For the fourth time specialists from France, Germany as well as other European countries met in Marseille on the 17th and 18th September 2015 in order to discuss the latest developments in MDS diagnosis and therapy in their respective countries. As last year’s meeting had been organised by the German MDS group in Dresden, this time it was France’s turn to host the event. More than 80 participants were therefore welcomed in Marseille by the three chairs Prof. Norbert Vey (Marseille), Prof. Pierre Fenaux (Paris) and Prof. Uwe Platzbecker (Dresden). Again, it was with great pleasure that we noticed that the conference continues to raise interest beyond the French and German borders and that participants from Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands as well as Austria were present.
On the first day of the conference, the progress of the two commonly initiated IITs by the French and German MDS study groups were presented. These trials are coordinated under the common EMSCO label and have both started recruitment within the last year. Furthermore snapshots of clinical trials in other European countries were provided and a project related to MDS and carried out in a context of social sciences was depicted: the evaluation of a question prompt list for MDS patients. The first day finished with an educational session hosting different topics, i.e. a critical review of the 2006 IWG criteria, the statistical design of clinical trials and a short review of complex abnormal karyotype in MDS.
The second meeting day was all about clinical research and the different approaches for low-risk and high-risk disease, as well as specific challenges associated with the therapy, as for instance iron overload or treatment failure on standard regimens, such as ESAs in low risk and azacytidine in high-risk MDS.
We are now looking forward to the next reunion in Florence where the colleagues from Italy with Prof. Valeria Santini will host the next the upcoming meeting on the 29th and 30th of September 2016. And last but not least a big thank you for the successful outcome of this year’s event goes to all organisers, speakers and participants as well as our supporters Celgene, Novartis, Janssen, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Onconova and Amgen.