You’ve heard about the breadth of ISCT translational know-how, now experience the depth of expertise on offer during the ISCT 2019 Pre-Conference Day. This can’t miss program will feature 6 deep-dives on unique and distinct areas within the field of CGT clinical translation. Pre-conference tracks will bring together world-renowned leaders, with expertise spanning cord blood biology, clinical MSC, cell processing, regulatory affairs, accreditation and more.
Cord Blood Series Pre-Conference Track Spotlight
A Vital Donor Source: 5 Questions With Dr. Ngaire Elwood, PhD
Australia and New Zealand, Regional Vice-President, ISCT
Like bone marrow and peripheral blood, umbilical cord blood is a rich source of life-saving stem cells for transplantation. This innovative area has an important and growing role in the treatment of leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia and other life-threatening diseases across the globe. That is why ISCT will be holding its fifth annual Cord Blood Series as part of the Pre-Conference Day at the ISCT 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting in Melbourne from May 29 to June 1. In partnership with the Cord Blood Association and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, these exciting sessions will look into the latest advancements in cord blood biology for cell expansion, immunotherapy, and treatment of neurological disorders, along with an analysis of cell source and the implications on CGT translation.
We spoke to conference co-chair Dr. Ngaire Elwood about the importance of the timely Cord Blood Series and why you should be attending these innovative sessions.
As a lab director or technologist, why should you attend this track?
This track will provide a state-of-the-art update in where the cord blood field is placed in 2019 and where it is heading over the next decade. These are exciting times! To have such a bringing together of the experts in the field, all within one place, is a unique opportunity to be embraced. The decline in the use of cord blood for bone marrow transplant in some hospitals and countries has led to a feeling of pessimism in some areas of the field. Attendance at the cord blood series track at this meeting will allow attendees to see that the cord blood sector is alive and well, that cord blood is still a vital donor source for bone marrow transplants and that we are on the cusp of a whole new era in using cord blood for cellular and regenerative therapies. The presentation of technical details and results of clinical trials will be of interest to all, including technologists and lab directors.
How has attending previous ISCT-CBA Cord Blood Series events benefited your career?
It has allowed me to always be up to date on the latest advances in the field. It has also provided an important opportunity to meet and network with others in the field and ask questions of the experts in a smaller and targeted forum.
Which session topic or speaker are you most looking forward to seeing in this track at ISCT 2019 Melbourne?
All of it! As director of a public cord blood bank and head of a cord blood stem cell research program I am interested in all aspects – from cord blood transplant outcomes, cord blood banking insights, quality and regulatory aspects and cord blood for cellular and regenerative therapies.
Outside of this pre-conference track, what sessions or topics in the main program will address an unmet need in the cord blood/banking industry?
The Cord Blood Hot Topics session on Saturday morning – to have some of the world’s best cord blood transplant physicians speaking back-to-back in a one-hour session is fantastic! We need all BMT physicians to come and hear these talks. We will also be hearing throughout the conference how cord blood is being used to make iPSC lines for potential clinical use, and how MSCs and other cells from cord blood are being used in clinical trials.
How does this track differentiate itself from other Cord Blood workshops or events?
The CBA-pre conference day is focused on the new era of cord blood use for cell and gene therapies. This theme is continued throughout the body of the main meeting with presentations involving the use of cord blood integrated into areas such as MSCs, immunotherapy, pluripotent stem cells, while also providing state of the art use of cord blood for bone marrow transplants.