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Canadian Hematology Society


									                           Canadian Hematology Society
                           Société Canadienne d’Hématologie

                  November 2005 NEWSLETTER

                                ASH Reception

The CHS Reception at ASH will be held on Sunday December 11th at
the Fernbank Museum of Natural History from 18:30 – 19:30 hours.
Find more information on page 2

                Special points of interest:
                   • ASH reception
                   • World Federation of Hemophilia’s Fourth Global Forum
                   • Héma-Québec Research & Development
                   • Career opportunity

CHS Executive

President:          Dr. Pierre Laneuville, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal
Vice President:     vacant
Secretary/Treasurer: Dr. Sue Robinson, Victoria General Site, QEII Hospital, Halifax
Past President:     Dr. Armand Keating, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto

                                     Editor Gail Rock

                           Sponsored, in part, by a grant from Bayer Inc

                                      President’s Message
Dear Colleagues,

Recently, my daughter who is attending her first year of university in the biological sciences, asked me
what a hematologist does…really? At this stage, explaining that hematologists are physicians who
diagnose and treat disorders of the blood (which she already knows), and a description of my specific
interests and activities as a physician (similarly quickly acknowledged) no longer suffice.

In truth, our specialty is extraordinarily rich and diverse and the expertise of our members spans a broad
range of activities. These may include teaching, conducting research, administration, laboratory
supervision, acting as advisors to public and private interests, and providing increasingly sub specialized
clinical care. Our place of work is similarly extremely varied. The complexity of our collective tasks is
reflected by our association with a number of sub specialized professional groups; The Canadian Society
for Transfusion Medicine (CSTM), the Thrombosis Interest Group of Canada (TIGC), the Canadian
Hemophilia Society (CHS), the Canadian Apheresis Group (CAG), the Canadian Hereditary Angioedema
Society (CHAES), the Canadian Pediatric Society (CPS), and the Canadian Blood and Marrow Transplant
Group (CBMTG), just to mention a few. These in turn are networked with an even greater number of
disease specific associations, foundations, and patient groups.

One effect of our complex world is that we increasingly circulate through smaller circles and are less likely
to meet with members outside our immediate field of activities. The role of the Canadian Hematology
Society (CHS) is to represent all of Canadian hematologists and to promote their common interests. One of
my goals is to encourage the future scheduling of the annual CHS meeting jointly with that of as many
other hematology groups as possible. This could result in economies of scale for everyone, but more
importantly, it may allow us to co-host joint plenary sessions and social events that would help everyone
re-establish wider contacts and solidify our sense of community. A fine example of this was the joint
CHS/CBMTG meeting organized by Dr. Armand Keating and Dr. Lothar Huebsch last June on the
establishment of a National cord blood bank for Canada (a final report is expected shortly). The next
annual meeting of the CHS will be held immediately preceding that of the CBMTG in April in Edmonton.
Planning for holding joint meetings in 2007 and 2008 has been initiated and will be announced in the
course of this year. In the meantime, I would invite all of you to attend the Annual CHS Reception at ASH.
There is nothing like a good bash to get Canadians together. I hope to see all of you there.


The CHS reception at ASH will be held on Sunday December 11th, 2005 at the Fernbank Museum of
Natural History from 18:30 – 19:30 hours. Buses will be leaving from the Congress Center outside
building B on International Boulevard (attended by organizers in purple shirts and black pants) to
the museum at 18:00 hours. The CHS Reception will be followed by the Berlex reception. Buses will
be provided to return those who will not be attending the Berlex reception back to the Congress
Center at the end of the CHS reception so that they may attend other functions. The internet link
for the Fernbank Museum is

                            The Royal College seeks a new Director of Education

At the end of this year, Dr. Nadia Mikhael will retire from her position as Director, Office of Education, The Royal College of
Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. As such, the Royal College is currently working with Ray & Berndtson, an executive search
firm, to find a new Director of Education.

