October 2021 Issue 10

Dear BSBMTCT member,

We can’t believe it’s the end of October already, the daylight is getting shorter, and the clocks going back this weekend! However, we hope all remains well with you and your teams and coping with the daily challenges.

Otherwise, as always, there remains much happening…

• Our BSBMTCT Education Day will be held on Wednesday 3rd November 2021. Registration remains open. Full details can be found on our website https://bsbmtct.org/events/bsbmtct-education-day-2021. We have a record number of registrants – approaching 300 – and the advantage of a virtual meeting is the there is room for more! We will remember Maria Gilleece, and her contributions and special interests.
• Importantly, we will be holding a virtual General Meeting during the Education day at 1.30-2.00pm. This is open to all Programme Directors (or delegates) with the intention of endorsing important updates necessary to modernise functioning and delivery of our Society across its membership. Programme Directors have been sent relevant information, including re-naming, broadening of membership and structure. Programme Directors – please attend or return proxy forms to Julia.Lee@kcl.ac.uk. Link details will be sent out soon. We hope to see all centres represented in this important exercise.
• In addition, we are planning to appoint three new members to our Executive Committee via elections soon to deliver specific and essential roles in our Society, covering Guidelines, Workforce and Indications.
• The next BSBMTCT CTC Meeting will be fully virtual and will be held on Thursday 25th November 2021 between 11-3pm. Agenda and link details to follow.
• Another important development in our community has been the announcement of plans for the succession of the IMPACT Clinical Trials Network, communicated to all IMPACT centres and to Programme Directors last week. IMPACT has reached the milestone of a successful pilot phase, but will be succeeded by a more sustainable model, Accelerating Clinical Trials, which aims to be more inclusive across centres with greater access for patients to investigator-led and commercial clinical trials. For more information please discuss with your Programme Director, who can provide relevant contacts in this transition period.
• COVID and all of its complexities remain an issue as the pandemic moves on through into the winter pressures and the return of seasonal viruses. Ongoing challenges are many, not the least, communication with primary care in relation to post-transplant re-vaccinations and the third primary dose of vaccine.
• The national OCTAVE Study of immune response post-COVID vaccination completed recruitment within the core and other IMPACT centres, with a final total of 198 HSCT patients (amongst over 2500 patients across other clinically extremely vulnerable groups). Many thanks to all centres involved. The OCTAVE DUO Study compares responses in low and non-responders to Pfizer and Moderna booster vaccines and has recruited around 30 HSCT patients. We have received generous support from BCUK and Anthony Nolan to extend the recruitment and screening costs for 80 HSCT and 80 CAR-T to give meaningful results in our patients. As our patients rolling through post-transplant re-vaccinations, we hope to be able to these goals in the next months. IMPACT will help with this goal (and hopefully achieve its 1000th patient).
• Otherwise, our BSBMTCT COVID-19 guidelines and vaccination guidelines https://bsbmtct.org/bsbmtct-and-covid/ are in progress and will be published in November. Key points will be regarding the need for continued surveillance and updates on stem cell cryopreservation.

Our very best wishes. Hoping to see many of you at next week’s Educational Meeting. Stay positive, kind & strong!

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