings!  FACT will conduct a Cellular Therapy Inspection & Accreditation workshop on February 18, 2019, at the World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida. This workshop will provide an immersive experience for personnel preparing for the accreditation process and a full day training session for FACT inspector trainees. Register for ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
On September 27, 2019 ASTCT submitted its comments to CMS on the CY2020 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule. The proposed rule was released on July 29, 2019. The proposed rule follows the directives from the Presidential Executive Order (EO) entitled “Improving Price and Quality Transparency in American Healthcare to Put Patients First.” According to CMS’ press release the EO, “lay[s] the foundation for a patient-driven healthcare system by making prices for items and services provided by all hospitals in the United States more transparent for patients so that they can be more informed about what they might pay for hospital items ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
On August 2, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) released the FY2020 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) final rule that includes payment policy for chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy. The American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT) has been working closely with CMS to improve reimbursement for CAR-T therapy and the data the agency collects on its delivery to assure appropriate patient access to this lifesaving therapy. Despite our advocacy efforts, ASTCT is disappointed in the agency’s final payment policy as it did not significantly improve the payment policy for FY 2020 nor did it position the agency ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
By Mikaela VanMoorleghem, FACT Education and Training Coordinator FACT-SBTMO Joint Accreditation Program Launched in Brazil Approximately 70 representatives of bone marrow transplant centers attended the FACT-SBTMO Accreditation Program Workshop on July 31, 2019; an initiative that is the result of the partnership between the Brazilian Society of Bone Marrow Transplant (SBTMO) and the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy.  The meeting clarified the requirements and the operational dynamics of the accreditation process for Brazilian cell therapy transplant centers. As Carlos Bachier and Phyllis Warkentin of the FACT Global Accreditation ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
August heralds the beginning of the end for summer. Children start heading back to school. The weather begins to turn crisp. Days get shorter. Leaves start showing hints of red and yellow – very soon they will detach from the stems that have nourished them and then wither away, only to be replaced by new leaves the following spring. A patient once poignantly compared this time of the year to transplant – the end of summer was like the onset of conditioning regimen when there was less sunshine in his life, followed by the "100 days" of fall and winter – but he was hopeful he would see spring again and subsequently enjoy many summers. He considered his stem ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Harmonization of Busulfan Plasma Exposure Units (BPEU): A Community-Initiated Consensus Statement Attendees Jitesh D Kawedia, BSPharm, PhD, R.Ph Clinical Pharmacy Specialist The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Wednesday, September 11, 2019 1pm PST/2pm CST/3 pm EST This event is open to all healthcare professionals for members and nonmembers of ASTCT Registration. Mark your calendar and reserve your seat for this webinar here . You will receive a confirmation e-mail along with a link to access the webinar on the day of the journal club presentation We look forward to your attendance! For additional questions regarding the ASTCT Pharmacy ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Following the successful examples of the international symposia focusing on GVHD and relapse after HCT, this symposium will bring together experts and thought leaders from around the world in the fields of HCT, cellular therapies, and related medical subspecialties. Speakers will discuss mechanisms of toxicities and symptom burden after HCT and cellular therapies, current advances in the field, and best practices to both prevent and treat these toxicities and symptoms. When: October 11-12, 2019 Where: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York Register her
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
In this month’s Pharmacy SIG Literature Update:  Autologous HCT in myeloma patients aged > 75 years, improved outcomes for male germ cell tumors, haploidentical hematopoietic cell and kidney transplantation for hematological malignancies and end-stage renal failure and much more! Literature summaries are provided as information only. Please refer to the original published articles for complete details on study methodology, results and discussion. ***        Must read. Landmark publication that affects practice **           Recommend reading. Secondary paper that adds to literature *             Consider reading. Cursory importance to the practice ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