For more information about this career opportunity and how to apply, visit

You are welcome to send job postings to the CHS if you are advertising academic or research posts. Please forward your job
descriptions to us and we will advertise them on the CHS website. Relevant information should be forwarded to the CHS email

World Federation of Hemophilia Fourth Global Forum on the safety and supply of
treatment products for bleeding disorders
                                    September 26–27, 2005, Montreal, Canada

Mark Brooker, WFH Public Policy Officer

Increasing the world-wide supply of safe affordable factor replacement therapy was the focus for 128 representatives of patient
organizations, regulatory agencies, industry, clinicians, and other stakeholders who participated in lively debate over two intensive
days at the World Federation of Hemophilia’s Fourth Global Forum. WFH president Mark Skinner declared the Forum a good start
to working towards safe affordable treatment for all people with bleeding disorders. He said that the Forum had pulled together a
“wining coalition” of stakeholders that will be able to work together to make a difference for people with hemophilia and other
bleeding disorders.

Dr. Alok Srivastava set the context for the meeting with an opening talk on the question of “optimal dosing.” He presented data
showing that, in countries with more clotting factor concentrates, people with hemophilia have a longer life expectancy. Data from
Sweden for 1992 show that increased quantities of clotting factor concentrates could almost completely prevent joint disease and
maintain normal joint function and architecture. These data became the basis for the current hemophilia management paradigm,
which involves starting treatment before one year of age and providing primary prophylaxis and maintaining a regimen of fairly
large doses. The aim is to maintain a factor level above 1% at all times. This regimen requires the use of a large quantity of
concentrates—3 to 8 IU per capita—at considerable cost.

Although this model is successful, said Dr. Srivastava, the issue of optimum dose arises because, all over the world, there are
demands on resources and competing health care needs. Moreover, there may be side effects with intensive doses. A study in 2004
showed that the use of clotting factor concentrates has risen to between 6 and 7 IU per capita from between 2 and 4 IU per capita,
he reported. This increase comes with enormous cost implications, and raises the question of whether increasing the dose to that
level is really necessary. “Do those costs justify the effects, or are there more efficient and cost-effective ways for treatment?
Should we be trying to prevent every joint bleed, or do a certain number not matter to the overall outcome,” Dr. Srivastava asked.

As some countries have made the transition to recombinant products, cryoprecipitate unused for the production of FVIII and FIX
concentrates has gone to waste. Because of the vision of executive committee member Mr. David Page, the WFH has been
working to bring partners together to stimulate the development and use of this product to benefit others around the world. A pilot
project in Canada is working on developing affordable clotting factor concentrates that might be used to support humanitarian aid
and access needs in emerging countries. Working with the two Canadian blood collection services, Canadian Blood Services
(CBS) and Hema-Quebec, WFH will facilitate the shipment of Canadian unused plasma proteins for testing at the fractionation
plant of South Africa’s National Bioproducts Institute (NBI), where the proteins will undergo manufacturing to test the yield of
clotting factor concentrates. Dr. Graham Sher, CEO of CBS and Mr Duncan Armstrong, Executive Director of NBI both addressed
the global forum, describing some of the challenges of this project but expressing their commitment to see it forward.

Some general themes emerged from this year’s Forum:

Very rare bleeding disorders: Because the population of patients who have FV, FVII, FXI, and FXIII deficiency and do not have
hemophilia or von Willebrand disease (vWD) is so small (10,500 patients have been identified), running clinical trials is difficult.
This situation makes it very difficult to meet the challenges of bringing products to the market.

In light of the concerns about variant Creutzfedlt-Jakob disease and plasma products, having a comprehensive definition of risk is
important for the bleeding disorders community. This definition must extend beyond the concept of safety from viruses and must
include considerations of inhibitor development and lack of supply. Plasma-derived and recombinant products both clearly
continue to be important. Although product decisions are made on a local basis, having science to back up those decisions is also

During discussion with regulators on end-product testing and expiry dates, it became clear that testing finished products for viruses
is not an acceptable practice, and that re-validation of expired products should be examined on a country-by-country, case-by-case

In a very popular session, participants heard about both benefits and limits of tenders for buying treatment products. Any good
tender process starts with quality product, and price is not the only relevant determinant. The importance of having multiple
companies and products in the tender process, as well as the centrality of the patient and of clinician involvement, was also clear.

