The online election is being managed by Simply Voting. IGCS Members with voting rights should have received a link to the online ballot from the email address, vote@simplyvoting.com on Sunday, April 5th and will receive weekly reminders to vote through May 5, 2020.

Members may also visit igcs.simplyvoting.com and login with their IGCS username (email address) and password to vote.

Please be aware that Senior Members are not eligible to vote and will not be able to access the ballot. If you need assistance or have questions about voting, contact debbie.leopold@igcs.org.

 

President Elect

 

For the year 2020, the position of President Elect must be filled by a member residing in Asia or Oceania.
Prof. Keiichi Fujiwara was elected by nomination. Congratulations, Keiichi!

Keiichi Fujiwara, MD, PhD
Professor and Director, Dept. of Gynecologic Oncology
Saitama Medical University Int’l Medical Center
Japan

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

Read Keiichi's Election Profile

IGCS Activities:

  • IGCS Biennial Meeting Scientific Program Committee Co-Chair (Kyoto 2018)
  • IGCS Secretary-Treasurer (2012-2014)
  • IGCS Secretary-Treasurer Elect (2010-2012)
  • Senior Editor of the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer (2008-2013)
  • IGCS Finance Committee Member (2005-2007)

Personal Statement:

It is my great honor to have the opportunity to be a candidate for President-Elect position of IGCS.

I have been a member of IGCS since 1995, was a member of the Finance Committee from 2005 to 2007 and Secretary Treasurer of the Society from 2012 to 2014.  I have also served as a Senior Editor of the International Journal of Gynecologic Cancer from 2008 to 2013. The biggest opportunity for me so far to contribute to the Society was at the IGCS Annual Meeting held in Kyoto, Japan, 2018 as Scientific Co-Chair. During my career and with that experience, I have witnessed the impressive growth of IGCS and have also learned that IGCS is the number one society to connect the gynecologic cancer communities on a global scale.

My career as a gynecologic oncologist started by learning the importance of evidence-based medicine and then it advanced to learning evidence generating processes, especially in the planning and conducting of clinical trials. This process is important not only to establish the evidence for future patient care but also to improve the quality of daily practice. Building clinical trial infrastructure requires multidisciplinary collaboration with nurses and other co-medical staff to support and protect our patients. I strongly believe this experience has given me the opportunity to lead multidisciplinary committees such as those within the IGCS whose membership is diverse.

To achieve this purpose, I would like to propose that the IGCS enhances further collaboration with nursing and other healthcare professionals and more importantly with our patients, both of which the Society has recently started.

After almost two decades of learning about and being actively involved in clinical trials, I have recently had the opportunity to serve as Chair of the Gynecologic Cancer Intergroup, GCIG, which is the global network of clinical trial groups worldwide (October 2018 until October 2020). 

In the past, evidence generation has been performed mainly in developed countries where resources and the infrastructure support of clinical trials are well established. It is now necessary to ensure that clinical trial expertise is disseminated to other part of the globe to fit the evidences in those areas by considering the uniqueness and differences in ethnical and cultural backgrounds. 

The training of clinical trial specialists is the role of the clinical trial group. In contrast, the role of the IGCS is to spread the importance of clinical trials, encourage researchers who want to go down that path, and appeal to hospital managers and government officials about the importance of building infrastructure to support clinical trials. A strong partnership between IGCS and GCIG and particularly CCRN will ensure that women in low- and middle-income countries will receive all the benefits that an active clinical trial program produces.

During my experience working with a number of world-class leaders in the gynecologic oncology community, I have learned the importance of synergies generated by working together in a collegial and respectful fashion. As President of IGCS I would hope the international community of caregivers in women’s health will grow more closely together and that our patients will have improved outcomes as a result. It is my great honor to be considered for this position.

Candidates for Vice President

 

Michael Birrer, MD, PhD
Director, Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
United States

Specialty: Medical Oncology & Translational Research

Read Michael's Election Profile

IGCS Activities:

  • Consistent reviewer for the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer
  • IGCS Biennial Meeting Scientific Program Committee Member (Bangkok 2008)
  • Invited Speaker, IGCS Annual Global Meeting (Rio de Janiero 2019)

Personal Statement:

I have dedicated my professional life to the diagnosis and treatment of women with gynecologic cancers. Caring for woman suffering from these diseases has been a great satisfaction for me.  In addition, this effort has included running a fully funded genomics laboratory along with a consistent focus on translating these results into the design and activation of “cutting edge” clinical trials.  Many of these projects involve large consortiums of national and international collaborators unified by a mutual interest in understanding the molecular underpinnings of gynecologic cancers and ultimately helping women with these diseases.

