Council Election Results

The results of the 2022 IGCS Council Election are in. The election was held online from April 18 - May 18. The results were verified by our third-party election software vendor, Simply Voting, Inc. and reviewed by the IGCS Secretary-Treasurer Elect, Dr. Rainer Kimmig, in accordance with IGCS policy.

For each position, the candidate receiving the most votes was elected. Regional Council Members were elected by IGCS Members residing in the corresponding region.

The new Council Members' terms will begin on October 1st at the close of the 2022 IGCS Annual Global Meeting in New York. View the current Council roster here.

President Elect

Prof. Greta Dreyer
Professor and Chair of Gynaecological Oncology
University of Pretoria
South Africa

Vice President

Dr. Anuja Jhingran
Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, Division of Radiation Oncology
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
United States

Secretary-Treasurer Elect

Prof. Ritu Salani
Professor Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Division Director of Gynecologic Oncology
University of California Los Angeles
United States

Council Member Positions

Candidates for regional Council Member positions were elected by IGCS Members residing within each respective region.

Africa/Middle East

Prof. David Atallah
Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology Department; Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Hotel Deiu de France University Hospital; Saint Joseph University
Lebanon

Asia/Oceania

Dr. Dilyara Kaidarova
Director of KazIOR
JSC Kazakh Institute of Oncology and Radiology
Kazakhstan

Americas (South/Central)

Dr. Audrey Tieko Tsunoda
Surgical Oncologist;  Gynecologic Oncology Department and Medical Director at IRCAD Latin America
Hospital Erasto Gaertner
Brazil

Europe

Dr. Heleen van Beekhuizen MD, PhD, MSc clinical trials
Gynecological Oncologist, Head of Department  Gynaecological Oncology
Erasmus MC, Rotterdam
The Netherlands

Medical Oncologist

Dr. Fernando Maluf
Full Professor, BP Mirante
Brazil

Congratulations to those elected and our appreciation goes out to all those who applied and ran for elected positions. With over fifty applicants for the eight open positions we are grateful for the many talented and dedicated members who are willing to volunteer their time and serve our society.

I'd also like to thank the members of the 2022 Nominating Committee for reviewing the applications and their thoughtful deliberations in developing the election slate.

I want to remind all of the applicants and members that Council service is only one way to contribute to our mission and there are many opportunities to participate in our educational initiatives, mentorship and training programs, and special projects. Becoming an engaged champion for our society's mission is the best pathway to becoming a future leader of the IGCS.

If you are a member who would like to give back to your society, and perhaps someday serve on the Council, we recommend that you reach out to IGCS CEO, Mary Eiken by emailing her at mary.eken@igcs.org.

Sincerely,

Roberto Angioli, MD
IGCS Past President and Nominating Committee Chair

Introducing IGCS Advocacy Committee

With the addition of Globe-athon to End Women’s Cancers into the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS), we are pleased to announce that the IGCS has assembled an Advocacy Committee. The committee’s goal is to advance gynecologic cancer awareness in alignment with the IGCS mission by guiding, supporting, and overseeing the International Gynecologic Cancer Advocacy Network (IGCAN), as well as other advocacy initiatives, programs, and events.

The committee recently held their first call and will begin to guide the work within the three pillars and areas that support IGCAN:

  • Patient Education and Awareness
  • Advocacy Research and Science
  • Collaboration and Network Building

The programs and initiatives include:

  • Annual Survivor-Caregiver Advocacy Summit
  • Patient Perspectives Roundtable Series
  • Advocacy and Research Program
  • Uterine Cancer Survivorship Program
  • Cervical Cancer Survivorship Program
  • World Ovarian Cancer Coalition’s Every Woman Study™ Low- and Middle-income Edition
  • Formation of the International Gynecologic Cancer Advocacy Network

Advocacy Committee Members

Committee Chair: Daniela Luvero, MD (Italy)
Gynecologic Oncologist, University Campus Bio Medico of Rome

Committee Vice Chair: Rosalind Glasspool, MD (UK)
Medical Oncologist, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and University of Glasgow

Mukhtasar Alkali (Nigeria)
Coordinator II at Medicaid Cancer Foundation Monitoring & Evaluation Officer on the Kebbi State Cervical Cancer Secondary Prevention Pilot Program

Adrienne Moore (USA)
Research Coordinator, University of Washington, Seattle
Respiratory Therapist
Patient Adviser & Ambassador, Endometrial Cancer Action Network African Americans (ECANA),  Endometrial Cancer Survivor

Geetu Bhandoria, MD (India)
Gynecologic Oncologist & Obstetrician, Indian Armed Forces

Nefa-Tari Moore (USA)
Outreach & Uterine Cancer Coordinator, SHARE Cancer Support
Two-time Uterine Cancer Survivor & Ovarian Cancer Survivor

Nicoletta Cerana (Italy)
President, ACTO - Alliance Against Ovarian Cancer

Maggie Nicholas-Alexander (USA)
Senior Director of Gynecologic Cancer Patient Support and Education, SHARE Cancer Support

Michele Collins (USA)
Board Member, Kaleidoscope of Hope Ovarian Cancer Foundation
Ovarian Cancer Survivor