Presentations from the Forum are available on the WFH website. The proceedings of the Forum will be published in November
and posted on the website.

                       Moroccan Hematology and Transfusion Society 
   Pr Najia Benkirane Agoumi, Headmaster of the Biological Hematology Laboratory, Ibn Sina Hospital in 
   Rabat Morocco and General Secretary of Moroccan Hematology and Transfusion Society has sent the 
   following request: 
   The Biological Hematology Laboratory is preparing  for a Hematopathology diploma in 2005‐2006 and 
   they need some lectures and literature references especially about Molecular Hematology which is still 
   under development in Morocco.  They have asked for a Canadian specialist (French speaking) in this 
   field to go to Morocco in 2006 and give some courses to their medical biologists (residents). 
   For more information, Professor Agoumi may be reached at  

                   BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA 19-20 April 2007
Free registration / Simultaneous translation
Speakers will be
                                                              Prof. Mark A. Crowther
Prof. Victor Blanchette
                                                              Associate Professor, McMaster University
Chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology                        Head of Service of Hematology, St. Joseph’s
Professor of Pediatrics, University of Toronto                Hospital, Ontario
The Hospital for Sick Children
                                                              Prof. Armand Keating
Prof. Joseph Connors                                          Epstein Professor and Head
Chair, Lymphoma Tumor Group                                   Department of Medical Oncology and
Chair, Research Ethics Board                                  Hematology
British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver                     Princess Margaret Hospital / Ontario Cancer

For further announcements regarding this meeting contact

                             Research & Development activities at Héma-Québec

Réal Lemieux, Vice President, Research & Develoment, Héma-Québec

As soon as it took over the management of the blood supply in the province of Quebec in 1998, Héma-Québec has clearly stated
that in-house research activities were important to fulfill its mission which is “to efficiently provide adequate quantities of safe,
optimal blood components, substitutes, human tissues and cord blood to meet the needs of all Quebecers, and to provide and
develop expertise along with specialized and innovative services and products in the fields of transfusion medicine and human
tissue transplantation “. The organization has committed to spend 5 % of its direct operating budget to support its in-house R&D

Since 1998, the board of directors of Héma-Québec went through a series of steps to ensure that the development of R&D
programs was done in line with its mission and the role of Héma-Québec in the provincial blood program. A Medical and
Scientific Advisory Committee (MSAC) composed of external experts and board observers was set-up in 1998 to propose R&D
priorities and evaluate progress. In 1999, the MSAC and the board of directors have approved the priorities and objectives of the
R&D activities which are focussed on 3 themes:
1- Donor-derived blood components which include increased donor motivation, improved processing and testing of blood units,
development of new equipment and assays etc.
2- Blood substitutes which include the development of methodologies to produce substitutes for platelets and immunoglobulins.
3- Training of young individuals in transfusion medicine and related sciences.

Héma-Québec has also made a series of decisions to facilitate the development of efficient in-house R&D programs. To obtain a
critical mass of researchers, the R&D activities were centralized in the Quebec City facility which is located since April 2004 on
Laval University campus close to the Medicine and Sciences & Engineering Faculties. The Héma-Québec R&D staff includes 8
PhD scientists who are also adjunct professors at Laval University. The R&D department occupies more than 2,500 sq.m. in the
new facility with a total staff of more than 50, including 12 graduate students. Active collaborative projects have been developed
with several academic researchers from various faculties. Within Héma-Québec, the R&D activities related to donor motivation,
epidemiology and infections markers are done by the staff from the Medical Affairs department. Regular consultation with all
other departments ensures that the results of the R&D work can be rapidly applied to routine operations.

