We are pleased that the 6th SIOP Asia Congress (Iran-Kish Island, 3-5 March 2010) provided an exciting and productive time for all of us on the continental branch of SIOP. Two years ago all initial arrangements began for congress preparation. A fantastic team of individuals with a broad range of relevant experiences in the fields of congress management, financial management, and scientific planning contributed to the success of the event that was organized by Iranian Pediatric Hematology Oncology Society (IPHOS) and supported locally by Ministry of Health, Treatment and Medical Education.
The conference was attended by participants from more than 50 countries of Asia, Europe, and North America. Fortunately, several Iranian NGOs dealing with children with cancer and hematologic disorders also attended. All participants joined in together for the common cause of fighting childhood cancer that is reflected in the theme: "Best Care and Cure for Children with Cancer".
The scientific program covered almost all parts of childhood cancer including ALL, AML, CNS tumors retinoblastoma, Hodgkin and non Hodgkin lymphoma, soft tissue sarcoma, JMML, CML, Wilms tumor, neuroblastoma and stem cell transplantation whose different aspects were delivered to the congress by state of the art lectures. Pediatric surgeons, radiotherapists, and some expert scientists in the field of molecular biology delivered lectures relevant to their expertise. It was amazing to see how findings of clinical trials and research projects in childhood malignancy had given rise to an atmosphere for learning and experience sharing. We scheduled panel discussions to follow a theme-related series of presentations. Specific programs for nurses and social workers were also held.
The special session entitled "Asian Landscape" was the presidential symposium chaired by the SIOP-Asia President, Dr. Purna Kurkure. The board of SIOP-Asia reported the status of childhood cancer on their region. International and regional faculty experts delivered keynote lectures focusing on new diagnostics tools and therapeutic modalities, late effect of treatment, and cooperation for effective care in Asia especially in limited resource countries. They stressed on the necessity of a modern cancer registry to develop in Asia for the precise assessment of the present status as a basis for better future planning.
The young investigators had a chance to present their projects. We had special lectures for PODC with the title "Impact of PODC activities in improving management of pediatric malignancies in developing countries" that was presented by Dr. Hans Peter Wagner, Chairman of PODC. Iranian Pediatric Hematology Oncology Society, Mahak, and Peiman charities also had the opportunity to give a report of their visions, goals, and achievements.
We had over 50 abstracts that were shown as poster and 93 oral presentations.
I think what happened in this congress and what we observed as scholarly contributions are real promising and enliven hope that we would be able in near future to treat children with cancer with less systemic toxicity and with better efficacy. The 6th SIOP-ASIA meeting has a tremendous success for the vast scope of new developments offered in childhood cancer.
At the end of meeting, we had a session entitled "Orients meets Occident's" co-chaired by Dr. Purna Kurkure, Dr. Baharat Agarwal, Dr. Mardawig Alebouyeh, and Dr. Hans Peter Wagner. The speakers extended their thanks to local committee members and congress organizers for their cooperation with the SIOP-Asia Board resulting in the scientific and social success of the event. A highly positive feedback was received from participants for the program contents, hearty hospitality, and excellent organization. The congress proceedings were published in the Iranian Journal of Blood and Cancer (IJBC).
About 230 participants from international and Asian countries participated in the congress. The congress also hosted 27 invited speakers from Europe, North America, and Asia.
Scholarships were granted to participants from limited resource countries, young investigators, and students. Accommodation and registration were free for participants with oral presentation. Certificates of participation were issued for all the registered delegates.
There were wonderful social programs in the opening ceremony and the host held a gala dinner with music entertainment that made the gathering an unforgettable experience. A city tour for Kish Island sightseeing was also offered.
I want to take opportunity to thank the local organizing committee especially Dr Rahiminegad, Hamayesh Sazan Novin Company, and all the sponsors and supporters who helped this incredible experience come true.
Now we are heading forward to Indonesia on 2012 for the next SIOP-Asia meeting where we would certainly witness another effective and successful event.
Dr Hassan Abolghasemi, Dr mohammad Faranoush