Important upcoming conferences and educational events

There are a number of significant upcoming conferences and patient education events that readers may want to be aware of happening from now through to the end of the year (inclusive of the next patient meeting coordinated by Prostate Cancer International):

On August 28-31, 2019, the second biennial Advanced Prostate Cancer Consensus Conference (APCCC) will be taking place in Basel, Switzerland. This meeting is carefully designed to address the many complex issues affecting how, when, and with what to treat men with advanced forms of prostate cancer when definitive level 1 evidence for a specific form of care is not available. Greater detail is available on the APCCC web site and also in a recent video discussion about the conference on the UroToday web site. A key goal of the meeting is to seek consensus around certain specific recommendations related to the evaluation and treatment of well-defined subsets of men with advanced prostate cancer. Your sitemaster will be in attendance.

On October 4-5, 2019, a second consensus meeting is to be held in Philadelphia, PA, on the Implementation of Genetic Testing for Inherited Prostate Cancer. Attendance at this meeting is by invitation only and is coordinated by key staff of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson University. Your sitemaster is a member of the planning committee for this event. Again, a key goal of the meeting is to gain greater consensus about the appropriate use of germline testing in monitoring risk for, the diagnosis of, and the treatment of prostate cancer that has a hereditary/familial risk component. This is the second consensus meeting on this topic. The first was held in late 2017, and a detailed report on the findings of that first meeting was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in early 2018, and is available in full on line.

On September 6-8, 2019, the Prostate Cancer Research Institute (PCRI) will hold its annual 2019 Prostate Cancer Patient Conference in Los Angeles, CA. Full details about this long-running, patient-oriented event are available if you click here.

On September 12-13, 2019, the Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN) will hold its 15th annual summit in Washington, DC, focused on prostate cancer disparities and issues specific to the African-American community. For more information about this event, please click here.

On September 24 to 26, 2019, the Prostate Cancer Foundation will hold its 26th Annual Prostate Cancer Foundation Scientific Retreat will be held in Carlsbad, CA. This is another invitation-only meeting and claims (with a high degree of supporting evidence) to be “the foremost scientific conference in the world on the biology and treatment of prostate cancer.” For more information, see here.

On November 2, 2019, in Virginia Beach, VA, Prostate Cancer International will be holding another in its series of one-day oonferences entitled Prostate Cancer Today: Living Well; Choosing Wisely. The agenda for this meeting is nearing completion and we shall be starting to promote the meeting in the near future. This meeting is intended primarily for patients and caregivers, and is carefully designed to optimize the opportunities for patients to ask questions of experts in the field in a whole spectrum of workshops on a range of differing topics. Attendance at this meeting is free (although we do ask for donations to help defray the costs), and we have arranged for discounted hotel accommodation for those coming from beyond the local area. For more details and early registration, please click here. Your sitemaster will be one of the session moderators.

One Response

  1. The PCRI Conference Series and What It Has Meant to Me

    This long-running conference series is the best I have ever attended on any subject! Expert invited speakers address concerns from pre-diagnosis to the most advanced cases, with moderator questions to the speakers by Dr. Mark Moyad, MD, who teams with Dr. Mark Scholz, MD, a noted author, researcher, and medical oncologist with a large practice dedicated to prostate cancer, in a review and overview, plus additional expert comments by Dr. Scholz. Speakers are also available for questions directly from patients after their presentations, and most are happy to answer questions in the hallways. There are also breakout patient and expert-led groups based on topics and clinical situations (such as active surveillance, radiation, surgery, advanced disease). The exhibit hall is very active throughout the conference.

    I first attended the conference in 2000, which was held in Long Beach, 9 months after being diagnosed with a life-threatening case. I almost did not go as it was the busiest time of year for me at work, but taking that three days for the conference was the best investment I have ever made! What still stands out is the wonderfully supportive overall atmosphere of optimism, hope, and unity, which was a theme. I especially remember Dr. Stephen Strum, MD, the coordinator/MC, and Dr. Charles “Snuffy” Myers, MD, a key presenter, as well as his wife Rose and sister-in-law who cooked a healthy stew in the exhibit hall. There was such a feeling of camaraderie and mutual support among us as we ate together or worked out in the hotel gym, sharing our experiences and ideas. Louis Armstrong’s “It’s a Wonderful World” would play as we took our seats for each session. It seemed almost magical.

    But in addition to this morale boost, I got some valuable specific ideas for improvements in my program. The most important information was the just breaking impressively favorable results from the Strum/Scholz practice supporting triple androgen deprivation therapy, upon which I was just then embarking based on previous internet and newsletter comments by doctors presenting at the conference. Their research bolstered the confidence of my local oncologist who was treating me as his first patient with triple ADT, off-label, based on my request and his confirming study. The next most important point was to change my PSA tests from the conventional tests with a lower threshold of < 1.0 to the ultrasensitive tests that could reliably register PSA as low as < 0.01. Back then this was pioneering stuff; my local oncologist headed a large practice, and based on the 10 pages of studies I brought back in my conference notebook that supported ultrasensitive testing, he switched to ultrasensitive testing for me and other patients. It took years for many doctors to catch on to the value of ultrasensitive testing, and I am convinced ultrasensitive testing made a most positive early impact on management of my challenging case. I was also the first patient to get a vitamin D test in my local oncologist’s practice, also based on notes from the conference. In general, my belief is that expert presenters are describing research and ideas that are at least several years if not a decade ahead of the current standard-of-care.

    I subsequently attended four more conferences in this annual series. In addition, I have diligently studied sets of conference DVDs that are available within months of the event; these do an excellent job of providing the speaker and moderator Q&A presentations, as well as a few of the breakout groups. While I much prefer to attend, that is now difficult as I am a caregiver, and the DVDs are a good substitute for being there. The DVDs also are a way to intently study presentation material that comes at you pretty fast during an actual conference. Our support group makes sure to obtain the DVDs shortly after publication, and I know that some prostate cancer education and support groups use them as the basis for featured meetings.

    There are always enjoyable excursions available, as well as a pleasant Saturday night banquet with special entertainment. Special air fare and hotel discounts are available.

    I wholeheartedly recommend the PCRI conference this September.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: