Congress report: 49th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Haematology, Georgia World Congress
This report dwells on selected abstracts presented at the 49th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), which was held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia in December 2007. The aim of this report is not to discuss the very details of distinct scientific questions or clinical problems but rather to inform the practising haematologist about relevant clinical and scientific advances in the broad field of haematology. This selection of studies is of course a subjective one as the abstracts presented herein were judged upon their significance solely by the reflection of authors' personal interests. The presentation of the first pilot studies exploring the efficacy and safety of JAK-2 inhibitors in Philadelphia-chromosome negative chronic myeloproliferative disorders was certainly one of the most notable topics of the meeting. Concerning other haematologic malignancies, we felt that there were no groundbreaking developments as in recent years when novel forms of treatment such as proteasome inhibitors, tyrosine kinase inhibitors or thalidomide and its analogues were presented. But with large and often randomized trials with sufficient follow-up periods, the progress suggested by smaller phase II trials was further consolidated allowing the physician to recognize not only the true benefit but also the potential harm of these novel therapies in broad clinical practice.