Even a monster snowstorm could not keep the crowds from the annual BMT Tandem Meetings in Salt Lake City, Utah last month, as more than 3,500 physicians, researchers and other health care professionals gathered to share the latest developments in transplant and cell therapy.
The conference brings together the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT) and the CIBMTR® (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research®), which itself is a research collaboration between the National Marrow Donor Program®/Be The Match® and the Medical College of Wisconsin.
To better capture the breadth of the conference – which covers everything from hematopoietic cell transplantation to advances in other forms of cellular therapies such as chimeric antigen receptor targeted T-cell (CAR-T) cancer treatment – organizers plan to change the name next year to the Transplant & Cellular Therapy Meetings.
This year’s sessions included updates on clinical trials and a full slate of scientific discussions – some of which drew standing-room-only crowds.
“There was a lot of excitement about CAR-T and other developments in the cellular therapy space, such as ex vivo expansion and immunotherapy,” said Chris McClain, who heads up business development for Be The Match BioTherapies.
Be The Match BioTherapies sent a robust team to join McClain at the conference, including Amy Ronneberg, president; Amy Hines, director of collection network management; Caleb Kennedy, PhD, senior manager of bioinformatics research; Julie Smolich, vice president of product management; Jamie Margolis, PhD, director of product development operations; and Evan Babekuhl, a senior integrated marketing specialist.
In a conference center buzzing with energy, the team caught up with industry partners, learned about the latest developments in cellular therapies, and celebrated how far the transplant industry has come in recent years. “It’s always a very valuable conference, addressing the most pressing issues in hematopoietic cell transplantation and cellular therapies more broadly,” McClain said.
And next year, participants won’t have to worry about snow: The 2019 meetings will take place in Houston, Texas.