In early June 2018, a new French reference center for Castleman disease held a launch meeting in Paris,“Premiere Journee du Centre de Référence ‘Maladie de Castleman’.”  The meeting was led by the Director of the new Center, Dr. Eric Oksenhendler. Dr. Oksenhendler has spent over 20 years pushing the Castleman disease field forward, including a large case series from as far back as 1996 that highlighted the significant morbidity and mortality associated with multicentric Castleman disease at the time. Dr. Oksenhendler is one of the original Scientific Advisory Board members for the CDCN, where he is currently Vice Chair of Treatment Guidelines/Patient Care. He recently led the development of a case series of more than 200 Castleman disease patients treated at his hospital, Hopital St Louis. He also recently received funding from the French government to establish a reference center for Castleman disease at Hopital St Louis. The meeting was the first major initiative for the Center, which will include basic, translational, and clinical research along with world-class patient care.

Dr. David Fajgenbaum and Sheila Pierson of the University of Pennsylvania and Drs. Elaine Jaffe of the National Institutes of Health and Frits van Rhee of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences - all members of the CDCN - attended the meeting, leading discussions related to the pathogenesis, histopathology, and treatment of Castleman disease.

Dr. Oksenhendler started the meeting off with an introduction of the new Castleman reference center - a huge step for Castleman disease patient care and research! Dr. Jaffe presented information on the pathological features observed in Castleman disease.  Dr. van Rhee focused specifically on the pathogenesis and treatment of HHV-8-negative/idiopathic multicentric Castleman disease (iMCD). Dr. David Fajgenbaum shared information and updates on the ACCELERATE patient research study as well as CDCN research updates. Approximately 50 physicians who treat Castleman disease attended the meeting and also heard presentations on unicentric Castleman disease, HHV-8-associated multicentric Castleman disease, Castleman disease in pediatric patients, and different therapeutic interventions.

To learn more about the new Castleman reference center, visit the website at http://www.castleman.fr/

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