Welcome to the first joint congress of ISFA and E-ISFA

Dear Colleagues, dear Friends,

Unfortunately the 3rd Congress of the European Group of the International Society for Apheresis had to be canceled in March 2020 due to the Corona Virus pandemic. We had experienced a great support from the industry and an overwhelming interest from presenters and attendants. We do hope that all of you who were willing to come to Dresden will continue their commitment in March 2021. Due to the ongoing international crisis with the Corona Virus we decided to perform the conference on an online-platform on four days (with limited hours per day).

Thus it is my pleasure to invite you to take part online. The scientific program will consist of  oral presentations and posters. Possibilities to discuss topics with the presenters will be offered. The industrial exhibition will be a part of the meeting and will be accessible online as well.

In the meantime it was decided that our congress will be coorganized with the 13th Conference of the ISFA which was originally planned for May. Thus the program will be coordinated with Prof. Andre Kaplan (University of Connecticut Health Center). We are looking forward to this cooperation which will increase the international awareness of the congress.

Therapeutic Apheresis represents a field with remarkable new developments in the last years. New approaches, like for instance the CPR-apheresis, appeared to be rather effective with respect to outcome data. Lipoprotein apheresis will be in the focus of several presentations. We plan interactive discussions focusing on patients who suffered from stroke or who developed new cardiovascular events despite being treated with an extracorporeal method.

The role of the lipoprotein apheresis on the background of recently introduced lipid-lowering drugs, like PCSK9 inhibitors, bempedoic acid, lomitapide, and new formulations of omega-3 fatty acids, will be discussed. Other new drugs like antisense oligonucleotides against Apo CIII and apo(a) will also be presented. Data from new studies will be summarized.

The contributions on drugs will be in English and – in addition for German participants – in German.

The meeting will include presentations on current aspects of immunoadsorption in auto-immune diseases. Sessions will be dedicated to the application of therapeutic apheresis in patients with multiple sclerosis and Morbus Alzheimer.
Moreover, cell therapy and extracorporeal photopheresis will be dealt with.
There will be special sessions for medical staff – in general in German. The industry is requested to perform workshops with specified topics.

The organizers do hope that other aspects of interest to the participants will be proposed by people intending to attend the meeting.

We are looking forward to welcoming you in March 2021!

Ulrich Julius
Congress President on behalf of E-ISFA

Dear Apheresis Community,

It is my great honor to be elected President of the International Society for Apheresis (ISFA) for the 2019-2021 period. ISFA is an international organization that brings together over 500 physicians and investigators from more than 50 countries who are committed to the development, promotion and clinical application of apheresis technologies.

These last few months have seen a sharp increase in the use of specialized blood purification techniques as the COVID 19 pandemic has been identified as the cause of deadly syndromes of septic shock, fulminant cytokine production, severe pulmonary insufficiency and widespread intravascular coagulation. Specialized apheresis techniques such as the targeted removal of endotoxin and cytokines have been employed worldwide.  Some of these techniques have been heretofore unavailable in the US and the COVID pandemic has convinced the FDA to allow their use on a compassionate basis. Added to techniques of targeted toxin removal is the collection and administration of convalescent plasma to passively provide protective antibodies obtained from COVID 19 patients who have survived their infections.  The increased use of these varied apheresis techniques will undoubtedly add immeasurably to our understanding of how to remove or negate the deleterious effects of systemic inflammatory mediators.

As the ongoing pandemic continues to dictate a reassessment of our original plans, ISFA has decided to pursue a combined “virtual” meeting with our colleagues in the European chapter of ISFA (eISFA). As such, ISFA is now committed to join with eISFA to present an updated “virtual” meeting that will highlight the recent advances in apheresis based treatments that have highlighted the new challenges that are presented by the ongoing pandemic.

As the President of ISFA, I am pleased to invite all those with interest in apheresis to join our Society at this time of increased activity and innovation.

Sincerely,

Andre A. Kaplan
Congress President on behalf of ISFA