ONCOLOGY co-editor-in-chief Julie M. Vose, MD, MBA, re-caps the 2021 American Society of Hematology conference and discusses which presentations were the most important.
The 2021 American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exposition (ASH 2021) took place in December in Atlanta, Georgia, and included an in-person event as well as a virtual platform. Presenters and attendees from the United States as well as many international locations were able to participate. Health and safety protocols due to COVID-19 were in place and followed carefully to try to prevent transmission for the in-person attendees. Thankfully, the virtual platform allowed many more attendees from around the world to view and participate in the meeting.
There were many sessions, round tables, and educational sessions on areas of high interest such as COVID-19 and the viral effects on patients with hematologic or thrombotic conditions, including some patients’ decreased ability to mount an immune response to COVID-19 vaccines. A focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion included informative sessions on barriers to clinical trial design and enrollment, availability of transplantation to minority patients, race and science, and lessons from a global pandemic.
The scientific and poster sessions were wide-ranging in the topics presented. The hybrid of in-person and virtual meetings in some ways was beneficial to the presenters in the ability to reach a much wider audience. The plenary session included an introducer for each abstract to discuss the background of the abstract topic. Topics of abstracts in the plenary session included:
I hope over the next few years the world becomes a safer place and we can get back to more normal educational and scientific sessions for the American Society of Hematology as well as other hematology and oncology meetings.