MESSAGE FROM THE HONORARY PRESIDENTS OF EUROGIN 2016
It is with great pleasure that we welcome you at EUROGIN 2016 in Salzburg, Austria. Salzburg is one of the most beautiful cities in the heart of Europe at the border between Austria and Germany. The city is the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the location of the Oscar-winning movie “The Sound of Music” and the place of the world´s most renowned festival of classical music (Salzburger Festspiele). It is surrounded by a wonderful landscape with alpine mountains and beautiful lakes.
The annual edition of EUROGIN is a great reminder of what basic and clinical sciences have achieved to date in the battle against cervical cancer - a leading cause of death in women worldwide. During the past two decades EUROGIN has furthermore been an excellent platform to communicate and discuss findings about the entire spectrum of human papillomavirus (HPV) related diseases. One highlight of the recent past was the FDA and EMA approval of the nona-valent HPV vaccine, which represents an important step in the final elimination of cervical cancer if vaccination coverage significantly improves globally.
A new era of cervical cancer screening had begun when the FDA approved an HPV test for primary cervical cancer screening in the US. This opened the door for an entire array of new debates including the lengths of the respective screening intervals, at what age of the woman screening should begin and end, and finally what the triage strategy should be. In 2015 the Netherlands and Australia approved primary HPV testing to be integrated in their screening programs. As a consequence an increasing number of screening tests are being developed, including cellular markers for detection of underlying disease. The common believe is that cervical cancer screening is continuously developing towards the usage of molecular markers opening the gateway for personalized medicine, which will compete with the performance of cytology-based methods. Finally, the development of novel therapeutic vaccines that are currently tested in clinical trials represents a significant step in improving cervical cancer treatment options, which hasn’t seen major advances in the past decades.
Today, as we know that HPV is the cause of numerous diseases, this conference has become of interest for a broad variety of clinical and scientific specialists. There is a unique balance between virologists, epidemiologists, public health experts and clinicians in the field of HPV research. In order to further advance HPV related cancer prevention and treatment, it is of uttermost importance for basic and clinical sciences to continuously collaborate. The EUROGIN conference is the ideal platform for scientists of both disciplines to network, share research ideas and discuss the latest advances in this challenging and multifarious field of investigation. Hence, we wish all participants a great experience at this year’s EUROGIN congress.