Angélica Nogueira-Rodrigues, MD, PhD (Brazil)
Oncologist
Founder, Brazilian Group of Gynecology Oncology, EVA Group
Director, Brazilian Society of Medical Oncology
Researcher and Professor at Federal University, MG Brazil

Diane Crawford (USA)
Founder and Executive Director, The Crawford Crew
Cervical Cancer Survivor

Sandra Rosati (Italy)
President, Un Lago di Donne per la Prevenzione Oncologica
Cancer Survivor

Noriko Fujiwara, MS, RN, CRN-BC, OCNS, CCRP (Japan)
Research Nurse & Oncology Nurse, IMSUT Hospital of the Institute of Medical Science,
The University of Tokyo, Japan

Abhishek Shankar, MD (India)
Radiation Oncologist
Secretary, Indian Society of Clinical Oncology
Assistant Professor, Department of Preventive Oncology, AIIMS, New Delhi

Milicent Kagonga (Kenya)
Founder, Symbol of Hope Warriors
HPV Vaccine Ambassador
Cervical Cancer Survivor

Eva-Maria Strömsholm, MA, RN (Finland)
Co-Founder & Vice Chair, Gynecological Cancer Patients in Finland
Practical Nurse, Rare Ovarian Cancer Survivor

The committee members are breaking into workgroups to tackle each project including a network building group to brainstorm best strategies to build our noncompetitive network. The main goal is to link gynecologic cancer advocacy organizations and individual patient advocates—from every region, income, and resource setting—and create the opportunity for them to collaborate in achieving best outcomes for all gynecologic and breast cancer patients. Information regarding how to officially join the network is forthcoming.

We look forward to sharing more updates and information with you regarding our advocacy programs and how to officially join the IGCAN. There are a lot of exciting programs in development. Stay tuned!

Impact of the War in Ukraine on Cancer

May 13, 2022

Friends and Colleagues,

We continue to monitor and stay abreast of the situation in Ukraine and felt this was an opportune time to highlight some of the efforts of those working to address the healthcare crisis in the area.

Special Network
The IGCS leadership is participating a Special Network on the Impact of the War in Ukraine on Cancer established by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the European Cancer Organization (ECO).  The Special Network recently held a meeting to discuss tangible actions that can be taken in collaboration with the WHO, EU and other organizations. The network includes over 300 organization representatives including medical societies, patient organizations, cancer centers, charities, foundations and the healthcare industry across the world.

The Special Network sent this statement to the WHO Europe Regional Committee to “highlight a range of needs that can be more fully met through inter-governmental attention and response” and to make them aware that the network is “ready and available to the WHO, governments, and others as a resource to connect stakeholders and the international and Ukrainian healthcare NGOs who are working tirelessly to address the emergency in Ukraine.”

IGCS will be participating in another Special Network meeting in June during the ASCO meeting in Chicago.

UICC Solidarity Fund
The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) has established an emergency fund to bridge funding into the region to support the needs of cancer organizations struggling to serve patients affected by the conflict. The fund has received pledges of just over $1 million USD in donations and has opened a call for grants to qualifying organizations to allow those who qualify the opportunity to use the funds and assist in the region.  IGCS has donated to the fund, and we encourage others to consider joining us. Those who wish to donate to the emergency Solidarity Fund or apply for a grant to receive these funds can do so by contacting UICC at info@uicc.org.

Polish Gynecologic Cancer Society Efforts
We previously reported that IGCS has been in communication with our colleagues in Poland as they bear the heaviest burden of assisting patients and physicians in the region. This article, “War in Ukraine: the opportunities for oncogynecologic patients in Poland” recently published in the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer highlights the efforts of the Polish Society of Gynecologic Oncology in the coordination of treatment for Ukrainian patients with gynecological cancers.

“The cooperative initiative is run by both Polish and Ukrainian oncogynecologists and is based on the network of interpersonal contacts. The project aims to coordinate the arrival of patients in Poland, their accommodation, and allocating them to institutions where they receive appropriate treatment and support. Thanks to close cooperation between doctors from both sides of the border, the patients are not left without oncological care.”

To let them know about a patient in need, fill in the online form and visit the society’s website: https://ptgo.pl/help-for-ukrainian-patients/

IGCS commends all who are working to address the issues and multifaceted challenges that have arisen for healthcare delivery in Ukraine and neighboring countries. We wholeheartedly support the statement from the Special Network on the Impact of the War in Ukraine to the WHO calling for solidarity among European countries to pool health service capacity and resources to prioritize those who have the greatest support needs and to make early preparations for the rebuilding of Ukrainian health services in the future.

Robert Coleman, MD
IGCS President

Mary Eiken, MS
IGCS CEO

March 9, 2022

Friends and Colleagues,

Last week IGCS released a statement regarding the unfolding situation in Ukraine. IGCS is fully committed to reducing human suffering from injury, trauma, and disease – anywhere in the world and especially now in Ukraine. Our leadership is currently examining ways that we can best respond to situations of conflict such as this to help offset the subsequent disruption to gynecologic cancer care services.

