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By Jodi Skiles, MD, MS, Indiana University School of Medicine I saw the advertisement for the ASTCT Leadership Course in the weekly newsletter. Intrigued, I clicked on the link to find a brief description of the course inviting young leaders to apply. I remember thinking that it sounded interesting and thought about applying, but wasn’t sure if it would be a fruitful use of time, especially when time is such a precious commodity. Nonetheless, I (somewhat skeptically) applied. When I was notified a few weeks later that I had been selected to participate in the course, I was honored and my mentors were thrilled, but I still had no idea what to expect. Fast ...
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I have a confession to share – I enjoy being on "service!" I always look forward to my two-week rotation on our inpatient BMT unit. I get to spend more time with our patients. Each patient room provides a glimpse into their lives – the photo of their favorite pet, the book they are reading, the guardian teddy bear from their grandchild, the rosary they clutch when I enter the room, and the progress they have made on a puzzle that tells me how their previous 24 hours have transpired. Equally informative are the bare walls and empty window shelves for some patients, with no get well soon cards and no scribbles on the whiteboard. I get to see our awesome team ...
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Mikaela VanMoorleghem, Education and Training Coordinator Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy Trending Clinical Outcomes By: Kara Wacker, MBA, FACT Strategic Planning Administrator Clinical outcome analysis might have started gaining renewed attention in recent years, but FACT has required such analysis since its first Standards in 1996. This puts the HPC transplant field at an advantage as more stakeholders and patients are evaluating health care institutions in the context of actual clinical outcomes. Transplant programs that have voluntarily complied with FACT Standards over the years have outcome data that can be useful ...
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In this month’s Pharmacy SIG Literature Update: Updates on the role of upfront transplantation in patients with high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome and secondary acute myelogenous leukemia, prevention and treatment of GVHD, and much more! Literature summaries are provided as information only. Please refer to the original published articles for complete details on study methodology, results and discussion. ***        Must read. Landmark publication that affects practice **           Recommend reading. Secondary paper that adds to literature *             Consider reading. Cursory importance to the practice Allogeneic Transplantation * Chamoun ...
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Michele Brown had just gotten out of a session at the TCT Meetings of ASBMT and CIBMTR when something in the program caught her eye. It was the second year the BMT RN clinical quality improvement coordinator from New York had attended the meetings. As a session she attended came to a close, she saw an oral abstract presentation was just about to start. She took a seat, listened as Ann Leen, PhD, presented her research on a clinical trial she helped conduct at The Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine. It used a unique type of cellular therapy to help some patients with Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After Leen finished, she ...
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ASTCT’s Continued Engagement on CAR-T ASTCT remains involved in conversations with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) along with Capitol Hill regarding policy changes for CAR-T therapies. On March 15, CMS released a transmittal with updates on CAR-T coding and billing in the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) effective on April 1. The transmittal states, effective April 1, 2019 hospitals may report the new CAR-T revenue codes 087X (Cell/Gene Therapy) and 089X (Pharmacy) and value code 086X (Invoice Cost) established by the National Uniform Billing Committee when reporting claims so that the agency may track utilization and ...
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On April 23, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) released the FY2020 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) proposed rule.  The IPPS rule addresses ways to improve payment for CAR-T therapies and is a step in the right direction. The American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT) has been working closely with CMS to improve reimbursement for chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy to assure appropriate patient access to this lifesaving therapy and will continue to work with the agency on this important issue.  ASTCT applauds CMS for being responsive to our concerns about CAR-T reimbursement by releasing some specific ...
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We at American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT) acknowledge National Minority Health Month. ASTCT, formerly the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT), is a professional membership organization with approximately 2,000 members across the United States and around the globe. ASTCT membership consists of physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, pharmacist, scientists, social workers and healthcare administrators committed to blood and marrow transplantation and cellular therapy. ASTCT members treat patients with advanced blood cancers and autoimmune diseases. ASTCT is committed to achieving a diverse workforce. ...
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By Dr. Navneet Majhail, ASTCT President Thank you for the tremendous response to my first column as ASTCT President . I was impressed by the number of people who actually read it. The feedback was mostly positive – well, the only complaint was that I did not share a photo of Caesar! I did get a lot of helpful advice. And yes, I have started eating my veggies!! @BldCancerDoc advice for our new ASTCT President Dr Navneet Majhail #ASTCT 1. Prepare your newsletter way in advance 2. Eat your veggies. 3. Remember it’s only 12 months 4. You have good company use them 5. Delegate delegate and delegate Thanks for serving sg — sergio giralt (@sgiraltbmtdoc) ...
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By Mikaela VanMoorleghem, Education and Training Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy Publication of the FACT Common Standards, Second Edition Congratulations to Dr. Paul Eldridge, FACT Standards Chair, and the FACT Common Standards Steering Committee on publishing the Second Edition FACT Common Standards for Cellular Therapies on March 15, 2019. The Standards will become effective on June 15, 2019. Committee Overview The Second Edition FACT Common Standards Steering Committee is comprised of 12 representatives who worked for 23 months on the development of the Standards. Everyone’s commitment, expertise, and experience is invaluable ...