My administrative experience includes a broad and deep experience in participating in and leading many national and international committees and organizations focused on gynecologic cancers. This includes the Gynecologic Cancer Intergroup Committee, Society of Gynecologic Oncology, Cancer Research UK, Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Research Program, and American Society of Clinical Oncology to name a few. These experiences mean that I have worked with many of the investigators in the field and they are familiar with my abilities and style. My leadership style is best described as inclusive, collaborative and supportive. It is critical that the best and innovative researchers are always given a chance to participate and that we encourage and support our young investigators. 

It would be a great honor for me to serve on one of the premier professional organization focused upon gynecologic cancer patients. I would hope to help spread IGCS’s message and expand its mission particularly to underserved populations throughout the world. My background as both a medical oncologist and translational researcher would help bring a different viewpoint and novel approach to the leadership of the group. A strong effort to engage and encourage laboratory based researchers would be very important for IGCS. In many ways, the future of the field is dependent upon translation laboratory research into novel drug discoveries. These are two areas that I have extensive experience in and I would be delighted to promote within the organization.

Jae-Weon Kim, MD, PhD
Professor and Director, Gynecologic Oncology Center
Seoul National University
Republic of Korea

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

Read Jae-Weon's Election Profile

IGCS Activities:

  • Member of the Scientific Program Committee at 16th and 18th IGCS Meetings (Lisbon 2016; Rome 2020)
  • Senior Editor, International Journal of Gynecological Cancer (2008-2018)
  • Attended and presented at 6th, 10th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th IGCS Biennial Meetings

Personal Statement:

As a devoted member of the IGCS for the last 23 years, I would be honored to be elected as Vice President to assist in the further development of the organization. Since the 6th IGCS meeting held in Fukuoka in 1997, I have served as not only a member of the scientific program committee but also as a Senior Editor for the IJGC from 2008 to 2018. I have been proactively involved with the Gynecologic Cancer InterGroup (GCIG) as a representative of the Korean group since 2004. In addition, I have been served for more than 10 years to the Asian SGO as a Council member, Treasurer, and Editor-in-Chief of the ‘Journal of Gynecologic Oncology’ and am currently active as President-Elect.

During my career, I have come to realize that there are plenty of unrevealed and unmet needs in the gynecologic field, especially in underdeveloped countries. Considering the variety of needs and available resources in different areas, as well as the diversity of each social and clinical environment, we need to develop more refined localized approaches to help out our colleagues and women suffering from gynecologic cancers. With international collaboration and communication with mutual respect between members of the IGCS, we can make a significant change and I would like to serve as a bridge between IGCS and several regional societies to make this possible.

I would also like to contribute in the enhancement and optimization of international collaboration for clinical studies among members of the IGCS. To achieve scientific excellence, frontier researches should be promoted and the exchange of knowledge between multidisciplinary researchers worldwide should be facilitated in an efficient and enjoyable way. This should especially be possible in young gynecologic oncologists, especially those studying in developing areas. I would like to create more innovative approaches for these young researchers by expanding overseas training opportunities and scholarships, which are supported by the IGCS and other donors.

If I were elected as Vice President of the IGCS, I would do my best to support the activities of the President and Council members and would definitely spend my time and energy to serve the Members and Society, and keep achieving the IGCS mission worldwide.

R. Wendel Naumann, MD
Professor and Director of Research in Gynecologic Oncology, Associate Medical Director of Clinical Trials
Levine Cancer Institute, Atrium Health, Charlotte, NC
United States

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

Read Wendel's Election Profile

IGCS Activities:

  • IGCS Annual Global Meeting Scientific Program Committee Member (Rome 2020)
  • Organizer and Moderator of the IGCS LiveStream Gynecologic Cancer Update (2019)
  • Project ECHO® Virtual Tumor Board Contributor (2018-Present)
  • IGCS Biennial Meeting Scientific Program Committee Member (Vancouver 2012)

Personal Statement:

The IGCS is now the primary organization for education in gynecologic oncology worldwide.  I have a long commitment to educational leadership in the care of women with gynecologic malignancies and want to continue my service within the IGCS. 

I have served on the clinical practice committee for the SGO and later the education committee, ultimately becoming the chair of the education committee. I have served on the executive board for the SGO as well as the program committee for SGO and IGCS five times. In addition, I have organized multiple meetings including serving as the co-director of the SGO winter meeting for the past five years.   Last year I organized a LiveStream meeting for the IGCS that was broadcast to over 300 people in 88 countries. The LiveStream effort is ongoing, and we are excited about our current project which will be a joint surgical symposium and film festival in conjunction with AAGL for this spring.  I have also been involved with international outreach as part of a joint NCI/IGCS education mission to improve screening for cervical cancer in Belarus and Kazakhstan and have hosted two international fellows at our institution.

My involvement has made me realize that that efforts in education within the IGCS can have a major impact on the care of women with gynecologic malignancies throughout the world and this continues to fuel my passion for these educational efforts.  As the IGCS continues to grow and expand, we will have a greater opportunity to reach more members to positively impact the care of women with gynecologic malignancies. I am committed to finding new ways to educate and allow our members to interact and learn from each other. My hope is that we can expand education on palliative care as major effort to relieve suffering, improve access to genetic testing, as well as continue to update our membership on the latest developments in cancer, even if our members cannot attend the annual meeting.  To do this we will need to find better ways to communicate and educate our constituents. 

