Monday, 25 October 2010

My highlights of SIOP 2010 in Boston

I hope that all those of you who had a chance to attend this year's SIOP meeting in Boston at the Hynes Convention Centre had a great time. It was a personal pleasure to meet so many of my old friends and make new ones. There was a good representation of the paediatric oncology community from India as well as many from the Indian diaspora.

There were 45 presentations (8 oral and 37 poster) from India and I had a chance to hear and see several of them. My personal highlight was Dr Kurkure's presentation on L0w cost rationally designed protocol for treatment of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia in developing countries which was used in motivated families below poverty line at Tata Memorial Hospital. This protocol had a 3 drug induction (VCR, L-Asp, Dex) and 91% of children were in clinical remission at the end of induction. The event-free survival for standard risk patients was 63% (median follow-up 22 months) and for high risk patients was 48% (median follow-up 31 months). Remarkably, only 3% of children abandoned treatment during induction and 1% following induction.

The other presentation I really enjoyed was by Dr Vinay Jain on Building capacity in pediatric oncology in India: efforts of Jiv Daya Foundation 2008-2010 which gave a summary of the excellent work that he and his foundation have done over the last few years in several centres in India. More details of their work can be found on

Finally, I heard with great interest two related presentations by Paola Freidrich-Medina who is a fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She was presenting the work done by AHOPCA (Asociacion de Hemato-Oncologica Pediatrica de Centro America) which is collection of seven resource-limited countries from Central America. The presentations were Current barriers for successful treatment of children with sarcomas in low-income countries and High tumor burden, high rate of abandonment and fear of disabling surgery are among the innermost barriers to treatment of pediatric sarcomas in resource-limited settings.

I welcome your thoughts and your highlights of the meeting. If there are any photographs that you want to share from the meeting on this blog, you can email them to me.

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