Suddenly the days are shorter than the nights and even in Arizona, the days are getting cooler. The fall Regional Meeting for ISCT was well attended, including non-HPC trial investigators, and the opportunity for networking was welcomed by our technologists. Once again the Quality Boot Camp was extremely popular, a joint effort by FACT and ISCT. It’s yet another reminder that FACT’s parent organizations are both major forces in traditional hematopoietic cell transplantation as well as non-HPC cell therapies. The next opportunity to see this is at the TCT meetings, and you will find the schedule of FACT-related activities at that meeting in this newsletter.
Unlike fall days, cell therapy is definitely NOT cooling down. Job offers abound for those with almost all of the skills that we have in the cell therapy community, from quality to processing to collection and clinical care. This means there is turnover (and some of us are even retiring after 30 or 40 years in the field), and so we need to constantly welcome new colleagues and help them with their education and the philosophy of the best for the patient and constant improvement.
Just like a good cell therapy program, FACT is constantly undergoing self-evaluation, and the board will be meeting for a tune-up of the focus of our strategic plan, as there are so many opportunities coming so quickly, that figuring out what we have the capacity to do and what new projects deserve prompt attention needs to be done more often than every five years.
In addition, we constantly look to volunteers to add to our inspector list, and you will read about Cord Blood Inspector recruitment, but no matter your expertise, FACT can probably use your time and effort, whether in cord blood, bone marrow transplant, or immune effector applications. As we look to the next decade (yes, another one goes in the books soon) we look to a myriad of cell therapy opportunities and activities. Join the ride!
Dennis Gastineau, MD