In addition, I would like to develop case-based learning curriculum for both common and rare gynecologic malignancies and continue to expand opportunities for surgical training and mentorship.  It is clear to me that IGCS is in the position to have a major impact on global care of women with gynecologic malignancies and complex gynecologic surgical problems and I very much want to be a part of the leadership of this organization.

Candidates for Secretary-Treasurer Elect

 

Vivek Arora, MD
Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist
Prince of Wales Private Hospital, Sydney
Australia

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

Read Vivek's Election Profile

IGCS Activities:

  • IGCS Council Member Representing Asia/Oceania (2016-2020)
  • International Mentor, IGCS Gynecologic Oncology Global Curriculum & Mentorship Program for Hamad Medical Corporation Women’s Hospital, Qatar (2019-Present)
  • IGCS Global Network (Online Member Community) Moderator (2018-2019)
  • IGCS Mentorship & Training Committee Member (2018-Present)
  • IGCS Visiting Scholar & Mentorship Program Chair (2018-Present)
  • Project ECHO® Virtual Tumor Board Contributor (2018-Present)
  • Organizer of IGCS & ASGO Visiting Scholars Program for the 2014 IGCS Biennial Meeting in Melbourne
  • Panelist, “Training and Career Development in Gynecologic Oncology” at the inaugural Shingo Fujii Young Doctors Summit at the 2012 IGCS Biennial Meeting in Vancouver

Personal Statement:

As a gynaecological oncologist who has trained and worked across 3 continents, I have been privileged to witness how the specialty has grown over the last 2 decades. I have also witnessed, from close quarters, the disparity that still exists in different parts of the world. Advances in treatment options for gynaecological cancer benefit a lot of women, but also further highlight these disparities.

As a Council Member of the IGCS over the last 4 years, my focus has been to further the goals of IGCS in international collaboration, mentorship and support to the centers with limited resources or those with newly established gynaecological oncology programs. As a member of the IGCS Mentorship and Training Committee I have been involved with the Project ECHO outreach multi-disciplinary team meetings in gynaecological oncology and chairing the Visiting Scholar and Mentorship Program.

I feel that there is more that I can contribute to the Society and our common goals. During my term as a Council Member I have been fortunate to be a part of the tremendous growth in the Society, in membership numbers and its global presence. I seek your support for the position of Secretary-Treasurer Elect because I believe that I will be in a position to complement the efforts of the incoming IGCS Council. I have the organizational skills and the attention to detail that is required for this important role in the Society.

Hennie Botha, MBChB, MMed, FCOG, PhD
Associate Professor
Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital
South Africa

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

Read Hennie's Election Profile

IGCS Activities:

  • IGCS Council Member Representing Africa/Europe/Middle East (2014-2018)
  • IGCS Regional Meeting Organizing Committee Chair (Cape Town 2014)
  • IGCS Global Curriculum & Mentorship Program Exam Committee Member (2018-Present)
  • IGCS Scientific Publications Committee (2018-Present)

Personal Statement:

The IGCS strives to unite the global community in eliminating the suffering caused by gynaecological cancers. I firmly believe international collaboration leads to the exchange and improvement of knowledge and skills, creates space for collegial support, and generates energy for progress.

I have worked in low-, middle-, and high-income countries and appreciate the challenges and opportunities of each environment. I believe people, with their attitudes and skills, are more important to success than highly advanced facilities or medicines. The IGCS is an ideal vehicle to promote linkage and solidarity amongst all of us working with people affected by cancer.

I have been a member of the IGCS for almost 20 years. My experience on the council from 2014 to 2018 and committees of the Society helps me to understand the complexity and excitement of international communication and collaboration.

The dynamic focus on education and internationalisation over the last few years created a rapid expansion of programs which calls for steady financial management. The leadership of the IGCS must ensure careful stewardship of the resources available without limiting the development agenda. There needs to be a balance between financial prudence and spending responsibly for future growth and development.

I am committed to the healthy future of the IGCS and all its members.

Rainer Kimmig, MD
Full Professor
West German Cancer Center, University of Duisburg-Essen
Germany

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

Read Rainer's Election Profile

IGCS Activities:

  • IGCS Council Member Representing Africa/Europe/Middle East (2016-2020)
  • IGCS Annual Global Meeting Scientific Program Committee Chair (Rome 2020)
  • IGCS Global Network (Online Member Community) Moderator (2018-Present)

Personal Statement:

Dear IGCS members and friends all around the world,

I would like to serve as your Secretary-Treasurer Elect in IGCS and ask you for your support.

As Council Member for the past 4 years I have had the opportunity to get insights into our Society, its achievements and also its potential for the coming years. I also had the chance to actively support the development of our online communication platform and our new membership directory. 

