International Symposium on Amyloidosis

This gathering of leading experts in the field of amyloidosis is held biennially at different locations around the world. This year, the four-day meeting was held in Heidelberg, Germany and comprised 25 lectures, 71 oral presentations, 309 poster presentations and 8 satellite symposia. There was notable growth in the number of participants and their countries of origin compared to prior years. Over 800 researchers from 50 countries attended the conference in-person and nearly 300 more attended virtually, in order to share and discuss new research findings and to network for future collaboration. Our clinical and research team from the Boston University Amyloidosis Center was at the forefront, with ten members present for the scientific meeting in-person and two members participating virtually.


We had the privilege of presenting five oral presentations and fifteen posters at this year’s meeting. The following scientific abstracts were some of the highlights from our team:

  • “Mapping and modelling the molecular mechanisms that drive amyloidogenic light chain-induced cardiotoxicity by unique transcriptional response” presented by Dr. Camille Edwards
  • “Predictors of hematologic response and survival with stem cell transplantation in AL amyloidosis: a 25-year longitudinal study” presented by Joshua Gustine (a fourth-year medical student at Boston University School of Medicine)
  • “The prognostic importance of flow cytometry-based measurable residual disease (MRD) in patients with systemic light chain amyloidosis” presented by Dr. Andrew Staron
  • “Natural history and risk stratification of AA amyloidosis based on a 40-year experience in the United States” presented by Tracy Joshi, NP
  • Potential sources of error in the identification and referral of amyloidosis to a tertiary center” presented as a poster by Lisa Mendelson, NP
  • “Safety and efficacy of propylene glycol-free melphalan in patients with AL amyloidosis undergoing autologous stem cell transplantation: results of a phase II study” presented as a poster by Dr. Michelle H. Lee (a hematology/oncology fellow at Boston Medical Center)
  • Droxidopa for treatment of refractory orthostatic hypotension in patients with AL amyloidosis: a case series” presented as a poster by Dr. Jorge Nicolas Ruiz Lopez (an internal medicine resident at Boston Medical Center)


Additionally, four of the basic science and clinical sessions at this year’s meeting were chaired by members of our team. For example:

  • Gareth Morgan delivered a superb state-of-the-art opening lecture as chair of the session on “Basic research – New treatment targets and biomarkers.”
  • Vaishali Sanchorawala passionately led an interactive session on “Challenging cases” and a panel discussion during the session on “Beyond survival: Unmet medical needs in AL amyloidosis.”


The research endeavors from the Boston University Amyloidosis Center were well-received by the scientific community. In fact, we were granted both a presidential award (for an oral presentation on the prognostic role of MRD testing by Dr. Andrew Staron) and a poster prize (for a poster presentation on longitudinal testing for MRD by Dr. Andrew Staron) by the International Society of Amyloidosis. Furthermore, our research received a special mention in the meeting summary during the closing ceremony.


A number of other important amyloid-related topics were discussed at this year’s meeting. These included:

  • genetics underlying amyloidogenesis and the role of N-glycosylation
  • evidence for cardiotoxicity of light chains in AL amyloidosis
  • inhibition of fibril phagocytosis by the collagen that is associated with AL amyloid
  • modulation of TTR proteolysis by SerpinA1
  • development of a new kappa knock-in & seeding mouse model for AL amyloid
  • artificial intelligence and machine learning for the detection of ATTR wild-type amyloidosis and prediction of light chain pathogenic potential
  • serum neurofilament light chains as a potential biomarker of amyloid neuropathy
  • role of imaging for the recognition of amyloidosis, characterization of disease severity, and monitoring of disease response
  • potential future treatment modalities such as BCL-2 inhibitors, anti-BCMA therapies, BCMA-CART and CAEL-101 for AL amyloidosis; and novel anti-sense and stabilizer therapies for ATTR amyloidosis, along with a new antibody that may bind variant TTR


Knowledge sharing amongst world experts is important, as it creates opportunities to move the field of amyloidosis forward and, in turn, improve the quality of life of our patients with amyloid diseases.