MADRID—In 2016, when the European Society for Medical Oncology reconvenes in Copenhagen, Denmark, it will kick off ESMO as an annual meeting.
Next year, the European Cancer Congress—which includes ESMO—with be held in Vienna, but after that ESMO will meet in its own yearly sessions. That was the word from this year's Scientific Chair, Johann de Bono, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of London and Royal Marsden Hospital, speaking in an interview here.
He also said that the meeting in Madrid was such a resounding success that he would like to make the city an almost permanent meeting site, much the way the American Society of Clinical Oncology has selected Chicago as an almost permanent base, as it is in the midst of a 10-year stay in the Windy City.
“The conference center here is well-located and is easy to negotiate,” he said. We heard very few complaints about any difficulties in getting to meeting rooms and things like that.”
And even the furor over admission to the exhibit hall (http://bit.ly/1uh1FAQ)—banning journalists, nurses, patients, and other “non-prescribers”—seemed to melt away. Apparently the ban was irregularly enforced, and did not include the greatest number of non-prescribers at the meeting: the people running the exhibit booths.
Indeed, as ESMO 2014 press officer Solange Peters, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, said, “This was a meeting of records and a meeting of successes.”
ESMO President Rolf Stahel, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University Hospital Zurich, said the figures back up the enthusiasm for the meeting: Total attendees rose to a record-setting 19,859, a 23 percent increase over the meeting in 2012 in Vienna, which also was record breaking.
In addition, he noted that the society now has crossed the 10,000-member milestone.
Peters alluded to successes in treatment—particularly in metastatic breast cancer, where the CLEOPATRA study indicated that treatment with the right drugs could extend survival out to nearly five years.
De Bono also noted that treatment for advanced melanoma that incorporates multiple molecular attacks brings hope to those patients who a scant decade ago had few options for therapy (http://bit.ly/1x3ZAYI and http://bit.ly/1uh26es)
ESMO is now also expanding out of Europe with the first ESMO meeting in Asia, to be held in December 2015 in Singapore: esmo.org/Conferences/ESMO-Asia-2015-Congress.