As you know, I am convinced that each of us should have the very best education and technology available. Thus, the main goal of IGCS projects must be to share knowledge and skills all around the world and bring those on the best possible level  for everyone. This must be accompanied by evaluating the chances to implement modern technology according to each country’s resources and to develop specific skills to compensate for lack of technology wherever possible.

Thus, for the Secretary-Treasurer it is crucial not only to ensure a healthy economical/financial situation of the society, but also to support the projects most suitable to achieve these goals. This will bring the Society into a bright future being the world’s leading voice in gynecologic oncology with a powerful impact on womens’ health.  I would be very happy if I could further contribute to this promising future of the Society with all my experience and my heart beating for IGCS.

Before being elected for the IGCS Council, I worked 6 years in the ESGO Council as “Educational Chair” and Vice President. Currently, I am serving as President of SERGS (Society of European Robotic Gynaecological Surgery) after 6 years experience as Council Member and Secretary/Treasurer.

Dear friends, please give me your trust and confidence; I will work hard for you and our Society.

Health, Luck and Happiness to all of you.

Yours, Rainer

Candidates for Council Member (Americas)

 

Carolyn Johnston, MD
Clinical Professor Emeritus
University of Michigan
United States

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

Read Carolyn's Election Profile

IGCS Activities:

  • International Mentor, IGCS Gynecologic Oncology Global Curriculum & Mentorship Program for St. Paul Millennium Medical College and Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2017-Present)
  • Project ECHO® Virtual Tumor Board Contributor  (2018-Present)

Personal Statement:

I feel that it is my turn to be of service to an organization that has given so much support to the fellows whom I mentor and admire. These fellows have either benefitted from membership in an IGCS sponsored fellowship and its attendant assets (Ethiopia) or from IGCS-sponsored travel and visiting scholar grants (Ghana). Thus, so too have I gained from the IGCS. I also believe, that although it is great to have a diverse and large membership, that individual members need to work together to build a sustainable product, particularly in locations where quickly the mentee becomes the mentor for the next batch of trainees. How to continue to provide that support while moving on to new locations is a challenge, but one worthy of attention.

I, like others, have spent decades in one location (Kumasi, Ghana) helping to build a sustainable future for gynecologic oncology training. This continuity has allowed me to understand many of the political, economic, social and personal challenges of being a gynecologic oncology fellow in the developing world, where one cannot simply stop every day medical work and dedicate all their time to specialty training, but must also continue to support the department as a generalist and teacher of medical students and residents, as well as work in a private practice setting to support themselves. Training and teaching in this environment have taught me patience and humility, enriched my teaching skills and given me great friends and colleagues. In addition, I have taught and trained many fellows in a gynecologic oncology fellowship program at an academic institution in the USA for 30 years which requires a different and more complex, and perhaps more rigid, approach to training. This apparent dichotomy gives me a unique understanding of international needs and possibilities. I was also fortunate to be a contributing member of the Sister Society which helped to develop the curriculum that is now used in the IGCS sponsored fellowships.

Given that I am primarily retired, working only one week a month while also continuing to travel to Ethiopia and Ghana for fellowship-related teaching, I have more time to devote to the IGCS council, should I be selected. I have significant past leadership and not-for-profit advisory board member experience (Michigan Cancer Consortium, ACS Great Lakes Division Board of Directors, ECHO tumor board) and work well in groups as a team member. I am however not reluctant to take the lead if a situation requires it, and I appreciate being continually challenged.  This all said, it would be a privilege to be elected to the council.

Mario Mendes Leitao, Jr., MD
Attending Surgeon
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
United States

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

Read Mario's Election Profile

IGCS Activities:

  • IGCS Annual Global Meeting Scientific Program Committee Member (Rio de Janeiro 2019; Rome 2020)
  • IGCS Biennial Meeting Scientific Program Committee Member (Lisbon 2016)

Personal Statement:

My passion is to cure women with gynecologic malignancies. As an individual physician and surgeon, one can only directly impact a small number of women. The only way to truly make a difference in the care of women with gynecologic cancers around the world is through strong and fruitful relationships among the many colleagues who care for these women. I have dedicated my life to not only helping the women that I see but also to sharing whatever knowledge I may have with as many colleagues as will be interested to hear. This can only be done through international dialogue and discussions. I have been fortunate to have been invited all over the world to share my thoughts and knowledge with others.

However, it is I that have learned so much more from the privilege I have been given to learn from the experience of so many talented physicians and non-physicians from every part of the world. As Chair of the Membership Committee for the SGO, it was my primary goal to expand the membership to as many International colleagues as would want to join. The SGO Members voted to adopt the historic membership criteria changes that we developed in the membership committee which made it possible for International colleagues to join easily.

