we want to wish you and all your families a Happy New Year.
This New Year is an exciting one in a new world where uncertainties and short-term management have replaced long-term plans and certainties.
But, even if we are unable to determine what the health prospects of each European country will be during the coming months, we want to share with you our main directions and work plans for 2021 ahead of the ESGO Prague Congress.
As Face-to-Face meetings are remain difficult for the moment, our primary task is to maintain high motivation and dedication to ESGO.
We plan during the next (virtual) council meeting in January 2021 to look at the different aims and targets defined during the strategic meeting organised one year ago, before the COVID events.
Many of these have been activated during this past year. The feasibility of others needs to be re-examined in the light of the COVID crisis, as well as its impact in the coming years.
One of the key messages from the amazing and successful State of the Art Virtual Conference - a milestone in the history of ESGO is the incredible level of expectation and desire to “gather and share” within our community. They are thirsty for high-quality scientific meetings with great interactivity.
The major pillars of ESGO - quality, coherence, inventiveness, flexibility and format of the congress programme, and educational events are even stronger now.
Building on this, the ESGO Prague meeting will be a key event, anticipating that we will be able to come together again.
In addition, we also need to acknowledge the importance of our educational courses- we will reactivate old ones greatly valued before COVID and bring in new ones such as courses on molecular pathology and targeted therapy, bowel surgery and advanced procedures for gynae-oncologists, and the advanced course on surgery of cervical cancer.
These courses reflect our vitality and are also attractive to companies who support our scientific and educational endeavours. Depending on the state of health of the continent, the target is to (re)open some of these courses during the second trimester of 2021.
Our three networks (ENYGO, ENGAGE and ENGOT) are the apples of our eyes, boosting the stature of ESGO, but also helping it look to the future. Their strategies and proposals deserve specific consideration as they bring greater strength to ESGO.
Prevention is a new and particularly challenging area tackled for the first time during our strategic meeting. Significant progress has been made regarding the development of scientific publications, whereas a multiple of projects has been open and shall be finalised in 2021.
Our guidelines programme has been successful and popular. New topics will be covered or finalised in 2021, such as perioperative management in ovarian cancer, pre-operative diagnosis in ovarian tumours. There will also be a new guidelines integrating ESTRO and SIOPe experts’ views about the management of vaginal cancer.
A consensus conference will be organised in 2022 under the ESMO and ESGO umbrella to work on ovarian cancer management. Groups are working on quality indicators of endometrial cancer surgery, radiation therapy treatment in cervical cancer (with ESTRO colleagues), and updates of vulvar and cervical cancer guidelines will be open.
We are also progressing the processes through the Accreditation and Certification Committee to define ESGO centres for cervical cancer treatment (end 2021/beginning 2022).
In this context, where Face-to-Face meetings with officers from other societies are not possible, special links and contacts are crucial to maintaining strong connections across scientific and educational projects, particularly with colleagues and friends from ESTRO, ESMO, ESO, ESGE, ESHRE and SERGS.
2021 should also be the year to sign the MoU with IGCS colleagues following two years of discussion with them and to return to the previous ‘gentleman’s agreement’ that served both societies well in former times. The geographical spread of ESGO’s voice and its projects are pivotal to our success.
Our motivation to maintain very close and friendly links with crucial European regions or countries, particularly in eastern Europe, Russia, the Balkan countries, Turkey, and surrounding regions (Middle East, Egypt, the Maghreb), remains close to our hearts. In this context discussions and agreements with MEMAGO and PARSGO are of key importance to our Society.
This is just a brief overview of what is on our plate in 2021. We will continue to improve the visibility of ESGO in and outside Europe, and above all, improve the quality of treatment of patients with gynaecological cancers, our primary raison d’être.
We thank you all for your help, ideas and the energy you give to ESGO.
Take care of yourselves and your families.
Philippe Morice, France
Jonathan Ledermann, UK
ESGO Vice President
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