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The 55th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans

written by

Leukaemia Care, Charity

  • American Society of Heamotology

(Yes I know, that’s not the way we spell haematology over in the UK, but that is the way the Society spells it, so etiquette dictates and all that!  Fortunately from this point on, we can call it ASH.)

ASH is the world’s largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatments of blood disorders. The mission of the Society is to further the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the blood, bone marrow, and the immunologic, haemostatic and vascular systems, by promoting research, clinical care, education, training, and advocacy in haematology.

As well as the huge number of health care professionals (HCP’s) who attend ASH each year, representatives of the world’s pharmaceutical industries also descend upon the meeting too. 

This year, New Orleans was the host city, it is one of a handful of cities in America that can host a meeting of this size. San Francisco, San Diego, Atlanta and Orlando are the other preferred sites, and the meeting tends to rotate around this circuit.

This year in New Orleans (or Nyawleens as we were enthusiastically encouraged to call this amazing Deep South city) saw some 23,000+ clinicians and HCP’s, and around 5,000+ exhibitors attending for some or all of the four official days and the two satellite days that make up the world’s showcase for all that’s new in haematology.

During this period, over 6,000 presentations are made, all new and unique; some in vast auditoria that can hold thousands of delegates, some in much smaller rooms, and others in the vast poster exhibition halls – presented one-on-one (or two or three) by the individual authors of these posters to anybody interested enough to stop and read, or to anybody the authors themselves can grab as they try to sneak past trying to avoid eye-contact and weren’t quite nimble enough! 

Part of one of the poster Halls just before the rush!

This vast outpouring of knowledge is why the outcomes of this meeting can have a huge impact on the world’s stock markets, and if you listen carefully enough just before the meeting actually begins, you can hear the New York Stock exchange take a deep breath and hold it just a moment longer than usual!

More and more these days, patient advocate groups are attending ASH, making their presence known, and becoming recognised as an important link in the chain in the welfare, quality of life and empowerment of patients all around the world.   This year is particularly important to me because a group that we (Leukaemia CARE) are a member of will be presenting for the first time ever, a paper on adherence to treatment for CML (chronic myeloid leukaemia) patients. Patients; we will discuss this later on in the blog, but I think that’s enough for now.  There is so much more to come, there is a wealth of new treatments being presented this year, with some amazing new advances on all fronts – so don’t go too far away, the next instalment is just around the corner.

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