I have sponsored numerous colleagues from around the world to come and observe at our institution, including UICC fellows. I am fellowship director of the only established, continuous, and fully structured International Fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology in the United States. I can take my prior experience, passion for international collaboration and the friendships I have made of so many colleagues around the world to enhance the work of the IGCS which has already made tremendous progress in the advancement of care of women around the world. I also value International collaboration from a personal standpoint. My parents are both immigrants from Portugal and the majority of my family is in Portugal and Brazil. I have been honored with a Membership in the Surgical Oncology Society of Brazil.

Michael Pearl, MD
Professor, Gynecologic Oncology
Stony Brook Medicine
United States

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology and Palliative Care

Read Michael's Election Profile

IGCS Activities:

  • IGCS Education Committee Member, Palliative Care Work Group Co-Chair (2017-Present)
  • Project ECHO® Virtual Tumor Board Contributor (2018-Present)

Personal Statement:

While we have come far with our ability to care for our patients, we all too often still fail to meet our patients’ goals. As I’ve matured as a physician, I’m increasingly focused on improving the overall quality of life for women with gynecologic malignancies. Within my institution, I serve in a variety of leadership roles, allowing me the opportunity to develop programs addressing gaps in care and improving clinical and research services. Nationally, I serve on several committees focused on improving the provision of palliative care & hospice for women with gynecologic malignancies.

Annually, 1.3 million women develop a gynecologic malignancy worldwide, half of whom die; 56% of cases and 64% of deaths are in lesser developed countries.  Only 14% of adults who need palliative care receive it; 78% of those who need it are in lesser developed countries. Palliative care is a human rights issue; the World Health Assembly called upon the WHO and Member States to improve access to palliative care as a core component of health systems.

The purpose of IGCS includes “improvement in the quality of life” for women with gynecologic malignancies. Arguably, effective palliative care provides the greatest improvement in our patients’ quality of life, yet 70% of our members report no formal training in palliative care. There is a critical need to educate our members, as well local health care providers, in the principles of palliative care.

In 2018, I was given the privilege to serve as the co-editor of the IGCS Global Curriculum for Palliative Care. Working with a passionate and dedicated team, we developed a superb curriculum that will serve as a template to introduce practicing health care providers, primarily those in lesser developed countries, to the knowledge and skills necessary to provide effective palliative care and improve the quality of life for women with gynecologic malignancies.

International medicine, especially in lesser developed countries, has been a lifelong goal that I’ve deferred due to personal and professional constraints.  At this time in my life and career, I’m able to commit to international service. My work with IGCS members and leadership has been thoroughly enjoyable, rewarding and the highlight of my career.

Should I be elected to the IGCS Council, I will strive to assist the council and leadership in representing the IGCS membership and the women cared for by the members.  I believe that my experience as a senior gynecologic oncologist, palliative care specialist and seasoned administrative leader provides a unique perspective that will greatly benefit IGCS. In particular, I will work with IGCS to improve the provision of palliative care to those in need, especially in lesser developed countries.

My many years of clinical, research and leadership service, including serving on the equivalent of the IGCS Council, have given me substantial experience as a collaborative committee member and leader. It’s been a privilege and a pleasure to work with the members and leadership of IGCS; I welcome the opportunity to continue to do so as a Council member. 

Candidates for Council Member (Asia/Oceania)

 

Rhonda Farrell, BAppSc (Physio) DRANZCOG MBBS (Hons) FRANZCOG CGO MSurg  
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, University of Sydney
Australia

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

Read Rhonda's Election Profile

IGCS Activities

  • Presented at IGCS Biennial Meetings (Prauge 2010; Melbourne 2014)

Personal Statement:

I have been an IGCS Member since 2005. All women and their families deserve the highest standard of care for the prevention, detection and treatment of gynaecological cancer independent of where they live or their socio-economic situation.  Medical caregivers in wealthy countries have an obligation to assist those in poorer nations to provide this care through education and mentorship, new technologies, and financial support.

As a member of the IGCS Council, I would like to not only improve my own participation in these activities but to reach out and engage others to do the same. My best leadership qualities are my ability to engage the wider community to recognize these goals and support them through philanthropy, to mentor junior doctors and other colleagues to improve the quality of gynaecological surgery, and to foster and support research into gynaecological cancer.

I work well in a team as a driver of change and as a collaborator to support other members of the team to work to the best of their ability.  I have particular interest and experience in the following areas 1. fostering collaboration between surgical disciplines (gynaecological oncology and other oncological surgical specialties) to improve the standard of teaching of junior surgeons and to enhance the overall multidisciplinary care of women with abdominopelvic cancer, 2. supporting, mentoring and promoting collaboration between junior surgeons, oncology trainees and scientists in gynaecological cancer research, 3. working with young women in the community to engage them in careers in science, technology, engineering and medicine (STEM), and 4. engaging with consumers and the wider community to foster philanthropy and support improvements in cancer care. Through working with IGCS, I would like to expand these skills and apply them on an international platform to improve outcomes for all women with gynaecological cancer.

