Senior Director of Program Operations, Sara Rothschild, recently represented the Life Raft Group at the SPAEN (Sarcoma Patients EuroNet) meeting. Subsequent to the meeting, over 300 medical professionals gathered for the 7th annual ESMO (European Society for Medical Oncology) Sarcoma and GIST Conference. in Milan, Italy.

Over 50 delegates gathered from Europe, US and India to hear updates on GIST management and treatment.

Presentations at SPAEN included topics such as:

  • Overview: 15 years of research and treatment in GIST
  • Working on “Quality of Life (QoL)” for sarcoma patients
  • Research Updates in GIST
  • Sarcoma subtypes in children, teens and young adults
  • Information and public relations: How to communicate your message effectively
  • The development of a patient association: if changes are becoming necessary, what are the important factors of “change management” in an organization
  • Education: Understanding the role of pathologists as “pilots” for the treatment of sarcomas
  • Sarcoma/GIST and fertility
  • SPAEN AGM – including the presentation of a white paper on Sarcoma Research policy and guidance, as well as the sharing of tools, social media strategies and proposed upcoming conferences

Major GIST specific topics discussed at ESMO included:

  • Pathology – a multidisciplinary approach and accurate classification is necessary
  • Adjuvant Treatment – Debate continues on the appropriate length of adjuvant treatment, varying from country to country
  • Surgery – The value and efficacy of a surgical approach
  • Medical treatment of GIST – State of the art approach
  • Resistance – Causes and how to address
  • Genotype – The importance of genotyping in diagnosis and treatment decisions
  • SDH-Deficient GIST – Definition of the sub-types and treatment decisions

For a detailed description of the above topics, click here.

Photo above by Uli Deck