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“This is really an evolution”

This year's congress of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) attracted 9,515 delegates from 110 countries to Berlin. They presented their most recent scientific findings to discuss them with their peers. The legacy of the ISTH Congress 2017 and its predecessors will come to full effect only in years to come.

homas Reiser considers all participants who contributed their findings to new developments to be the genuine authorities at his world congress of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH). Said the ISTH executive director: "Can you imagine that we had delegates from countries where there are just a handful of qualified haematologists earning just a few hundred euros per year." This is why the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis granted travel allowances, thus enabling almost 300 delegates from developing countries to travel to Berlin.

A total of 9,515 delegates from 110 countries convened at Messe Berlin in the German capital, where they occupied the CityCube Berlin, meeting facilities at hall 7 as well as halls 2.2., 4.2. and 6.2. with eight plenary keynotes, 84 state-of-the-art lectures, 39 abstract symposia, 18 late-breaking-abstracts, 557 abstract presentations and 2,366 poster presentations. The 86 exhibitors displayed their products and services at 41 industry symposia and 3,867 sqms of expo stand area.

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9,515 delegates travelled to Messe Berlin for ISTH 2017. This is an increase of almost 20 percent. 

The academic highlights included the presentation "Efficacy, Safety and Pharmacokinetics (PK) of Emicizumab (ACE910) Prophylaxis (Px) in Persons with Hemophilia A with Inhibitors (PwHAwI): Randomized, Multicenter, Open-label, Phase 3 Study (HAVEN 1)” given by Prof. Dr. med. Johannes Oldenburg from the Institute of Experimental Hematology and Transfusion Medicine, University Clinic Bonn in Germany. The president of the ISTHCongress 2017 headed the Local Organizing Committee of ten experts and interacted intensively with the 14 Scientific Program Committee chairs. "With the world's leading experts in this domain present, the congress will highlight the most recent scientific findings as well as diagnostics and treatment options to be able to better fulfill patients' needs and requirements in the future," ISTH 2017 Congress President Prof. Oldenburg said.

The International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis very deliberately defined "Transcending scientific boundaries" as the leading theme of the event from July 8 thru 13, 2017, in order to improve treatment of patients with bleeding and coagulation disorders such as hemophilia or thrombosis. "This theme was also chosen because it perfectly matches with Berlin", said Reiser, for him "a city divided for decades by a wall, which overcame the past and today is one of the most outstanding cities in the world." The fact that the ISTH Congress 2017 was awarded to Berlin after Toronto 2015 and before Melbourne 2019 must also be attributed to Germany. "This country is a powerhouse in terms of scientific medical research and it looks back on a long and impressive tradition in our domain", said Reiser "ISTH was founded in 1954, but the world congress had never been staged in Germany. It was high time to change that."

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The ISTH 2017 leads the way in the field of thrombosis and haemostatis. In Berlin 2,366 posters were presented.

Actually an excellent decision; 9,515 participants amounted to an increase of almost 20%. A record showing, for which Reiser points to various reasons including "the many new scientific and therapeutic developments in our domain". Furthermore, the ISTH in the past years had repositioned itself in terms of professionalism and today covers a very significant scientific-medical sector with its congress themes and formats. "Berlin's reputation as health care city further augments its attraction, and that is always an important element in the process of choosing a congress destination", said Reiser. "A large number of leading diagnostic and pharmaceutical companies important to us are based in Berlin".

Heike Mahmoud, Director Conventions of the Berlin Convention Office, pointed out that Berlin has a close-knit scientific eco-system including four universities, 23 private colleges and 70 non-university institutes, 22 technology parks and 2,000 start-ups as well as 1,500 associations. Mahmoud: "That certainly makes Berlin a popular venue for scientific congresses." 16 percent of all such events staged in Berlin are of a medical or scientific nature. "The Berlin Convention Office supported us grandly in the preparation phase", reported Reiser. He's pleased with the efficient and professional handling of large-sized congresses in Germany and he emphasized the outstanding cooperation with his local PCO KIT and the great support provided by Messe Berlin. Reiser: "They have a very professional work attitude, which certainly helped us a great deal." Its size, duration and specific requirements made the ISTH congress a real challenge. "It speaks for the competency of our project management and our service provider that they are capable of successfully staging events of this magnitude", explained Dr. Ralf Kleinhenz, Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing of Messe Berlin.


The International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) is a global not-for-profit membership organization advancing the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of thrombotic and bleeding disorders. Found in 1954, the ISTH is today the leading thrombosis- and hemostasis-related professional organization in the world with more than 4,500 members in over 95 countries. The Society is dedicated to transformative scientific discoveries and clinical practices, the development of young professionals and the education of physicians, scientists and allied health professionals. 


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Berlin's reputation as health care city is a reason for ISTH 2017 to choose Messe Berlin and its CityCube.

The ISTH congress leads the way in the field of thrombosis and haemostasis. "There's no other congress in our domain with such extensive coverage as the ISTH. Our congress has almost double the size as other conferences in our field", said Reiser. "Even very well established scientists and physicians consider it a privilege to be chosen for delivering a presentation at our congress." And that estimation is underlined by a second record: the 3,120 scientific entries. At the congress, there were three simultaneous publications of studies in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). "That clearly indicates the quality of our scientific program", explained Reiser. "A very large number of academic publications will follow in the coming months, based on the studies presented in Berlin." To make the program highlights available to a larger audience, ISTH Congress TV was launched. (Non-) delegates had access to contents presented in form of lectures, reports, interviews, discussions during and after the congress. Other features were the session recordings and the first limited live stream subscribed to by almost 800 remote attendees.

"Over the past decades, all significant developments in our scientific-medical sectors in one or the other way have been presented and/or enhanced at an ISTH congress", is how executive director Reiser defines the legacy of these professional assemblies. He's cautious when it comes to making any predictions about the post-event output of this ISTH Congress 2017. "This is really an evolution. Congresses like ours bring academics and physicians from all over the world together and allow them to present their studies and to swap opinions and facts. Many innovations wouldn't have made it off the ground without this ideas platform." The real net results will probably be evident only in several years. Reiser is confident: "The history of our society and of our congress has essentially brought forth all significant new findings."  KERSTIN WÜNSCH