Dilyara Kaidarova, MD, PhD
Director, Kazakh Institute of Oncology and Radiology
Kazakhstan

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

Read Dilyara's Election Profile

IGCS Activities:

  • Kazakhstan Representative for the IGCS Strategic Alliance Partnership (2017-Present)
  • Project ECHO® Virtual Tumor Board Contributor (2018-Present)

Personal Statement:

Kazakhstan is the leading country among the CIS countries in the implementation of the National Cervical Cancer Screening Program and the HPV vaccination program. I have been the Director of the Kazakh Institute of Oncology and Radiology for the past four years. The main objective is to improve the quality of cancer care in Kazakhstan. Numbers of programs have been initiated to improve the quality of Cancer Care under Kazakh Institute of Oncology and Radiology leadership. The ImPACT Mission Review of Cervical Cancer Screening Program was initiated in Kazakhstan. In the result of these we improved cervical cancer screening coverage of the target population.

Why am I running for Council Member practicing in Asia?

The main purpose of my work as an IGCS Council Member will be to attract gyn-oncologists from Kazakhstan’s neighboring countries to the IGCS. Kazakhstan has just begun to take steps to cooperate and collaborate with international medical societies. These partnerships opened the opportunity for Kazakhstan to develop evidence-based medicine in the cancer care area, learn from the experience of foreign colleagues, and participate in international research and projects. I hope that Kazakhstan will become a bridge in the cooperation of the countries of Central Asia with the leading specialists of IGCS.

Joining the post of council will strengthen the work on the prevention of cervical cancer not only in Kazakhstan, but also in Central Asia. The work will be carried out to attract international studies as well as training specialists from neighboring countries.

Asima Mukhopadhyay, MD, PhD, MRCOG, MSc
Consultant Gynecological Oncologist
Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute Kolkata, India
Northern Gynecological Oncology Centre, Gateshead, United Kingdom

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

Read Asima's Election Profile

IGCS Activities:

  • IGCS Education Committee Member, General Gynecologic Oncology Workgroup (2018-Present)
  • International Mentor, IGCS Gynecologic Oncology Global Curriculum & Mentorship Program for Civil Service Hospital, Nepal (2018-Present)

Personal Statement:

My professional career has prioritised:

  1. Promoting education and training in low-middle income countries (LMICs-India/Nepal) including development of cytoreductive and minimal access surgery programs. I currently supervise two Nepalese trainees in the Global Curriculum Programme.
  2. Translational/clinical research with focus on developing low-cost biomarkers and interventional trials suited for the need for women residing in LMICs. I have been able to successfully develop and lead a co-operative research group – Kolkata Gynecological Oncology Trials and Translational Research Group (KolGoTrg) which is the first ever group from India to be represented in GCIG. We have 3 CCRN sites and hope to build up a network in ovarian cancer (OCRN) keeping in mind the increasing trend globally. The royalty that I receive, being one of the co-inventors of the PARP inhibitor rucaparib has been donated to support this work.

While working in India and the UK and mentoring the IGCS global curriculum in Nepal, my reflection is that many gynecological oncology regional centers in Asia/Oceania currently may not have access to a structured program as robust and inclusive as the IGCS module even if there are local board-certified programs.  

As an IGCS Council Representative from Asia-Oceania, my role will be:

  1. Expanding the IGCS curriculum especially in LMICs/sites which cannot obtain local accreditation due particularly to the number of positions although otherwise fulfilling the IGCS criteria. All regional cancer centers may be eligible to become IGCS certified as well if they opt for and fulfill the standards/criteria. With an increase in the number of sites, it may not be possible for one person/central IGCS organization to co-ordinate this effort and we may have to have region specific leaders who will develop tumor boards/training sessions/international mentoring in a more time-zone/cost-efficient manner. One example being the India-Nepal partnership. However, there is need for developing “training the trainers” modules and short courses/travelling fellowships for the trainers as a pre-requisite to this expansion so that the quality and parity is ensured between regions.
  2. I would promote development of an IGCS certified nursing training program and courses/mentorship schemes for health care assistants/social workers working in the field of gynecological cancers.
  3. I will develop a minimal dataset (through a data harmonization committee and determination of standards/ audit trail for data quality) for data capture for women presenting with symptoms/referral patterns and treatment/defaults/outcomes/ survival trends. This could be based on databases like REDCap. Centers participating in this scheme and maintaining a track record for prospective and periodic data capture for at least 2 years will be certified as IGCS data centers and have incentives towards participation at IGCS meetings. Members in each region can be identified to lead on this responsibility. This will improve membership/retention/local empowerment.
  4. I will promote publications of grey literature/structured reports/audits from regional centers through the IGCS education portal (divided in region specific sections and templates) and journals like Gyn Oncology Reports. Fellows/young scientists and clinicians will be encouraged to promote clinician-scientist interactive forums.

