Greaves M, Zander A    Leukemia Vol. 7, Suppl.
In this special supplement of LEUKEMIA, we present reports of papers given at the Xth Wilsede Conference. Every two years since 1973, those who have joined the biennial horse-drawn expedition to Wilsede in the inner reaches of the Lüneberg Heide south of Hamburg, have enjoyed wonderfully stimulating and informal discussions on all matters relevant to leukaemia research and treatment. The rustic 'De Emhoff' 'barn' has provided a convivial setting for many lively, and at times provocative, debates as well as excellent cakes and, well, flies. A feast of oncogenes, stem cells and antibodies have been spiced with musical interludes courtesy of Susumo Ohno and extraordinary, if at times somewhat baroque, talks-onmore esoteric issues such as the origin of life (as we know it). A number of senior scientists including Bob Gallo, A v Mitchison, Fritz Anders and others have become hardy and entertaining perennials at Wilsede and the opportunity for young investigators to discuss science with such 'older hands'has always been the key feature ofWilsede meetings, along with the international mix, including in recent years an impressive representation from the eastern European countries. The most remarkable feature ofWilsede is, however, the man behind it RolfNeth. Rolfis no longer running the conference but he has been both its originator and its outstanding character. He is a man of remarkable energy, intelligence and compassion. His new mission in life after retiring from his academic post in Hamberg last year is to assist in the development of care for leukaemia patients in the ex-Soviet Union. This comes as no surprise to those ofus who have seen the enthusiasm with which he set up, with Elena Frolova and Boris Afanasiev the Volga and Neva meetings to be coupled every two years with Wilsede. Some friends of the Wilsede conferences are sadly no longer with us. Fred Stohlman died tragically after the first inaugural meeting; Henry Kaplan and Ken McCreadie were other strong supporters who are sadly missed. Characteristically, Rolf Neth has found very appropriate ways to acknowledge these individuals in the meeting and so keep alive their spirit and dedication to leukaemia research. Rolf, his wife and their four sons have been at the heart of the Wilsede conferences and we all hope he continues to be there to stimulate, entertain and, at times, bemuse us. His many friends worldwide would expect nothing less.

Mel Greaves
Axel Zander

Wilsede 1973. Rolf Neth ( second from left ) with ( left to right ) Fred Stohlmann, Ron Mac Caffrey and Bob Gallo.

Inset: Wilsede-Volga conference 1992. Rolf Neth ( centre ) on the Volga with Elena Frolova and Frank Grosveld