The R&D activities are structured in 4 departments:

1- Operational Research
The work of this unit (L. Thibault PhD, dir. and M. St-Louis PhD with six research professionals) is focused on direct support to
routine operations through the development and testing of new equipment, processes and assays. Examples of recent projects
include the comparative testing of three systems for thrombapheresis, the set-up of assays to screen IgA-deficient donors and the
development of DNA assays for detecting multiple blood group and platelet antigen genes.

2- Cellular Engineering
 This unit (R. Bazin PhD, dir., S. Coté PhD, D. Jung PhD, S. Néron PhD, N. Pineault PhD with ten research professionals)
includes 6 core projects, 4 projects supported by external grants (Bayer-CBS-HQ Fund) as well as a project lead by a Laval
University collaborator (A. Garnier PhD from the department of Chemical Engineering) and supported by a NSERC partnership
grant. Graduate MSc and PhD students (12 in Nov. 2005) are trained in this unit. The basic experimental strategy within this unit
is the culture of normal human cells with the aim of producing in the laboratory, mature platelets from cultured cord blood
hematopoietic stem cells and immunoglobulins from cultured human B lymphocytes. These objectives are ambitious and will
require long-term efforts but an eventual success, even partial, would have significant impacts on the future of blood banks. Three
additional projects are aimed at better understanding the mechanisms of action of IVIg in autoimmune/inflammatory diseases. The
results of these projects could be applied to the preparation of an IVIg substitute for some indications.

3- Bioproduction
This small unit (M.-C. Chevrier, MSc with three professionals) manufactures under cGMP, specialized assays used for in-house
testing of blood and tissue donors as well as hospital patients. These assays are based on either serology (ELISA) or DNA (PCR)
technologies and have been developed within the Operational Research unit. DNA-based assays for HBV, WNV and various blood
cell antigens are currently produced.

4- Epidemiology
This unit is managed by the Medical Affairs staff (M. Germain MD, PhD and G. Delage, MD, MSc with two professionals) and is
responsible for conducting various projects dealing with bacterial contamination of blood components, surveillance of infectious
disease markers, donor motivation etc. These studies are often done in collaboration with external researchers.

Since 1998, significant efforts have been made within Héma-Québec, to develop high quality research activities that are well
focused on our mission. Increased work with external collaborators in hospitals and universities is expected in the near future.
Additionally the recent involvement of Héma-Québec in new activities such as banking of cord blood stem cells and of human
tissues should lead to a diversification of our R&D activities in the near future.


                                Amount/Montant: $50.00

          Please make cheque payable to the:/S.V.P. émettre un cheque à la:

                             Canadian Hematology Society
                           Société Canadienne d’Hématologie

          And send it with this notice to the:/et l’envoyer avec cet avis à la:

          Canadian Hematology Society/Société Canadienne d’Hématologie
                           199 – 435 St. Laurent Blvd.
                             Ottawa, ON K1K 2Z8

Please remit your annual dues to CHS upon receipt.


Phone #: ___________

Email Address: _______________________

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Has Your Status Changed? Yes / No
Year Joined:       _________

Please indicate any changes/corrections to the above information. Active members
should return this form along with their cheque to the above address.

FOR OFFICE USE: Receipt Number:                         Date Paid:

Thank you for your support of the CHS.

The Canadian Hematology Society is a convening partner of the 2006 BMT Tandem Meetings in Honolulu, Hawaii.
This will be North America’s largest international gathering of blood and marrow transplant clinicians and investigators,
laboratory technicians, transplant nurses, pharmacists and clinical research associates. More than 1,700 participants
from 50 countries are expected for meetings that will be held February 16 - 20 at the new Honolulu Convention Center.