To Dr. John Hansen, every patient was special. “Every patient that I’ve known, every patient that I’ve helped … every one of them is a precious experience,” Hansen said in an interview in 2018 . Hansen, 76, died peacefully at his home on July 31 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Hansen left a huge mark on the bone marrow transplant community, with one of his most notable contributions being the National Marrow Donor Program, now known as Be The Match. He played an integral role in understanding how to find suitable donors for each transplant patient, establishing registries of these donors and started collections of biological samples and data that ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Dr. Wesley Miller was quiet at times, but when he did speak, he was worth listening to. “He was an excellent listener,” said Dr. John Bantle, one of Miller’s close friends, and a former colleague at the University of Minnesota. “He was extremely insightful and the definition of integrity. If he got into something, he didn’t do anything halfway. He did it intensively.” Miller passed away peacefully at his home on July 15 at the age of 71 after a battle with cancer. Miller was considered a pioneer at the University of Minnesota for his work in bone marrow and stem cell transplantation. He worked there for more than 40 years and was an early proponent of ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
On Aug. 8, ASTCT President Navneet Majhail, MD, MS, submitted a letter to the Director of Coverage and Analysis Group at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Tamara Syrek Jensen, JD. In it, Majhail lauded CMS for their Decision Memo on CAR T-cell Therapy for Cancers. From Majhail's letter:  "The American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT) is very pleased with the recent coverage announcement from The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the Decision Memo for Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell Therapy for Cancers (CAG- 00451N). The Society appreciates the opportunity to work closely with the Agency on this National ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
The ASTCT Pharmacy Special Interest Group (SIG) Program Planning and Education Committees have launched the Online Enduring Case Presentations from this year's ASTCT Pharmacists Conference. This joint venture is a benefit provided to those practicing in hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) who are seeking continuing education, but were unable to attend the 2019 TCT Meetings of ASTCT and CIBMTR or missed the ASTCT Pharmacists Conference. If interested, please see below for more information. Courses (FACT credit available) : Evolving Treatment Options for AML by Dr. Lydia Benitez, PharmD, BCOP How I Treat Steroid-Refractory Acute GVHD by Dr. Amin Alousi, ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
By Mikaela VanMoorleghem, FACT Education and Training Coordinator Help FACT Design Education Just for YOU   We would like to hear from YOU! FACT wants to provide the education that you need. Please help us develop education that is tailored to fit your needs by filling out this short 3-question survey. Complete the  Education Suggestions  survey. -- Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation Publishes Article on FACT Clinical Outcome Review Process The journal Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BBMT) has electronically published the article, Integration of Publicly Reported Center Outcomes into Standards and Accreditation: ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
In this month’s Pharmacy SIG Literature Update:  PD-1 blockade with pembrolizumab for classical Hodgkin lymphoma after autologous stem cell transplantation, high-dose bendamustine and melphalan conditioning for patients with multiple myeloma, a mortality analysis of letermovir prophylaxis for CMV and much more! Literature summaries are provided as information only. Please refer to the original published articles for complete details on study methodology, results and discussion. ***        Must read. Landmark publication that affects practice **           Recommend reading. Secondary paper that adds to literature *             Consider reading. Cursory ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
Updates from CMS ASTCT and the American Society of Hematology had a joint call with members of CMS’ Hospital and Ambulatory Policy Group to reiterate our recommendations to improve payment for CAR-T therapy in FY 2020 and to share our early thinking about how to reimburse equitably for the therapy in FY 2021 and beyond. Dr. Dianna Howard, co-chair of the new ASTCT Government Relations Committee, participated in the call and shared the challenges they are facing at Wake Forest establishing a CAR-T program because of the institution’s concerns about reimbursement. We expect CMS to release the final FY 2020 Inpatient Prospective Payment System rule in early ...
0 comments
Be the first person to recommend this.
At academic medical institutions in the USA, July tends to be hectic as they welcome a fresh crop of residents and fellows. Most of our incoming hematology-oncology fellows have not had any exposure to BMT or cell therapy during residency, which is a rather unfortunate reality of the how our current internal medicine training is structured nationwide. Our team provides an “Orientation to BMT/cell therapy” session where we talk about navigating the BMT rotation and managing common issues they may need to address when on call. I take advantage of their naivety by telling them that if they don’t review and sign off on our program SOP’s on time, "our program will ...
0 comments
2 people recommend this.
By Akshay Sharma, MBBS -- St. Jude Children's Research Hospital As I was flying over the Rocky Mountains on my late afternoon Delta flight, enjoying the views of the snow-covered peaks and skiing trails below, I did not know that the next few days were going to be one of the most transformative experiences of my transplant career so far. I had been to a few clinical research courses in the past and they all were great and educational in their own unique ways. But none of the one’s that I had attended previously had been in particular career a defining one. As I landed in Salt Lake City Airport and was waiting for some of my course mates to arrive, ...
0 comments