June 2021 Issue-6

Dear BSBMTCT member,


We hope all stays well with you. Despite the need for ongoing caution, related both to variants and easing of lockdown, there is increasing optimism and for most units the biggest challenges have been catching up on the backlog whilst delivering their ‘normally’ busy services.


Of course, vaccination remains an important part of progress and, as we write, over 43 million have now received their vaccinations in the UK. Our BSBMTCT COVID-19 guidelines and Vaccination guidelines are available on our website: https://bsbmtct.org/bsbmtct-and-covid/. The national multi-speciality OCTAVE Study of immune response post-COVID vaccination is now recruiting within the core and other IMPACT centres, with around 130 patients recruited to deep immunophenotyping and serology arms. Many thanks to all centres involved. Future (and imminent) plans include the follow on OCTAVEduo study – watch this space.


We extend our sincere congratulation to Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan who received an MBE for services to stem cell transplantation in the Queen’s Honours List. Also to our Infectious Diseases colleague, Dr Thushan de Silva, who is the co-lead of the HSCT/CART of OCTAVE, who received an MBE for services to Covid-19 research. Well deserved recognition and great for our UK BMT community!


Congrats to us too, and especially Matt Collin, who organised our Scientific Day in May. “Excellent speakers”, “Excellent organisation”, “Very informative and thought provoking talks” were some of the encouraging feedback we have received from our annual event held in May. Thank you to those who took time to give feedback and we very much look forward to seeing you all again at our next BSBMTCT Education Day on the 3rd November.


Otherwise, as always, there remains much on the ‘to do’ list…


  • The next EBMT Benchmarking reports are still on track to be ready at the end of June and is scheduled for the week beginning 28th June 2021. Please look out for the email from EBMT with further details regarding access. If you would like support with understanding the reports and accessing the reports, the BSBMTCT registry can help. To facilitate this process all Programme Directors MUST send an email to Benchmarking@ebmt.org explicitly giving BSBMTCT consent to access these reports (otherwise they will receive their report direct from EBMT).
  • We have a couple of upcoming new retrospective studies approved by the BSBMTCT CTC group:
    • CTCR-1902 Impact of prior PD1/PDL1 inhibition on patients with HL undergoing T-deplete AlloTx (K Peggs) – data collection in progress, 1st Deadline 30th July 2021
    • CTCR-2101 HSCT for TYA with haematological malignancies in the UK (G McIlroy, A Castleton, B Carpenter)
  • Rachael Hough and Sara Ghorashian are launching the Cellular Therapy Sub-committee and a two-hour inaugural virtual meeting will be held on 29th June for those who have expressed interest in being involved in supporting the Sub-committee in its objectives, which include advancing our understanding and supporting centres in ATMP delivery.
  • We continue to develop workforce, revised BMT indications, delivering accreditation remotely, modernising internal workings of the society and strengthening links with our key partners remain ongoing projects. .


We hope that you all are staying safe and well, mentally and physically – even though the restoration and recovery phases of the pandemic have come with the different, additional stresses of ‘catching-up’. The BSBMTCT will do its best to maintain high levels of support and direction for our community, and help each other deliver our treatments to our vulnerable patient population as the pandemic moves into the ‘endemic’ phase.


Our very best wishes,


John Snowden, Kim Orchard, Fiona Dignan, Deborah Richardson, Eduardo Olavarria, & Julia Lee


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