Haematology in action
The two-day 13th Annual Haematology Oncology Symposium was held at Lagoon Beach Hotel, Cape Town in October.
It can be agreed that many attendees were particularly excited for a face-to-face conference after a long period of virtual meetings. As Dr Hannes Koornhof, Chairman of The South African Clinical Haematology Society (SACHaS), said, “This year’s conference is a particularly special one owing to the prolonged period of separation we have been through in the past 18 months. It was perhaps a controversial decision, given the times, to proceed with a physical conference. The desire for a physical meeting, however, was tangible and ubiquitous throughout the community.”
Dr Michael Cass, Secretary of SACHaS, added, “We are pleased with the success of the conference; we hosted a record number of delegates and there were a large number of virtual delegates too.
The speakers delivered high-quality presentations and robust discussions were held after each session. The exhibition hall was well-supported by the pharmaceutical industry. We are enormously grateful to the sponsors for having made this event possible.”
All the speakers were international speakers who gave virtual talks due to international travel restrictions. The six keynote speakers were:
- Dr Andrew Davies, a professor of Haematological Oncology in the Cancer Sciences Unit in the Faculty of Medicine, University Hospital Southampton, UK;
- Prof Gianluca Gaidano, a professor of Haematology at the Medical School of the Amedeo Avogadro University of Eastern Piedmont, Novara, Italy;
- Professor Claire Harrison, a clinical director and consultant at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, UK;
- Professor Phillipe Moreau, Head of the Translational Research Programme at the University Hospital of Nantes, France;
- Dr Farhad Ravandi, Chief of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in the Department of Leukaemia at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre, USA;
- Prof Giuseppe Saglio, a professor of Haematology and Internal Medicine at the University of Turin, Italy.
Oral and poster presentation winners
The Best Oral Presentation was awarded to Dr Shaheen Mowla (University of Cape Town) for her presentation on HIV-1 protein Tat co-operates with JunB in enhancing MYC expression in HIV-associated Burkitt lymphoma.
The Best Poster Presentation went to Dr Robyn Marshall (Oncolab/Alberts Cellular Therapy) for her poster presentation on Assessment of Thermosfischer Oncomine Leader-J assay for testing IGHV SHM status in CLL.
Both winners will receive a sponsored 63rd Annual Meeting and Exposition of the American Society of Haematology (ASH) virtual conference registration.
A half-day nurses symposium was also held on the first day of the conference. The speakers included Eileen Claassens, Rowan Robinson, Ina Strijbis, Drina Heyns, Pam Chetty, Andrea Brummer, Lidia Marais, Kirstie van Blerk, and Caroline Rich. The nurses symposium was well-attended and showed the compassion, care and skill it takes to be a nurse.
Photos by Brent Abrahams