It is an honour to be considered for this position.

Candidates for Council Member (Europe)

 

Donal Brennan, PhD
Professor of Gynaecologic Oncology
University College Dublin
Ireland

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

Read Donal's Election Profile

IGCS Activities:

  • IGCS Annual Global Meeting Scientific Program Committee, European Regional Co-Chair (Rio de Janeiro 2019)
  • IGCS Education Committee Member, General Gynecologic Oncology Workgroup (2019-Present)
  • International Mentor, IGCS Gynecologic Oncology Global Curriculum & Mentorship Program for University of West Indies, Jamaica (2018-Present)
  • Course Director, Shingo Fujii Young Doctors Summit (Melbourne 2014; Lisbon 2016; Kyoto 2018)

Personal Statement:

The IGCS is a truly global society and its activity in both the developing and developed world are what makes serving as a Council Member so attractive. The opportunity to have a global impact on policy, training, and ultimately improve outcomes for all women affected by gynaecological cancer irrespective of their geographical location are the main reasons I would like to serve on the IGCS Council. My own experience in addressing serious concerns around HPV vaccination and cervical screening in Ireland have allowed me to develop a collaborative leadership approach with politicians, patients, and the public.

If elected, I would focus on developing even closer links to patient advocates.  Many problems in medicine arise from poor communication.  I firmly believe that as medical technology advances, communication with patients and their families will become more challenging. I believe the only approach to address this issue is to incorporate patient experience and shared vocabularies into clinical and research practices.  Technologies such as next generation sequencing and personalised medicine are developing at an astonishing rate, however cultural narratives around illness and medicine do not have the same agility; for example, while we may intervene at a genetic level to treat a cancer using a PARP inhibitor, we do not have a word for parents who have lost a child. As a consequence, there is a communication gap between the capacity of medicine and its delivery. Patients and doctors are literally not speaking the same language.  

Therefore, if elected, I would work on developing meaningful and lasting partnerships with international patient advocates form a variety of geographical regions. The goal of this partnership would be to develop an international shared vocabulary for women with gynaecological malignancy. As a truly international society, the IGCS is uniquely positioned to develop this kind of resource which would have a major impact on the daily practice of its members but would also provide a lasting resource for women all over the world with gynaecological cancer. 

Daniela Luvero, MD
University Campus Bio Medico of Rome
Italy

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

Read Daniela's Election Profile

IGCS Activities:

  • Active participant in IGCS Meetings since 2010
  • Collaborated with the IGCS to plan workshops, conferences, and presentations for the IGCS Biennial Meetings (Lisbon 2016; Kyoto 2018) and the Annual Global Meeting (Rio de Janeiro 2019: Rome 2020)

Personal Statement:

My name is Daniela Luvero and I have always been interested in Gynecologic Oncology. It was a great privilege and honor to have been recently nominated for the position of Council Member for Europe.

I have been devoted to Gynecologic Oncology for my whole life. In 2013, I was a clinical fellow in the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at University College Hospital in London under the supervision of JA Ledermann, participating in research protocols and clinical activities. I am currently in the PhD Oncology course, following research on the early diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

Since 2010, I have been an active participant in IGCS meetings, and from 2015 onwards I have collaborated in IGCS planning workshops, conferences and presentations. I have participated in round tables, have served on the industry advisory board and have spoken at national and international conferences. I am a contributing author to several national and international papers regarding the prevention, treatment, and study of gynecologic cancer, with a specific attention to quality-of-life.

Most of my work has been dedicated to advocacy programs, collaborating with several national and international patients’ associations. I endeavor to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered through knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community, through online, in-person, and phone-based counseling and support groups and through educational workshops and publications.

As an IGCS Council member, I would like to offer my experience in survivor-patient advocacy programs and contribute to women’s empowerment globally, especially in low-income countries, to improve women’s understanding of cancer prevention, risks, screening tests and treatments. I would also leverage my youth to meaningfully engage young doctors in the work of the IGCS.

If I were selected it would be my honor to contribute to improving advocacy- and community-centered programs and to engage survivors-patients, caregivers, families, and advocates globally.

Lukas Rob, MD, PhD
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 3rd Medical Faculty, Charles University Prague, Oncogynecology Center University Hospital Kralovske Vinohrady
Czech Republic

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

Read Lukas' Election Profile

IGCS Activities:

  • IGCS Finance Committee Member (2006-2010)
  • IGCS Biennial Meeting Scientific Program Committee, President of Local Organizing Committee (Prague 2010)
  • IGCS Nominating Committee Member (2015-2016)

Personal Statement:

With the nomination and possible election to the IGCS Council as the representative of oncogynecologists for the European region, I would like to contribute with my work experience to the further development of the society and to help achieve well-set strategic goals.

From my point of view, the most important effort is to achieve optimal care in women with gynecologic malignancies in individual regions of the world, to help build infrastructure of oncogynecological care according to real local possibilities.

