For the past 40 years, ESMO has been one of the leading cancer congress in Europe, convening international experts with a common goal: finding the best outcome for cancer patients. More than 19 000 participants from 130 countries are expected to arrive in Copenhagen over the course of next week for a congress jam-packed with top-notch scientific and educational programmes. While previous editions have focused on the need to adopt a multidisciplinary approach to oncology, the congress will take this year a 360° view to cancer, exploring issues ranging from disease treatment to patient care.
As we pack our bags, here are three reasons why the ESMO Congress has our attention – and should have yours too.
- Giving the floor to science
When scientists take the floor to talk about new breakthroughs in understanding the complexities of cancer, the room is energized. Whether it’s about getting a step ahead of cancer outsmarting the immune system or how unlocking the DNA can help develop targeted anti-cancer therapies, the fast-evolving research landscape in oncology is centre-stage at ESMO. To measure the pace of the research landscape, ESMO is preparing a special symposium on which medicines will be used in 2020, and it will be exciting to see what the future holds in this domain.
- Translating science into public policy
Scientific breakthroughs coupled with continued investment in prevention, screening and diagnostics have greatly improved cancer survival rates in Europe, today higher than ever. But more needs to be done if we are to truly counteract the negative impact cancer has on healthcare systems, patients and caregivers. How can we complete the not- -so-easy task of translating science into policy and practice? Such questions also feature on the ESMO programme, with planned sessions on bridging the gap between innovation and access.
- Involving the patient community
As pointed out by a recent study in the British Medical Journal, patient participation in medical congresses holds the potential of identifying pressure points previously unimagined. At the end of the day, patients are best placed to help everyone understand the impact that cancer has on themselves and those around them. Improving patient health literacy is also key in fighting cancer, and ESMO will have a dedicated track to facilitate patient advocates’ scientific learning.
Keep your eyes on LillyPadEU for updates from ESMO Congress.