Qatar is making a significant step in stem cell transplantation and its application to clinical medicine in the Middle East.
The first Qatar Stem Cell Transplantation Conference, which took place in Doha last month, was organised by the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).
The two-day conference brought together 13 regional and international experts to share their knowledge and experiences in stem cell transplantation.
Over the course of the conference, more than 300 registrants participated in a range of sessions, including plenary talks, panel discussions and workshops.
The conference covered a broad range of topics, including the use of both autologous and allogeneic hematopoietic stem cells in treatment of hematological malignancies, the latest advancements in stem cell transplantation, and ethical considerations surrounding stem cell research.
The conference was held and moderated by Dr Javid Gaziev, chairman of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) and BMT Programme director, and Dr Anas Hamad, co-chairman of the Organising and Scientific Committee, and director of the Pharmacy Department.
One of the highlights of the conference was the keynote lecture delivered by Professor Leo Luznik from the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Centre at Johns Hopkins, US, who pioneered haploidentical stem cell transplantation with post-transplant cyclophosphamide.
Another world-renowned transplant physician, Professor Andrea Bacigalupo from the Catholic University in Rome, delivered a comprehensive educational lecture on haploidentical stem cell transplantation in hematological malignancies.
In addition, Dr Mahmoud Aljurf, director of the Adult Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Programme at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Riyadh, spoke about the special issues related to hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
Other speakers included Professor Panogiotis Kottaridis (consultant hematologist in Leukaemia and BMT at University College London Hospitals’s Department of Hematology), who discussed hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in acute myeloid leukaemia, and Professor Dennis Kim from Canada’s Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, who spoke about the role of minimal residual disease in acute myeloid leukemia.
Regional speakers included Professor Salem al-Shammari from Kuwait, Professor Murtadha al-Khabori from Oman, Professor Humaid al-Shamsi and Professor Shahrukh Hashmi from the UAE, and Dr Shruti Prem from Bahrain, who shared their experience in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in hematological malignancies.
Physicians and pharmacists from the National Centre for Cancer Care and Research presented their experience in autologous and allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in hematological malignancies.
The role of BMT nurses and co-ordinators were also extensively discussed at the conference.
In addition, Dr Sara Adel from the Apheresis and Transfusion Department, and Dr Muna Maslamani and Dr Ali Omrani from the Communicable Disease Centre presented lectures on various aspects of transplantation.
The first Qatar Stem Cell Transplantation Conference provided an excellent platform for researchers, clinicians and industry professionals to share their knowledge and experiences in stem cell transplantation.
It also highlighted the importance of stem cell research in advancing medicine and improving patient outcomes and demonstrated Qatar's commitment to becoming a leader in this exciting field, a press statement noted.
Participants of the conference.