INCTR Participation in the 41st Congress of SIOP

INCTR participated in the 41st Congress of the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) in São Paulo, October 5-9, 2009. INCTR sponsored a plenary session entitled, “Approaches to Improving Outcomes in Retinoblastoma”. During this session, Melissa Adde, Director of INCTR’s Clinical Trials Office, presented the results of the INCTR Retinoblastoma Strategy Group study entitled “Understanding Problems Faced by Parents of Children with Retinoblastoma Prior to Treatment”. Dr Sidnei Epelman, President of TUCCA and INCTR Brazil, presented joint INCTR-TUCCA awareness campaigns directed towards both health care professionals and the public with the goal of improving early diagnosis of this disease. TUCCA - TUCCA - an NGO for poor children and adolescents with cancer in Brazil - is closely associated with the Brazilian Branch of INCTR.

Dr. Claudia Epelman - Vice-president of TUCCA and Director of INCTR Brazil - coordinated a “Psycho-oncology Meeting”. This meeting was attended by over 70 professionals who came to hear about the most important issues relating to Pediatric Psycho-Oncology research and education from the main opinion leaders in this area. During this congress, Dr. Claudia Epelman launched the Portuguese version of a book entitled “Psychosocial Guidelines in Pediatric Oncology”, which includes thirteen articles published in the most important scientific journals on Pediatric Oncology. Dr. Claudia Epelman also spoke about “How to Improve Compliance” in one of the many sessions devoted to Pediatric Oncology in Developing Countries (PODC).

In another PODC session, Dr Aziza Shad, Director of INCTR’s Pediatric Oncology Program presented minimum requirements for establishing pediatric care units in developing countries which highlighted the differences in resources between and within countries participating in the discussion that followed her presentation. Melissa Adde spoke about the INCTR multi-center study on the treatment and characterization of Burkitt Lymphoma (BL) in Africa. The results demonstrate that significant improvements in survival have been made in children with BL since the introduction of this formal study. The data regarding patient deaths due to tumor lysis syndrome at the initiation of treatment as well as deaths due to infections both during and after treatment highlighted the need to further improve supportive care practices. Dr Epelman made proposals to include Mozambique in the network of countries participating in the African BL study and pledged support from INCTR Brazil through education and training of personnel from Mozambique in the conduct of the BL study. He also gave an overview of efforts in Brazil that addressed health care disparities in the management of childhood brain tumors in emerging countries.

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In a Clinical Trials Workshop, Dr Epelman and Dr Ian Magrath, President of INCTR, called for more pediatric clinical trials to be conducted in developing countries. They advocated that such trials be performed in order to obtain evidence based data that is relevant to the pediatric populations in low and middle income countries and stressed that the conduct of such studies would lead to improvements in many aspects of care for children with cancer.

INCTR and TUCCA shared a booth in the exhibition hall that attracted many meeting participants. SIOP participants had an opportunity to meet INCTR team members, to obtain more information about INCTR programs, to purchase the INCTR Palliative Care Handbook, and to become INCTR members. They were also able to purchase limited editions of Havaianas shoes that were specially designed for TUCCA as well as dolls, cookbooks, and other items. The proceeds of the sales of these items will be used to fund TUCCA projects.

Link to INCTR Photo Gallery

Link to relevant presentations

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