Welcome to the second ESMO Asia Congress! ESMO and Congress President, Fortunato Ciardiello, who officially welcomed delegates to Singapore in the Opening Session, is prompt to underline the significance of the Congress.
According to Rolf A. Stahel, Chair of the Scientific Committee, the mixture of innovative science and standard treatment approaches in this year’s programme will build on shared goals of advancing knowledge and improving disease management. On this note, the packed audience was treated to Keynote Lectures highlighting important insights in cancer research that have emerged in recent years. Charles Swanton (The Francis Crick Institute, London, UK) spoke about the role intra-tumour heterogeneity plays in drug resistance in advanced disease. By gaining a better understanding of the different heterogeneity development ‘rules’ followed by each cancer type, we will be able to improve clinical trial design and treatment selection.
Discussing undifferentiated nasopharyngeal cancer—which is endemic in parts of China and responsible for many deaths—Anthony Chan (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin) explained that discovering more about the involvement of Epstein-Barr virus in its pathogenesis is an important step towards optimising disease management.
As Co-Chair of the Scientific Committee, Hyun Cheol Chung said that the ESMO Asia Congress gave scientists and clinicians an appropriate stage to de ne new treatment standards, while planting the seed for future advances in medical oncology.
Professor Ciardiello is enthusiastic about the prospects for this year’s Congress. “I am confident we will see existing bonds reinforced and new ones formed, ensuring we continue to make the type of progress that will improve the outcome of our patients.”
This article appeared in the Saturday 17 December 2016 edition of the Congress Highlights.