Learning, teaching, sharing and a great sense of community
Once again, the community of patient advocates for sarcomas, GIST and desmoids have come together for another successful SPAEN Annual Conference from September 8-10, 2016. This year, Poland was the host country, welcoming all participants with great hospitality and warmth to its capital Warsaw.
The three conference days were full of learning about medical topics ranging from pathology to liquid biopsy in GIST, to reconstruction after bone surgery in bone sarcoma, to news in radiotherapy in sarcomas, updates from research and more. Furthermore, capacity building about branding and funding requests as well as sharing experience about patient meetings were important parts of the conference. But also the future of SPAEN and its objectives and projects were discussed during an innovative brainstorming session – outcomes are currently being evaluated and will be shared in due course.
The SPAEN policy paper about “Quality and Care in Sarcomas” was presented for the audience to discuss and make suggestions by Roger Wilson, honorary president of SPAEN. “The policy paper constitutes a pivotal tool for further improving the situation for sarcoma patients internationally”, says Markus Wartenberg, co-chair of SPAEN and, together with Roger Wilson and Estelle Lecointe-Artzner, author of the paper. “It represents the patients’ voice in research and management of sarcomas and fosters development in the interest of sarcoma patients.”
Also always worth to be part of such a community is the talk before and after sessions about similar or completely different problems, projects, good or bad experiences and brainstorming new ideas – a great way to learn from each other.