On 17-18th December, in capital city of Lower Silesia, Wroclaw, an extraordinary scientific event – 1st International Symposium What’s New In Pediatrics And Oncology took place. It was organized by the Marrow Transplantation, Pediatric Oncology and Hematology Clinic, with cooperation of Foundation Help For Children With Cancer Disease. The patronage over the conference was taken by Polish Academy of Sciences (Committee on Childhood Cancer), Polish Pediatric Society and Polish Society of Children Oncology and Hematology.
Everything began on Friday, with the official speeches of honorary guests – the Governor of Lower Silesia, Rafał Jurkowlaniec, the President of Medical University, Marek Ziętek and Ombudsman for Children, Marek Michalak. Mr Michalak also awarded professor Alicja Chybicka, the President of Polish Pediatric Society, Ombudsman for Children’s Honorable Award for people and organizations especially engaged in work for children and their rights. Professor Chybicka gave us a brief review about the main health problems of children in Poland and a medicine doctor, Gabriel Wcisło from Warsaw delivered a lecture about different kinds of monoclonal antibodies used in oncology.
Next parts consisted of parallel sessions connected with novelties in pediatrics, oncology, nephrology, family practice and vascular malformations. These subjects were presented by medical authorities not only from Poland (among others Wojciech Woźniak, Jacek Pietrzyk, Mieczysława Czerwionka-Szaflarska, Wojciech Młynarski, Teresa Woźniakowska – Gęsiecka), but also from the USA (Milton Waner, Aaron M. Fay) and concerned a wide range of specific topics.
It is impossible to describe every speech in detail, therefore I will focus on the main points of particular sessions. Great attention was given to any kind of preventive treatment: obligatory and non-obligatory immunization (especially the range of HPV and Pneumococcus vaccinations was emphasized), the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and the significance of systematic checkups in children’s population and the negative effects of children obesity. However, alongside prevention issues, not less important were problems connected with oncology, especially children oncology. Specialists debated about the progress of bone tumors and soft part sarcomas treatment, little invasive surgery in pediatrics, infections during immunosuppression, the role of genetic diagnosis in oncology, and the newest forms of oncologic therapy: cellular signaling drugs, monoclonal antibodies and stem cells – very popular and controversial topic these days. There were also some presentations about TORCH infections, feeding children with different diseases, modern methods of acute renal failure detection, actual issues of metabolic bone diseases.
At the same time, there lasted a separate session concerning vascular malformations in children population, involving worldwide famous foreign experts. They were discussing about the role of invasive radiology in vascular malformations, diagnosis and treatment (the main question was whether we should wait with the surgical treatment or intervene quickly). Simultaneously, there was a session on rehabilitation, especially after surgical treatment and in neurologic diseases, and there were also two workshops – one for parents and nurses, entitled “When child is difficult patient”, and the second one, led by the psychologist, about the effective communication in multidisciplinary medical groups.
At the end of the day Professor Jan Miodek, a Polish linguist, gave a lecture about the word ‘child’ in language. After his speech, the audience had an opportunity to listen to a unique Sygit Band, connecting people having different occupations, but one true love which is music.
Saturday began from a short breakfast meeting with an expert, where authorities answered questions asked by the attendees. Then there started three parallel sessions. One concerned vascular malformations and was a continuation of the first part from the previous day and pertained to the surgical treatment of haemangiomas, lymphatic malformations, obliterating therapy and the new drug applied in heamenagiomas treatment – proplanolol. Pediatric session concentrated on neoplasmas in ophthalmic practice, the treatment of B-cell NHL|AL and modern forms of therapy – biosimilar drugs and allergen immunotherapy as a preventive treatment in asthma. The third session was dedicated to nurses and was mostly devoted to taking care of oncologically and terminally-ill patients.
The next part was divided into three simultaneous discussing panels: pediatrics, oncology and vascular malformations. Participants of the conference could ask famous professors about prevention in pediatrics, the best methods of diagnosing and therapy, non-typical forms of treatment in oncology, problems connected with vascular malformations, both medical and psychological. The debate was extremely fruitful.
The official part of the symposium ended by speeches of three notabilities: Milton Warner, who gave a lecture about congenital vascular anomalies and principles of treatment of haemangiomas. Wojciech Witkiewicz made a reflective speech “Every adult was yore a child” in which he reminded of a modern surgical system Da Vinci, bought recently by his hospital. Mr Jerzy Bodalski told a story of Polish pediatrics which spans over a hundred years, with a sad conclusion that Polish pediatrics is in very bad condition right now.
Just after the ceremonial end of the conference, there started The Tenth Jubilee Meeting of Patients Cured from Cancer Disease in auditorium. During this special anniversary the audience could admire vocal and dancing show made by the ex-patients of Oncology Clinic. The additional special event was the ceremony of awarding an “Order of Smile” to Krzysztof Bramorski, who had conducted charitable auctions for small patients with cancer disease for many years.
This conference was a success: scientific, artistic and philanthropical. Unfortunately, for the 2nd International Symposium “What’s New in Pediatrics and Oncology” we have to wait a year…