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ASTCT’s Outreach on CAR-T The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requested comments on their Proposed Decision Memo for Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR-T) T-cell therapy. ASTCT submitted comments to the agency prior to the March 17 deadline. The public comment period is closed and we expect the final coverage determination to be released no later than May 17. ASTCT’s comments can be viewed here . The proposed National Coverage Analysis would require Medicare to cover the therapy nationwide when it is offered in a CMS-approved registry or clinical study, in which patients are monitored for at least two years post-treatment. ASTCT emphasized ...
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Registration is now open for April’s Online Journal Club. Reserve your seat for this webinar through the following link and please share to all that may be interested: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6146227515136446467 Dr. Mollie Beck will highlight an in-depth review regarding the article "Tisagenlecleucel in Adult Relapsed or Refractory Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma" . The goal of these journal clubs will be to provide education and more in-depth review of literature related to the field of stem cell transplantation and cellular therapy and will be provided a few times a year. Beck is currently completing her PGY2 Hematology/Oncology ...
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Long before the TCT Meetings of ASBMT and CIBMTR became what it is today, it was just a small meeting of friends during a ski trip. There wasn’t a name to those first few meetings. More than 10 years before the “official” meetings would kick off—then known as the Tandem Meetings—a group of physicians and researchers met to discuss emerging BMT and cellular therapies. Among them was Olle Ringdén, MD, PhD. In 1980, Ringdén hopped on a plane from Sweden—his home country—to Keystone, Colorado. He was encouraged to attend by renowned physicians Robert Gale, MD, PhD; and Richard Champlin, MD. “I had started a new center in Sweden,” Ringdén recalled. “It was ...
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The ASTCT Survivorship Special Interest Group (SIG) had yet another successful annual meeting during the TCT Meetings in Houston, Texas. The meeting growth underscores the growing interest in discussing the survivorship and late effect needs of hematopoietic stem cell transplant survivors and their caregivers. The SIG was fortunate to have patient stakeholders who attended the meeting, provided input and insight, and discussed the important role of engaging patients and caregivers in ongoing efforts focused on survivorship care.   The meeting began with brief reports from collaborating groups including the Palliative and Supportive Care SIG and the newly established ...
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ASTCT submitted comments on the CMS National Coverage Analysis for Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell Therapy last week. The public comment period has closed, and we expect the final coverage determination to be released no later than May 17. To read the comments, click here. ASTCT expressed concern that the coverage policy as proposed would limit patient access and recommended that the agency finalize a coverage policy that leverages existing registry reporting rather than coverage with evidence development (CED). Our comments suggested ways to revise the policy to protect patient access to approved CARs and those likely to be approved in the next five ...
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An updated set of CAR-T resource slides are now available to ASBMT members and non-members. These act as a resource to anyone in the cellular therapy field. The slides, created by the CAR-T Working Group, cover everything from the basics of immunology to managing neurotoxicity in CAR T patients. Hopefully by releasing the slides, members and non-members alike can utilize this important slide library and continue to improve the quality of care for patients around the worl
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Leading off this month are two big announcements for our policy and advocacy work going forward. First, as detailed here , we recently announced we're changing our name to the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT). We are also excited to welcome our newly appointed Director of Government Relations, Alycia Maloney. Maloney will lead ASBMT in our renewed commitment to advancing smart and patient-centered policy in the realm of transplantation and cellular therapies, and we look forward to a productive future under her policy leadership. For details on Alycia’s background, please see our official announcement here . As mentioned ...
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The American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT), newly named the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT), has carefully reviewed the recently released National Coverage Analysis for Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell Therapy for Cancers and is in the process of developing comments for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).   The newly formed Government Relations Committee held its inaugural meeting at TCT last week and is providing guidance on a response to the NCA.  The agency will finalize its coverage policy to take effect in May.  Our members have been actively engaged in the research and ...
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Created by the ASBMT Board of Directors because of concerns that clinical fellowship programs don't adequately cover the principles of research and how to take findings from the laboratory to the clinic, this course helps close the gap by addressing those deficiencies. Join ASBMT on July 10 - 14 in Park City, UT. In the past, attendees have praised the CRTC as a wonderful opportunity to learn from and connect with others in the field of cellular transplantation.  If interested, please send your application and all required materials to Anna Hawkshead at  ahawkshead@asbmt.org  no later than March 15, 2019 at 11:59 PST
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ASBMT has recently formed three new SIGs: The Social Work SIG, the Women and Underrepresented Minorities SIG,and the Biobehavioral Research SIG. The Social Work SIG formed in order to further integrate social work into the multidisciplinary HCT team and provide an avenue for collaboration and the advancement of psychosocial health research. Our hope is to create an environment that will assist transplant/cell therapy social workers to grow their professional skills within our social work organization and our interdisciplinary collaborations within ASBMT to further the clinical use and position of social work with this very unique patient population. Meanwhile, ...
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