In particular I see possibilities in improving education, training programs, and sharing experience with building infrastructure of oncogynecological care. These programs must be organized in cooperation with local societies and leading physicians. I will be honored to contribute with my work in the further development of IGCS.

Candidates for Council Member (Radiation Oncology)

 

Thomas Samuel Ram, MD
Professor & Associate Director (Missions)
Ida B Scudder Cancer Center, Christian Medical College Vellore
India

Specialty: Radiation Oncology

Read Thomas' Election Profile

IGCS Activities:

  • IGCS Education Committee Member, Radiation Oncology Work Group (2019-Present)
  • IGCS Travelling Scholar Recipient (2008)

Personal Statement:

I have been an Active Member of IGCS since 2006, and I feel privileged to have received generous support and guidance from IGCS for my early career development which enabled invaluable global exposure to oncology. I had the honour of being awarded the IGCS travelling scholar award in 2008 which supported my training for Cervix brachytherapy at Long Beach Memorial Hospital, California.

Over the past several years I have been involved in various national and international activities, recently involving WHO, IGCS, and International Cancer Expert Corps (ICEC) which has added a global perspective professionally and personally. I feel this opportunity will enable me to contribute globally with the experience and skill I have gathered through my international engagement. Serving on the IGCS Council will provide an opportunity to utilise my talents in health care leadership, global networking and my experience serving in a not-for-profit academic institution and in underserved areas.

If I am elected, I would like to demonstrate effective stewardship of this role and responsibility. I would like to develop a strategy to further the impact mandate of IGCS – Educate, Collaborate, Unite, Mentor. I would like to address issues that will bridge the global health gaps, especially in gynaecological oncology by developing appropriate strategies for resource-stratified education and training – thus enabling high quality, affordable cancer care.

I would also like to develop health care models as the future of health care is transitioning to a shifting paradigm of care shift and role shift. This paradigm will perhaps be the solution for filling the gaps in the oncology care value chain where work force shortage of oncology professionals is already leading to significant health care disparities. I believe this will be one of the key strategies if we need to strengthen the interdependence within various health care professionals in our health care value chain, especially as we seek to implement the Global Strategy for Elimination of Cervical Cancer as envisioned by the WHO.

I have been fortunate to be mentored into health care leadership as early as my medical school days in the early 1990s. I had the privilege of leadership experience especially in underserved areas and in not-for-profit academic organisations which has placed me at a unique position of thinking from a perspective of lean health care in oncology. The vision of our institution CMC Vellore of compassionate clinical care, educational, and research excellence in sustainable systems has enabled me to experience a passionate commitment to the most vulnerable people while at the same time promoting cutting-edge education, service, and research.

Due to my visits to international cancer centres and interaction with several global oncology leaders, my networking strengths will be appropriately useful through this responsibility. My ongoing training in MBA (Health Care Systems and Hospital Management) will also add value to the role as an international representative of the Radiation Oncology community in IGCS. I believe that this responsibility will provide an opportunity on a global platform for a fulfilling experience as an oncologist as it will enable meaningful global partnerships towards effective cancer care.

Alexandra Taylor, MD
Royal Marsden Hospital, London
United Kingdom

Specialty: Radiation Oncology

Read Alexandra's Election Profile

IGCS Activities:

  • IGCS Annual Global Meeting Scientific Program Committee Member (Rio de Janeiro 2019)
  • Project ECHO® Virtual Tumor Board Contributor (2019-Present)

Personal Statement:

I would like to serve as a member of the IGCS council because this would be a great opportunity to become more involved in developing excellence in care for women with gynecological cancer. The IGCS multi-disciplinary approach is essential for optimising outcomes and supporting education, research and healthcare with a global focus. I bring enthusiasm, commitment and a strong collaborative approach, with experience of working within national and international committees. My areas of particular interest are radiotherapy development, training and patient survivorship.

I believe the international collaboration that exists within IGCS provides opportunities to further develop education and training in radiation oncology. My research background has included development of internationally adopted guidance on radiotherapy target volumes. I have developed and led IMRT workshops and national radiation oncology meetings on gynaecological cancer. The rapid pace of recent developments in radiation oncology offers exciting opportunities to improve outcomes for patients. But to support these advances we require robust validation and quality assurance, particularly as new techniques including stereotactic radiotherapy, re-irradiation and combination therapies with immunotherapy are increasingly being used.

Radiotherapy is an essential primary treatment for cervical cancer globally and there remains a huge need to improve the available resources in many countries. IGCS has already developed a successful international mentorship program for gynecology oncology surgery and I would aim to promote a similar program for training and mentorship in radiation oncology.

In addition, with the significant improvements we are making in cancer treatment, we now have increasing numbers of long-term survivors. Treatment effects can have a significant impact on the quality of life for patients. Survivorship programmes and management of the consequences of treatment is an important field of patient care that I am keen to highlight within IGCS.