The IBTA was delighted to exhibit at the 21st Society for Neuro-Oncology Annual Scientific Meeting, held at the Fairmont Princess Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona, on 18-22 November 2016. This year’s meeting was the largest ever, with over 2,350 attendees (200 more than 2015) and 1,024 abstracts submitted (100 more than last year). The IBTA was represented at the conference by Chair Kathy Oliver (UK) and Senior Advisor Chris Tse (New Zealand). Our conference report “Highlights and Selected Abstracts from SNO 2016” can be read here.
Particular highlights for us were Kathy’s presentation on patient advocacy and neurosurgery in sub-Saharan Africa at the SNO International Outreach Meeting, and the presentation of the SNO 2016 Public Service Award to Dr Mary Lovely who, amongst her other leading roles in the world of neuro-oncology, is an IBTA special advisor. In her acceptance speech, Mary described her international work with the IBTA as one of the highlights of her career.
In his 2016 SNO presidential address, E. Antonio Chiocca, used the American football term “moving the chains” to describe the steady but incremental progress made in the field of neuro-oncology over recent years.
With advancements in new therapies, such as tumour treating fields and immunotherapies, and a greater understanding of underlying tumour biology, the stakes are higher to show benefit for a new therapy.
A definite game changer in 2016 was the updated WHO classification of Central Nervous System (CNS) Tumours, and this was the subject of several presentations throughout the conference. The most notable of these was delivered by pathologist Dr David Louis, Pathologist-in-Chief at Massachusetts General Hospital and this year’s recipient of the Victor Levin Award.
In his keynote lecture Dr Louis explained how the new classification uses molecular parameters in addition to histology to re-define many brain tumour types, such as: IDH mutant and IDH wildtype glioblastomas; H3 K27M-mutant diffuse midline glioma; RELA fusion-positive ependymoma; WNT-activated and SHH-activated medulloblastoma; and embryonal tumour with multilayered rosettes, C19MC-altered . These new classifications will help guide future brain tumour diagnoses, treatment and research decisions.
The three day scientific meeting was preceded by the two day CNS Anticancer Drug Discovery and Development conference, the Neuro-Oncology Review Course and the Education Day. The scientific programme featured sessions on:
- Clinical Trials
- Tumour Biology
- Radiation Therapy
- Paediatric Brain Tumours
- Molecular Pathology
- Practical and Applied Neuro-Oncology, including Quality of Life
Last but not least, the IBTA would like to thank the SNO administration team, lead by Chas Haynes and Linda Greer, for their wonderful skills and dedication to ensuring the meeting ran smoothly.
See you all in San Francisco in 2017!