MESSAGE FROM THE HONORARY PRESIDENTS OF EUROGIN 2015
An event that was held for the first time in 1993 is taking place once again twenty-one years later. In a magnificent example of continuity, the EUROGIN (www.eurogin.com) team led by Dr. Joseph Monsonego gathers us all who work in "the world of the human papillomavirus (HPV)" to get together for a few short days. The meeting takes place February 4-7, 2015 in Sevilla, the capital of Andalucía, Spain.
Since its origin, EUROGIN has probably been the best forum to witness the expansion of our knowledge of the relationship between HPV, cervical cancer and the overall disease burden. Many areas of interest have evolved from this evidence: from epidemiology, to the mechanisms of oncogenic effect; from the development of vaccines - an important milestone in cancer research - to new, more effective and efficient screening strategies. These advances have been presented and discussed at EUROGIN.
The challenge now is twofold: to ensure that health professionals continue to get involved in this rapid development, redirecting their practice in accordance with the new protocols, not only by acknowledging new data but also recommending implementation, i.e. that health authorities implement these recommendations, ensuring that the benefits reach the entire population. This process is never easy: on one hand, there are always non-believers regarding new preventive strategies, including HPV vaccination, and on the other hand, one needs to keep in mind the situation in low-resource countries which lack infrastructure and financial resources. These two problems have to be solved by producing clear, independent and high quality data, and involving international partnerships so that new technologies and strategies can be accessed.
EUROGIN does not neglect an important issue: the care and education of women. The creation of the coalition Women Against Cervical Cancer (WACC) (www.wacc-network.org) based on the idea of empowering women patients and their families. At least one hundred nongovernmental organizations from five continents are part of the coalition and combine their efforts and experiences. In Sevilla, again, WACC will meet to share new interventions.
The data continues to grow in all areas: epidemiology helps us to understand the relationship of HPV and other neoplasia such as anal and those of the oral cavity; molecular biology keeps adding new markers to be used to improve our capacity to diagnose, treat and follow cases; the quality control of procedures (cytology, HPV testing, colposcopy, histology) has become necessary; new HPV vaccines are already knocking on our doors and new indications have evolved well as new implementation programs which can substantially change cost/benefit models; some countries have started funding the vaccination of males within the vaccination programs, opening the door to new strategies for prevention; better interaction of primary (vaccination) and secondary (screening ) prevention are already on the table, such as how to deal with the secondary prevention of vaccinated women.
We live exciting times, now and tomorrow, and interdisciplinary approaches are more important than ever. EUROGIN stands up for this once again. Our challenge is to combine translational and clinical research in order to best benefit clinical practice.
We ask for your active participation in this great event. Please join our efforts to promote new preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Together we can best fight against the HPV disease burden. It is our duty not to miss this chance. At EUROGIN, we can enjoy to learn the latest programs, to discuss new experiences and outcomes. This is a win-win situation.
And all this now takes place in Sevilla, a beautiful, hospitable, and cultural city. Please do not miss this opportunity! Enjoy it!