ESMO 2016: A practice-changing congress

Fortunato Ciardiello, ESMO President and President of this year’s Congress, officially opened the meeting and welcomed delegates to Copenhagen

  • Date: 08 Oct 2016
Opening Session 2016

Professor Ciardiello spoke enthusiastically during his address about his aspirations for the meeting. Acknowledging the growing burden of cancer in Europe and worldwide, he said that ESMO is continually evolving to meet the challenges that this brings. Professor Ciardiello added that as part of this, ESMO provides a platform for sharing knowledge, educating colleagues, forging new collaborations and, ultimately, finding the best possible outcomes for cancer patients. In answer to the rapid pace of progress in the field, he said that from now, ESMO will hold an annual congress.

As ESMO National Representative for Denmark and President of the Danish Society of Clinical Oncology, Professor Ulrik  Lassen was pleased that Denmark—and his home city of Copenhagen—played host to the ESMO 2016 Congress. He felt it was very fitting, considering the important role that Danish oncologists had played in the advancement of oncology research. Passionate speeches were a theme of the Opening Session. Professor Andrés Cervantes, ESMO 2016  Scientific Chair, encouraged everyone to make the most of the Congress.

Also present at the Opening Session was the Prime Minister of Denmark, Lars Løkke Rasmussen who gave a very personal account of losing his father to cancer. Mr Rasmussen described a national programme to have the first  smoking-free generation in Denmark by 2030, stating that we owe it to future generations to be ambitious in combating cancer. He also emphasised that one of the best weapons in our armamentarium is international co-operation, calling on the elite ‘troops’ at ESMO to continue to demonstrate their incredible determination and tireless work ethic.

The Opening Session was also an opportunity to celebrate award recipients, who were introduced by Professor Christoph Zielinski, Chair of the ESMO Fellowship and Award Committee. These awardees represent truly inspirational and  international clinicians and researchers from a broad spectrum of cancer disciplines.

By encompassing exceptional oncologists and ardent speeches, the Opening Session of ESMO 2016 enthused delegates and may even help to foster new working relationships to create the award winners of the future.

This article appeared in the Saturday edition of the Daily Reporter