What are we doing in the field of hematology?
Hematology is a fundamental pillar of Bristol Myers Squibb where we have made significant progress. We are determined to maintain our leading role and expertise in developing breakthrough therapies to treat patients with malignant and benign hematological disorders.
The focus of the company lies on myeloma, lymphoma, leukemia and myeloid diseases (such as myelodysplastic syndrome, beta-thalassemia and myeloproliferative neoplasms).
Around 7,500 patients are diagnosed with blood cancers such as leukaemia or lymphoma every year. Hematological malignancies (or blood cancers) account for 11% of all new cancer diagnoses in Belgium. A recent report by the Belgian Cancer Registry demonstrates a continued improvement in survival rates for patients with blood cancers between 2004 and 2018.1
Our patient initiatives
We also support patients through prevention campaigns, disease awareness campaigns, sponsorships, congresses, and events, and by working with health professionals, hospitals and renowned specialists from various patient organisations.
In cooperation with the Belgian Hematology Society, we have developed several informative animated videos that explain hematological diseases and treatments. Click on the links below to watch the videos.
The videos provide information about the disease, diagnosis and symptoms. You will also find more information on certain treatments such as autologous or allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
The PACE (Patient Centricity) Award is organised by the Belgian Hematology Society (BHS) - a scientific association of more than 500 hematologists, laboratory hematologists, researchers, nurses, etc. Bristol Myers Squibb sponsors the Awards which are allocated to multidisciplinary projects that aim to optimize care for patients with hematological disorders. In 2022, two projects won the Award.
The first one was presented by Benjamin De Poorter, working as a hematology physiotherapist in the team of Prof. Nathalie Meuleman (Head of the Hematology Department) and Dr. Marie Vercruyssen (hematologist), all at the Bordet Institute.
Some of the treatments of Multiple Myeloma cause neuropathic pain in patients; they can affect the nerves and induce a loss of sensitivity of the skin of the hands and feet as well as sensations of tingling, pins and needles, cold or even electric shock. To reduce these side effects, this team proposes a multidisciplinary approach to managing neuropathic pain through a combination of physical activities, physiotherapy sessions and hypnosis with the support of physiotherapists, nurses and psychologists. The aim is to improve the quality of life of patients, reducing pain and improving sensitivity, resulting in more effective treatment of the myeloma.
The second multidisciplinary project was presented by Sarah Deuss (Hospital Pharmacist) and Dr. Ann De Becker (Head of Clinic Hematology) at UZ Brussel. Their project covers the “Development of diet guidelines for the immunosuppressed patients inspired by modern food culture”.
After stem cell transplantation, a germ-restricted diet is prescribed as one of the measures to prevent infections in these patients with severely weakened immune systems. This has a major impact on the possible variation in diet in patients who often already have altered or reduced taste and less appetite. Moreover, in the 21st century, in addition to traditional Belgian cuisine, many influences from world cuisine can also be found, and UZ Brussel treats patients from many different cultural backgrounds. This project aims to make food more attractive. First, the current guidelines for low-germ nutrition in the various centers will be inventoried. A cookbook will then be prepared with recipes adapted to world cuisine to assist the patient and caregivers in implementing the diet. During this project there will be close collaboration between transplant doctors, nurses, transplant pharmacist, dietician and - most importantly - the patients themselves.
Bristol Myers Squibb is the initiator of the Blood & Beyond programme: a European multi-stakeholder initiative involving experts in haematology and blood management, nursing, patient advocacy, health economics and hospital management.
The aim of the initiative is to raise awareness of the impact of blood transfusion on patients, support networks, healthcare systems and society at large; with the overarching goal to help advance policies and practices that improve patient outcomes by optimising blood management and supporting innovation across Europe.
Our medicines in hematology
Our mission is to research, develop, and make available innovative medicines to patients with serious diseases.