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A preview of the 14th European Cancer Conference


Peter Finn


The 14th European Cancer Conference (ECCO 14) will take place in Barcelona’s new ­International Conference Centre on 23–27 September 2007.

The conference is organised by the Federation of European Cancer Societies (FECS). The ­organisers say ECCO 14 will provide the largest multi‑disciplinary forum in Europe for discussing the entire ­spectrum of cancer research and management.

They say Europe’s latest research will be ­presented, with the emphasis on translating ­science into better clinical practice. “In addition to the latest scientific advances in our information-rich ­environment, the importance of epidemiological studies and lifestyle will be reviewed together with the challenges of overcoming inequalities in access to care across Europe.”

FECS and ECCO 14 president John Smyth and basic science/medicine scientific committee chair Alexander Eggermont were pleased at the ­quality of abstracts submitted for presentation. There were more basic science abstracts than in previous years and these have been fully incorporated into the ­conference programme. There are also many phase III trials being presented for the first time and/or with brand-new data. Around 140 specialists in different fields were set to speak, with some 12,000 scientists, clinicians, doctors, nurses, patients and caregivers expected to attend.

Topics include basic science, translational research, drug development, breast cancer, ­cancer in the ­elderly, central nervous system, drug development, epidemiology (prevention, ­public health), gastrointestinal cancer (colorectal and ­noncolorectal), ­genitourinary cancer (prostate and other), ­gynaecological cancers, head and neck ­cancer, ­imaging, ­leukaemia, lymphomas, ­transplantation, lung ­cancers (NSC, SC, pleural), melanoma and skin ­cancer, paediatric oncology, radiotherapy and ­radiobiology, ­sarcoma and symptom science.

Additional features include a programme of educational activities relevant for those in training, updates for continuing professional development, and a programme emphasising the increasing role of nurses in care, research and education.

A number of awards will be presented.

Pezcoller Foundation award
The Pezcoller Foundation, established in 1992, presents a biennial award for contributions to ­cancer and cancer-related biomedical science in ­collaboration with the European School of ­Oncology. The 2007 award goes to Professor Luigi Chieco-Bianchi, ­professor of oncology at Padua ­University (Italy) in 1966–2005, and professor emeritus from 2006. Professor Chieco-Bianchi produced early ­landmark papers on the role of viruses in neoplastic transformation. He later studied oncogenic ­retroviruses in man, demonstrating the role of the host immune response in virus-induced tumours. His studies of the relationship between HIV and ­tumorigenesis had highly relevant clinical ­implications. His ­laboratory became a leading ­European research centre. ­Professor Chieco-Bianchi also played a sustained role in fostering teaching and promoting cooperation among oncologists in Italy and abroad.

FECS Clinical Research Award
This award, which aims to recognise outstanding international contributions to integrating research and clinical practice, will be presented to Professor Cornelis van de Velde in recognition of his work in clinical trials.

Professor van de Velde has been linked with ­Leiden University (the Netherlands) since 1982. As professor of surgery he has led the surgical ­oncology, gastrointestinal surgery and endocrine and head and neck tumours sections. He initiated and coordinated national and international research networks and initiated basic and clinical research to improve patients’ prospects.

His focus is on developing treatment ­modalities, improving current therapies and developing ­diagnosis and prognosis techniques. He initiated and ­coordinated several studies that led to significant changes in treatment. He introduced and developed isolated liver perfusion to treat liver-confined cancer metastases in the Netherlands, and is known for his work on rectal and gastric cancer.

Treatment approaches at global level have been influenced by the Total Mesorectal Excision study, set up and co-ordinated by Professor van de Velde.

The next conference, ECCO 15, will take place in Berlin in 2009.

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