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A message from the ESSO President 10/09/2019

Dear colleagues,
The ESSO 39 Congress is fast approaching and I cannot wait to already share with you some of its highlights.

With an effort to further assert ESSO’s strong commitment to education and training, the Congress will start with 3 educational workshops running  in parallel : “Breast Cancer Patients in real life”, “How to implement the adoption of mini-invasive treatment for upper GI cancer in the West”, and a very innovative workshop, which the Scientific Committee entitled “Dragon’s Den”, during which the best protocol concepts submitted will be discussed as young colleagues pitch their trial proposals in front of a panel of experts. Also, come and hear about the future with the Virtual Reality session, which has been compiled by EYSAC-ESSO Young Surgeons & Alumni Club. New technologies in surgical processes will be demonstrated in this session, training in mini-invasive surgery using VR, image-guided surgery, the use of artificial intelligence in surgery, optical spectroscopy and real-time tissue assessment in surgical oncology along with new ways in education and training of students and residents. Furthermore, for our young colleagues, the popular young mentorship will be rerun this year: with the participation of some experienced surgeons, our young colleagues will have the opportunity to discuss in small groups topics such as social media in surgery, explanations on the SoME4 surgery era, the art of writing science, international surgical studies and how to develop their career path.
ESSO 39 marks the year we celebrate esteemed ESSO members and pioneers to the surgical oncology community. It will be my honour to present, during the opening session, the ESSO lifetime achievement award to Professor Emiel Rutgers (NL). Likewise, during the Presidential session I will present the ESSO medal to Professor Peter Naredi (SE). Last but not least, Professor Takeshi Sano (JP) will receive the ESSO Honorary Membership during the partner societies’ session. You will read more about these esteemed colleagues further down in this newsletter.

ESSO 39 is equally a celebration of our partnerships with national surgical oncology societies. A dedicated partner societies’ session will feature presentations from leaders of national societies from around the globe. I strongly believe that it is only by strengthening our partnerships with national societies that we can truly advance surgical oncology and break down the barriers towards sharing knowledge on how best to fight cancer. ESSO’s young Chapter has well understood this prominent role for ESSO and has been very active over the last year in developing a network of young national representatives. Andreas Brandl highlights this very notion in this newsletter, in the context of his participation as EYSAC representative at the White Nights conference in St-Petersburg.
The Congress will also address the latest advances in the main tumour sites and offer general sessions on “Women in Surgery: Sharing the leadership”, “Emerging partnership between patients and doctors”, “Perioperative Clinical Research to improve surgical oncology outcomes”, this latest session being supported by the Anticancer Fund.

Besides hearing recognized experts in their field throughout an intense and varied three-day scientific programme, the ESSO 39 Congress will also be a wonderful opportunity to meet together with peer colleagues from all horizons. The networking event in the Euromast will offer you the opportunity to mingle with your peers in a relaxing atmosphere while enjoying a 360° view over Rotterdam and the largest harbour in Europe. For a detailed congress programme, I encourage you to visit the congress website at
I hope to see you in Rotterdam soon,
Dr Tibor Kovacs, PhD, FRCS, FEBS
President of ESSO

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