Leading authorities from around the world will be in Honolulu to present the latest developments in:

Aging                                        Genomic Polymorphism                         Nanotechnology
Biostatistics/Infomatics                     Genomics                                     Pediatric Cancer
Cancer Vaccines/T-Cell Therapy               Hodgkin’s Disease                            Practice Variables in Transplants
Cell Trafficking/Homing                      Immune Reconstitution                        Preclinical Models
Chronic GvHD                                 Infection Response                           Reduced-Dose Intensity
Cord Blood                                   Late Effects                                 Stem Cell Biology/Therapy
Follicular Lymphoma                          Myeloma/Plasma Cell Disorders

In addition to the five days of scientific and clinical presentations, five related conferences and courses will be held:

    •    BMT Pharmacists
    •    Clinical Research Professionals and Data Manager
    •    BMT Center Administrators
    •    Transplant Nurses
    •    BMT Center Medical Directors

To REGISTER click on the link:

GENERAL INFORMATION about the meetings, including HOUSING and TRANSPORTATION is available at:

We are committed to supporting global initiatives focused on improving blood and marrow transplantation
and cellular therapy. On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Hematology Society, I hope to
see you in February in Hawaii.

                                           UPCOMING EVENTS

 Dec 10-13, 2005        American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting (ASH) 47th Annual
                        Meeting and Exposition
                        Atlanta, Georgia, USA
                        Contact: ASH Registration Office
                        Tel: +1 202 776 0544 Fax: +1 202 776 0545

 February 3-5, 2006     Comprehensive Care for Rare Blood Disorders
                        Network of Rare Blood Disorder Organizations in collaboration with the Canadian Hemophilia
                        Toronto, ON
                        Tel: 514-848-0503
                        Fax: 514-848-9661

 February 16-20, 2006   2006 BMT Tandem Meeting
                        Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu

 March 19-21, 2006      32nd Annual Meeting of the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation
                        Hamburg, Germany

 April 11-12, 2006      3rd IPFA International Scientific Workshop on TSEs and the Safety of Blood Components
                        and Plasma Derivatives
                        Maison de la Chimie, Paris, France
                        IPFA Secretariat
                        Plesmanlaan 125
                        1066 CX Amsterdam
                        The Netherlands
                        Tel: +31 (0) 20 512 3561

 April 22-24, 2006      10th Biennial Conference of the Canadian Blood & Marrow Transplant Group
                        Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

 April 25-28, 2006      ISLH 2006 - XIXth International Symposium on Technological Innovations in Laboratory
                        Amsterdam, The Netherlands

 May 4-7, 2006          12th Annual meeting of International Society for Cellular Therapy
                        Berlin, Germany

 May 21-25, 2006        XXVII International Congress of the World Federation of Hemophilia
                        Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
                        Hemophilia 2006 Secretariat and Housing Bureau
                        1425 Réné-Levesque Blvd. West, Suite 1010
                        Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 1T7
                        Tel: +1 514 394 2837
                        Fax: +1 514 875 8916

                     435 St. Laurent Blvd., Suite199, Ottawa, ON K1K 2Z8
                Ph : 613-748-9613; Fax : 613-748-6392; Email :

                            Membership/Newsletter Requests

To request membership application forms and/or extra copies of the newsletter, or inform us of
any changes or additions to your contact information please contact the CHS office.

□ Please make the following changes to my contact information:

□ Please forward a membership application form to the following:

□ Please send a copy of the _______________ edition of the newsletter to the following:

Name: ______________________________ Hospital/Company _________________________

Address: _____________________________________________________________________

City: ________________ Province: __________________________ Postal Code __________

Phone#: _____________ Fax#: _____________________ Email: _______________________

                            Are you connected to the Internet?

If so, we would really like to be able to send you announcements or future copies of the CHS
newsletter by email because it saves paper, postage, and time. If you agree, all you need to do is
send us an email to the CHS office at

                                         Editor’s Note

The Newsletter is published two times a year by the CHS. We welcome your submissions.
Please send articles and items of interest, care of the Coordinator, to the CHS office by
email to

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