The 20th anniversary of the International Conference on New Trends in Immunosuppression and Immunotherapy
The past 50 years of organ transplantation have seen many immunosuppressive strategies successfully transitioned from the experimental stage to routine clinical practice. While immunosuppressive
drugs have progressively reduced the incidence of acute rejection and markedly reduced transplant failure, their use has incurred numerous toxicities and significant costs. Aside from that, most of the therapies have also failed to prevent chronic allograft dysfunction.
Back in 1991, Alexander Yussim, a surgeon-researcher from Tel Aviv University and Claus Hammer, a seasoned biologist from the University of Munich, believing that there is a need for a better understanding of the mechanisms of action of the different drugs employed in organ transplantation and their use to achieve a better targeted immunointervention, have organized in Jerusalem an international meeting dedicated to transplant monitoring.
Following a success of the 1st conference, which gathered over 150 young and established clinicians and researchers and culminated with publishing of a book, it was decided to expand the topics of the conference on the fields, beside the transplantation, where the immunosuppression and immunotherapy are used, such as autoimmunity, inflammation and cancer and to hold this conference bi-annually in various locations in Europe. Now, 20 years and 10 conferences later, one can conclude with satisfaction that over the years this meeting has covered the most important contemporary key aspects of this burgeoning field, such as new targets and new mechanisms of action of the immunosuppressive agents, preclinical studies and clinical trials, indications and protocols in immunotherapy of transplantation, autoimmunity and inflammation, and lately, immune-regeneration.
This unique conference is steered by its Scientific and Program Committees guided by the Faculty of Past Presidents comprising of the most authoritative figures in each area, clinicians, academic and industry researches, who in the course of their carriers became presidents of local and international societies of transplantation and autoimmunity, heads of medical school and departments, inventors of novel clinical immunosuppressive agents and took the administrative positions such as European Commissioner for Research and heads of research departments in pharma industry. In the various periods in the conference timeline the number of conference participants varied from 350-500 persons, half of them being clinicians. The independent survey of this conference showed that almost 80% of participants agreed that parts of the program could be applied in their medical practice and that it would affect patient’s healthcare outcomes.
The CME survey of this conference has also showed that 93% of participants thought that “The program was well organized” and “The faculty was appropriate for an educational program”. 93% of participants also stated that they would recommend the program to a colleague. Beside CME, this conference has been endorsed by EDTA and co-hosted by Berlin-Brandenburg Center of Regenerative Medicine, as well as published as full papers in International Immunopharmacology. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the 10th conference dedicated to the scientific progress in the field of translational medicine in transplant immunosuppression, will be held in cooperation with the Catalan Transplantation Society on March 11-12, in Barcelona.