The Management of Fungal Infections in Immunocompromised Haematologic Patients - Sponsored by Pfizer

ICHS Satellite Symposium 2010

International Immunocompromised Host Society (ICHS) held its 16th International Symposium on Infections in the Immunocompromised Host in Budapest, Hungary from 27th – 30th June 2010. This meeting brought together infectious disease specialists, haematologists, oncologists, transplant physicians, microbiologists, virologists, immunologists and others with an interest in infections in the immunocompromised host. Of 320 registered delegates from all over the World including Europe, Asia, Latin and North America, almost all attended the Pfizer-sponsored satellite symposium on The Management of Fungal Infections in Immunocompromised Haematologic Patients on the afternoon of 28th June.

The outstanding scientific programme at the satellite symposium, led by an internationally renowned faculty, included key plenary sessions with interactive voting on guidelines, diagnosis and early appropriate treatment of invasive fungal infections (IFIs) in immunocompromised haematologic patients. The session concluded with interactive case studies and a Q&A session.

Professors Claudio Viscoli and Georg Maschmeyer (President-elect and Vice President of the ICHS, respectively) acted as Co-chairs for the satellite symposium and following Prof Maschmeyer’s overview of the burden of IFIs in immunocompromised patients, Professor Viscoli discussed the recent ECIL-3 guidelines update, highlighting several new and important recommendations for the treatment of IFIs in haematologic patients. Dr Donnelly next discussed controversies facing diagnosis of IFIs, reviewing the various diagnostic tools available for increasing the certainty of establishing ‘probable’ infection, in particular the use of galactomannan assays.

Professor Maertens then delivered an interesting plenary on the importance of early diagnosis and early treatment for IFIs, focusing on pre-emptive strategies. He concluded that a pre-emptive strategy may be just as effective as empirical therapy but with the additional benefits of reducing costs and unnecessary exposure to anti-fungal drugs. Keypad voting indicated large differences of opinion in anti-fungal treatment approaches from the delegates.

Professor Zekaver Odabasi presented two fascinating interactive case studies that bridged the gap between guidelines and clinical practice. Both cases provided a forum for discussion on best practice while also highlighting any differences that might exist in the management of IFIs.

It is clear from the feedback gathered from delegates that the ICHS satellite symposium provided a highly valuable opportunity for these specialists. The vast majority of delegates rated the scientific quality of the meeting as ‘excellent’ and the overall quality of the meeting as ‘very useful’, both with average scores of 4.43 (out of a total of 5).

The choice of topics and presenters was perfect. An outstanding session

“The whole meeting and all speakers were excellent. As the topics were very extensive I think you could make it a three hour meeting divided in half by coffee

“A lot of information useful to my practice”

The interactive case study presentations encouraged discussion and many of the delegates later provided specific requests for future case presentations, relevant to their specialty.

This satellite symposium provided a well-received educational forum on the management of fungal infections in immunocompromised haematologic patients and strengthened Pfizer’s commitment to the appropriate treatment of IFIs. The success of this meeting lays the foundation for future satellite symposia and Pfizer looks forward to building on this success.

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