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49th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology Will Feature the Latest Research in Blood Diseases

ATLANTA, Dec. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Society of Hematology (ASH), the world's largest professional association of blood specialists, expects more than 20,000 attendees at the 49th ASH Annual Meeting on December 8-11, 2007, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. The meeting will premiere the latest research and treatments for blood disorders.

"The ASH annual meeting is the premier forum for physicians and researchers from around the world to hear the most up-to-date developments in hematology," said ASH President, Andrew Schafer, MD, of the New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center. "The research that will be presented affects hematologists in every area of the discipline."

Highlights of the meeting include special symposia, education programs, special interest seminars, and scientific sessions.

A special symposium on venous thromboembolism will provide an overview of this common clotting disorder from the patient, public health, and scientific sectors. Guest speaker Melanie Bloom, national spokesperson for the Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis and widow of award-winning TV journalist David Bloom, who died from complications related to deep-vein thrombosis while on assignment in Iraq, will provide her personal perspective on this common condition. The symposium will take place on Saturday, December 8, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST.

A hot topic this year for policy makers, physicians, and patients has been appropriate use and coverage of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs). To address this important issue, the ASH Committee on Practice is sponsoring a Practice Forum that will feature presentations on the new Medicare coverage policy, the status of federal legislation regarding ESAs, the revised ASH practice guidelines on the use of ESAs, and the impact of the new policy on practices. This event will take place Saturday, December 8, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

This year's Presidential Symposium will focus on the discovery of cancer stem cells in a variety of malignancies. The eradication of these tumor cells, which have stem cell characteristics and the capacity for self-renewal, may be necessary for long-term success in cancer treatment. During the symposium on Tuesday, December 11, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon, three pioneering investigators will discuss the properties of cancer stem cells and the potential to target them for therapy.

Hal E. Broxmeyer, PhD, Scientific Director of the Walther Oncology Center and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, will discuss the scientific discoveries that led to the successful use of cord and placental blood for treating malignant and non-malignant disorders, as well as ways to enhance the efficacy of cord blood transplantation in the future, at this year's E. Donnall Thomas Lecture on Monday, December 10, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Another highlight of the meeting is the annual policy forum, which is co-sponsored by ASH and the European Hematology Association. This year's session on emergency preparedness is designed to be provocative -- posing questions hematologists should consider before the next SARS, bird flu, or other public health disaster strikes -- and provide unique perspectives on how to deal with future epidemics.

Additionally, Radek C. Skoda, MD, of the University Hospital Basel in Switzerland, will give the Ham-Wasserman Lecture on Saturday, December 8, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dr. Skoda's lecture will focus on the molecular basis of myeloproliferative disorders (MPDs). Recently, the discovery of activating mutations in the Janus kinase 2 gene in the majority of MPD patients has transformed and energized the field; however, a number of questions still remain unanswered.

For the complete annual meeting program and abstracts, visit

The American Society of Hematology ( is the world's largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders. Its mission is to further the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting blood, bone marrow, and the immunologic, hemostatic, and vascular systems, by promoting research, clinical care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology.

SOURCE American Society of Hematology
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