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The Sysmex European Haematology Symposium 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal

Prof. Florence Cymbalista receives congratulations for the 1st prize

After choosing remote lakeside locations for our three previous symposia in 2001, 2003 and 2005 we went for river view and the Atlantic Ocean this time and hosted the Sysmex European Haematology Symposium 2007 in the beautiful and exciting city of Lisbon in Portugal.

The symposium took place on June 13th and 14th, 2007 and attracted close to 400 visitors from 38 different countries, mostly European but also from Africa, Asia, America and the Austral-Pacific region.

Being in the land of explorers we started out to explore latest developments and new applications of blood parameters in the haematological field.
The program of the symposium was very broad and comprised general educational lectures as well as reports on new clinical applications of our X-class instruments and smart approaches to streamline laboratory workflow. Topics included, e.g., leukaemia after the Chernobyl accident, sepsis diagnostics, anaemia of chronic disease, new features and »Case Management« on the XE-5000 haematology analyser and many more.

A number of special plenary lectures covered acute and highly debated themes in haematology and medical diagnostics:

As the first key note speaker Dr. Neil Robinson from the Swiss Laboratory for Doping Analyses in Lausanne, Switzerland was addressing the red-hot topic of blood doping in endurance sports, describing the race between professionals and scientists who develop more and more sophisticated tests to detect doping.

The alarming progression of the HIV / AIDS epidemic was subject of the next key note lecture by Dr. Ilesh Jani from Maputo, Mozambique. After an overview of the latest developments of the epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa he described a new method to monitor the status of HIV infection in a point-of-care environment using the small haematology analyser KX-21N.
The second day of the Symposium started with an extraordinary keynote lecture on the pitfalls of statistics in medical diagnostics. It was brilliantly and interactively presented by Dr. H.H. Dubben from Hamburg, Germany. He demonstrated quite plainly how our mind can be fooled in the interpretation of diagnostic tests with 99% specificity and 99% sensitivity: both of these figures are meaningless if the prevalence of the disease is not taken into consideration.

For the first time Sysmex Europe awarded a prize for excellent work in clinical or laboratory haematology: The Sysmex Outstanding Science Award 2007 (Dr. Robert Martin Rowan Memorial Award). The award had been announced during the 2005 symposium and was very well received with close to 40 project applications. Out of these an independent inter-European scientific expert committee had selected the most promising project proposals. Eight of the ten finalists presented their results during the Symposium and embarked on such intriguing topics as the relevance of the immature platelet fraction IPF in HIV, malaria, stem cell transplantation, or diabetes. Other topics were the prevalence of peripheral blood erythroblasts (NRBCs) in various diseases and the reliability of intelligent cell image recognition.

This was highlighted by the award ceremony in which the three prizes worth €25,000, €10,000 and €5,000 were presented to the three winners: Ms Marianne Schoorl from the Netherlands won the third prize for her work »Changes in platelets in morphology and RNA content during treatment with haemodialysis«. Dr. Carmen Canals Suris from Spain came second with her study on the clinical utility of the immature reticulocyte fraction (IRF); haematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) and immature platelets (IPF) in haematopoietic stem cell mobilisation and transplantation. Finally, the first prize was awarded to Prof Florence Cymbalista from France, who demonstrated in an impressing presentation how she had developed a new tool for routine diagnostics of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) with Sysmex XE analysers. She developed the semi-quantitative parameter GI (granularity index) from the XE-2100 research parameter Neut-X and used this in combination with the anaemia status of a patient as a potent indicator for the disease.

After two days of inspiring lectures and fruitful discussions a very much appreciated meeting came to its end. We hope to see you at the next Sysmex European Haematology Symposium ...

European Haematology Symposium in Istanbul, Turkey

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