European Breast Cancer Conference - success and future

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Published: 4 Apr 2012
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Prof Michael Gnant - Medical University of Vienna, Austria

Prof Gnant talks to ecancertv at the European Breast Cancer Conference, Vienna, March 2012, about what makes the meeting special and the future of the conference.

8th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-8), March 21 - 24, Vienna, Austria

European Breast Cancer Conference – success and future


Professor Michael Gnant – Medical University of Vienna, Austria


The EBCC is special because it has certain characteristics that differentiate it from other research conferences. First, it’s entirely focussing on breast cancer, this is a difference to major, more general, broader oncology conferences. Second, EBCC, because of who is involved, which involves Europa Donna as a patient advocate organisation, always has had and still has, and actually this is even an ever-increasing part of what we’re doing, an excellent focus on patients’ needs. So this starts when we design the programme but it also can be seen in the roster of the sessions. So what we try to do is we try to translate research findings, which are sometimes difficult to understand even for physicians a little bit out of the field, towards those for whom we actually do all these efforts. I think this is not only a likeable feature but it’s also a necessity because, with all the support we require from society as a research community, this can be of great help and I consider it a major asset.


You know what is kind of surprising but actually I’m very glad about it is that we now start seeing original research being submitted to EBCC. So maybe ten years ago everybody who had a potential sensation in the field was only going to the American Cancer Congress or to other major meetings. In the field of breast cancer now researchers start putting pivotal results to this conference; we had a record number of submissions including many, many of those large trials to be reported for the first time which I think is also a good feedback for the community and a recognition that this special focus on one disease is something that is of value for many.


What can we expect in the future from EBCC?


What is exciting to see is that really we have a large number of young researchers and clinicians, particularly from Asia, the Middle East, also the new EU member states, who attend the sessions and interact and exchange experiences. This is very good to see and I think it’s a promise for an excellent future for EBCC.


Breast cancer is leading the way in oncology in developing multi-disciplinary structures, implementing patient issues, patient views, communicational issues into all the proceedings around the disease but also in implementing transparency and quality control systems which look at breast centre certification processes and all these things. So this is very important.