It is my privilege as President of the Association to report on the recent news and major achievements during the last few months.
The annual meeting of the EXCO took place in Basel, Switzerland from January 26-29, 2023. Fortunately, the post-congress evaluation of the Florence meeting in September 2022 showed excellent scores for the venue, the scientific program and the overall organisation.
Participants registered for the hybrid event (first time) gave high scores on the evaluation. With such a positive result across the board, the Florence meeting contributed greatly to the financial stability of the Association.
However, “after the congress is before the congress…..”, so the board worked intensively to delineate a timely and interesting scientific program for the 2024 meeting in Dubrovnik, Croatia from 21-26 September.
The overarching theme of the Dubrovnik 2024 lymphoma symposium will be “Novel Mechanisms in Lymphomagenesis”, with the following 5 sessions:
1) Clonal lymphoid hematopoiesis
2) Epigenetics in lymphomagenesis
3) Lymphoproliferations associated with germline abnormalities
4) New frontiers in lymphoma treatment
5) Recent advances session, including a keynote lecture that will deal with “artificial intelligence
and lymphoma diagnosis”
The corresponding lymphoma workshop is entitled “Exploring the boundaries between neoplastic and reactive lymphoproliferations”, with the following 5 sessions:
1) Atypical lymphoproliferations with germline or acquired gene variants
2) Atypical lymphoproliferations associated with therapeutic intervention
3) Indolent pediatric lymphomas
4) The morphological spectrum of Castleman’s disease and related disorders
5) Lymphoid neoplasms with indolent behaviour (clonal lymphoproliferations with indolent
More details about deadlines for abstract and case submission, specifications of cases suitable for the workshop, congress registration etc will follow in due time.
As you know, up until now all contracts have been signed by the foundation “Europese Stichting voor Haematopathologie” (ESVH) as EA4HP has not been registered as a legal body. Recognising the need for greater autonomy, the General Assembly approved and mandated the EXCO to formally register EA4HP as a non-profit Association, to which members will pay their membership fee.
After thorough evaluation of several proposals addressing the ideal country of registration for EA4HP (Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands), the Netherlands was identified as the best option. The foundation is already registered there, our bank accounts are located in the Netherlands and Quality Company Support (QCS) is located in Leiden, the Netherlands. The EXCO decided to go ahead with registration in the Netherlands and Danny Douwes from QCS, representative of our Association secretariat, has officially started the process.
ICC/WHO tumour classification
A serious current challenge for all of us is the situation with the two classifications: the International Consensus Classification (ICC) and the 5th edition WHO. Regrettably, there is no mechanism in place to unify these two systems within a short period, which implies that we will deal with two parallel classifications for the next several years.
On these grounds, both the EA4HP and the SH recommend that – for optimal patient care, transparency and the integrity of our specialty – we should learn and become flexible using both classifications in our reports. This will undoubtedly complicate our daily work, but it is essential to ensure patient safety. This situation will also offer an opportunity to highlight areas of controversy which will foster new research to resolve these in the future on scientific grounds.
Training and educational activities, such as the Society’s workshops (EA4HP & SH), Webinars, Case presentations etc, will provide both WHO and ICC diagnoses.
It is my declared aim as President of the Society to prevent further divisions and to initiate and support activities leading to a unified and generally accepted classification. Until then, we must stop assigning ourselves or one another to a particular “camp” but should approach each other openly, learn from each other and work towards a common goal.
After the successful workshop in Florence, 5 workshop reports are about to be submitted to Virchows Archiv where they will appear as a mini-review series soon. So stay tuned.
The five reports will cover:
Emerging entities: high-grade/large B-cell lymphoma with 11q aberrations, large B-cell
lymphoma with IRF4 rearrangement, and new molecular subgroups in large B-cell
Cavity-based lymphomas: challenges and novel concepts
The many faces of nodal and splenic marginal zone lymphomas
Cytotoxic peripheral T-cell lymphomas and EBV-positive T/NK-cell lymphoproliferative
diseases: emerging concepts, recent advances and the role of clonal hematopoiesis.
Follicular helper T-cell lymphomas: disease spectrum, relationship with clonal hematopoiesis
In addition to our biennial congress, EA4HP continues to provide and support educational activities in a variety of formats. Our Webinar series has been well received to date and we have further webinars scheduled for June, October and December 2023, and beyond. Invitations to register come to members via the EA4HP membership list and from our congress organisers MCI, so please check that your contact details are up to date.
There will be three EA4HP organised sessions at the European Congress of Pathology taking place in Dublin from 9-13 September 2023 and, in conjunction with the Chinese Society for Hematopathology and the Society for Hematopathology, we are organising a workshop on “Histiocytic/dendritic cell proliferations, neoplasms and mimics”.
This exciting development will take place in Hefei, Anhui Province China, on 13-14 April 2024. More details will follow but a hybrid format is anticipated.
Finally, do not forget to check the EA4HP website regularly for details of, and links to other relevant haematopathology events, including the 2023 SH-EA4HP Workshop, the Edinburgh Haematopathology Tutorial and the Euroclonality Workshop. These, and others, can be found on the Events/Meeting Archive page (https://www.european-association-for-haematopathology.org/shop/).
In addition and of potential interest to our members, USCAP is organising a course entitled “Update on Hematopathology classification: The international consensus classification perspective”.
The introduction of the International Consensus Classification (ICC) of myeloid and lymphoid neoplasms and publication of the proposed 5th edition World Health Organization (WHO) classification is the latest stage in the classification of haematological neoplasms and both classifications further expand the clinical, morphologic, immunophenotypic and molecular genetic criteria for diagnosis.
This course will present what is new in the classification and how the ICC and proposed 5th edition WHO compare. At also will include disease specific lectures as well as the opportunity to join experts in interactive microscopy sessions to gain practical knowledge and how to implement the new disease classifications into practice.
The next meeting will take place at the Congress Centre of Valamar Lacroma hotel in Dubrovnik, located approximately 4 km from Dubrovnik Old Town. We are preparing an exciting social program including the Networking dinner at the Copacabana beach near the congress venue, so don’t miss it!
A number of yEA4HP project proposals were presented and discussed at the EXCO meeting in January. A number of these are progressing to the next stage and will be discussed at the inaugural yEA4HP General Meeting on 12th of June 2023.
All current and prospective yEA4HP members are welcome. For further details, please refer to the new and improved website.
On behalf of the Board of the European Association for Haematopathology.