ESMO holds second successful Asia Congress in Singapore

News Hour:

The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), the leading professional organization for medical oncology, has successfully concluded the ESMO Asia 2016 Congress in Singapore. ESMO Asia 2016 is a platform for the presentation and discussion of cancer research and state-of-the-art oncology practice, designed specifically to help meet the needs of both senior and younger oncology professionals in the Asia Pacific region.

Since last year’s inaugural ESMO Asia 2015 Congress in Singapore, the conference has garnered more attention and interest from medical experts and professionals and is endorsed by twenty oncology societies across Asia. The first two editions of the ESMO Asia Congress have attracted almost 3,000 participants.

Attendees from this year’s congress shared positive feedback on the event’s substantial content, impressive roster of speakers, sharing of best-practice and the networking opportunities. The keynote lectures and major presentations drew packed audiences.

According to ESMO President, Professor Fortunato Ciardiello, “The ESMO Asia 2016 Congress was a success, and we are pleased that we managed to build on the strong momentum of last year’s inaugural event. We will continue to work closely with all our partners in the region to further develop the ESMO Asia Congress and make it one of the most influential must-attend oncology platforms in the region. The presence of international experts and attendees from many countries worldwide validates the unique offering of the ESMO Asia Congress. We designed the programme with the Asian oncology community in mind, but we had an excellent mix of both regional and international attendees; which is exactly our desired outcome, as we want to promote best practice sharing between Asian, European and worldwide oncology professionals. Ultimately, all these collaborative efforts are geared towards helping cancer patients across the continents.”

The Guest-of-Honour for the ESMO Asia 2016 Congress was Doctor Amy Khor, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Environment & Water Resources and Health, who attended the opening ceremony on Friday, 16 December with Professor Ciardiello.

The ESMO Asia 2016 Congress focused on current clinical challenges and novel treatment strategies for particular tumor subtypes, as well as updates on translating emerging cancer therapeutics into clinical use. The keynote lectures focused on two areas that are crucial in the era of personalized medicine, namely how professionals can better understand the differences between tumors of the same type in different patients and the link between the Epstein-Barr virus and nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

Additional presentations and in-depths discussions covered a wide range of related topics such as the increasing costs of treatments, measures that need to be taken to provide adequate psychological support for cancer patients, and the importance of better palliative care.

Prof Wu Yi-long, representing the Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology, one of the endorsing societies of the ESMO Asia 2016 Congress, said: “Our organization understands all too well the challenges in developing treatments and care approaches to help cancer patients. We were keen to support the ESMO Asia 2016 Congress, as the learnings and discussions are particularly relevant for our country and our patients. The sessions I attended provided me with an even greater understanding of what our organisation can realistically achieve in both the short- and long-term. The insights, potential for more collaboration and new research that we have gained from our attendance at the ESMO Asia Congress over these four days have been invaluable.”

Dr. Ravindran Kanesvaran from the host society, Singapore Society of Oncology, also welcomed the opportunity to partner with ESMO on the Asia 2016 Congress: “Through extensive research and education, we will all be able to provide the highest-quality patient care. We are pleased that ESMO has taken on a guiding role bringing experts and professionals together in this region. This gives us all access to research and expertise that would otherwise not be as easily available in our respective countries. We will take what we have learned from our peers and colleagues across Asia, Europe and other parts of the world, and apply this to our patients, who are the principle reason why we do this in the first place.”

At this year’s congress, ESMO also marked a significant milestone, as the organization announced that it has now reciprocal membership agreements with two oncology societies in Asia, namely the Korean Association for Clinical Oncology and The Indonesian Society of Hematology Medical Oncology.

The reciprocal membership would provide considerable advantages and benefits to oncologists in those countries, including reduced ESMO membership fee and a facilitated application process for new members.

“This is the first time for ESMO to expand its reciprocal membership agreements outside of Europe, highlighting our desire to establish strong bonds with our peers in this region,” said ESMO President Professor Fortunato Ciardiello.

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