Executive Director Norman Scherzer traveled to Lisbon, Portugal in November to attend the 21st annual meeting of the Connective Tissue Oncology Society (CTOS). CTOS is an annual conference which has grown since its inception to be one of the leading conferences dedicated to presenting new research and clinical issues in the field of sarcoma.
The leading specialists in sarcomas, including GIST, gathered to present abstracts representing new science, followed by commentaries and reviews, as well as to participate in roundtable discussions or present posters.
Sessions on long term survival for metastatic GIST, and research on wild-type GIST reflected the need for new paradigms for research. GIST is not just one disease, but many, with complex mechanisms of action.
The conference was a valuable opportunity for Norman to network with respected leaders in the field of GIST and sarcoma research, including catching up with members of the LRG Research Team, including Dr. Matt van de Rijn, Dr. Jonathan Fletcher, and Dr. Sebastian Bauer.
Meeting with our European colleagues, including Markus Wartenburg and Kathrin Schuster from Sarcoma Patients EuroNet (SPAEN), many of the emerging advocacy issues became clear, including the difficulties in Europe to get reimbursement for high-priced drugs that are repurposed for other cancers. Potential future gatherings were also discussed.
Norman also met with the Executive Director and CEO of SARC (Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration), Denise Reinke, to discuss future opportunities to work together.
Further networking discussions with leaders from Sarcoma Foundation of America, Sarcoma Alliance, National LeioMyoSarcoma Foundation and others hold promise of future collaborative efforts, including burgeoning interest in our three new platforms: InterGR, SideEQ and GIST/PRIME, as well as the potential for combined educational events.