As UICC has reported, “the majority of people with cancer in conflict-affected areas are unable to get appropriate care, as regions become inaccessible, hospitals and health centres are damaged or destroyed and health workers are injured, killed or displaced. Health systems in neighbouring countries risk being overwhelmed by refugees fleeing these regions, at a time when they are already struggling with a backlog of cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

These are a few of the recent developments and ongoing activities IGCS has and will participate in regarding the humanitarian efforts and support of Ukraine.

Support for our members and patients in the area
We are in direct communication with our colleagues in Poland and other surrounding regions where Ukraine citizens are fleeing to learn what assistance is needed regarding gynecologic cancer services for the displaced and how we can best contribute to their needs. As we learn more about these needs and how we might provide support, we will share specific information with our members about our response.

Collaborate with other organizations
The IGCS leadership has been invited to participate in a special meeting hosted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the European Cancer Organization (ECO) regarding the impact of the war in Ukraine on cancer. This meeting will focus on tangible actions that can be taken in collaboration with the WHO, EU and other organizations.

Donation to the UICC emergency solidarity fund
IGCS is a member of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and they have established an emergency fund to bridge funding into the region to support the needs of cancer organizations struggling to serve patients affected by the conflict. IGCS has pledged $5,000 to the fund. If you wish to donate to the emergency Solidarity Fund, you can do so by contacting UICC at info@uicc.org.

We are encouraged by the outpouring of support from IGCS members and friends who are offering their aid in any way they can, to assist those in the medical community in Ukraine and the areas where many are fleeing.

Please see this summary list of humanitarian organizations that are already working in the region to make an impact and are actively seeking monetary and/or medical supply donations to help in the region. As more support opportunities become available, we will most certainly communicate these and if you would like to make us aware of any humanitarian organizations that could be added to the list, please email igcs@igcs.org.

IGCS is grateful to be so well-positioned in the global gynecologic oncology community to foster collaboration in this time of need among our members, friends, and colleagues. We continue to keep the people of Ukraine in our thoughts and prayers and are monitoring the situation closely. We appreciate our organizational associates and partners for reaching out to us to include us and by extension taking into consideration the needs of our patients in these efforts.

Sincerely,

Robert Coleman, MD
IGCS President

Mary Eiken, MS
IGCS CEO

World Ovarian Cancer Day

The Every Woman Study

The Every Woman StudyTM Low-and Middle-Income Edition
A joint initiative of the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition (Coalition) and the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS).

In 2018, the Coalition conducted the Every Woman StudyTM, the largest ever survey of women living with the disease. Over 1500 women from 44 countries responded, and the results have been presented at a number of international scientific meetings and published in the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer. This first survey mainly captured data from high-income countries.
The 2018 Study led to the development of the Global Ovarian Cancer Charter, outlining opportunities to make progress through the Charter’s six Global Goals.

To bridge the data gap from the first Study, the Coalition is partnering with IGCS to organize a ground-breaking low- and middle-income edition of the Every Woman Study™️. IGCS has been involved in this effort for the past year with IGCS CEO Mary Eiken (USA) and IGCS Member, Tracey Adams (South Africa) serving on the oversight committee. IGCS’ regional Strategic Alliance Partner groups and contacts from our Global Curriculum training sites have been receptive to our requests to help distribute the study to their patients.

With active interest from 31 countries, national leads, local leaders, administrators, and advocates will work on the ground to ensure optimal participation from women in their countries, resulting in an unprecedented data set that will help shape and guide local, regional, and national advocacy efforts in the hopes of reaching the Coalition’s goal of no woman being left behind.

Our hope is that the LMIC edition of the study will bring new insights and increase global collaboration to improve survival and quality of life for those affected by ovarian cancer.
The Every Woman Study™ Low and Middle-Income Edition is currently being translated into over 40 languages and undergoing ethics reviews. Data collection is expected to be conducted throughout the year with analysis beginning in 2023.

Patient Roundtable

Join us May 5th for the IGCS Virtual Patient Perspectives Roundtable: Overcoming Barriers to Genetic Testing in Ovarian Cancer. Speakers and panelists will bring their expertise and perspectives on genetic testing for ovarian cancer and discuss ways to we can advocate to overcome barriers, concerns, and challenges in this area.

With World Ovarian Cancer Day (May 8th) falling on the same day that many countries celebrate Mother’s Day this year, what a special occasion and event to bring the patient advocacy community together to talk openly about this important issue.

Overcoming Barriers to Genetic Testing in Ovarian Cancer

Thursday, May 5, 2022
7:00 am ET (New York)
Duration: 45 minutes
See all time zones.

Registration is FREE, but required.

Get Involved

Participating in the 10th World Ovarian Cancer Day couldn’t be easier!

It can be as simple as a social media post, encouraging others to learn and share information about ovarian cancer. Maybe you want to have a Teal event with friends or colleagues? Get everyone to have some fun with teal outfits and accessories – and, of course, post it for more awareness. Create your own signs, posters, etc., with the WOCC’s downloadable graphics, and then add your personal touch. By taking part in World Ovarian Cancer Day, you can help change the future of this disease by increasing awareness of symptoms and the need for more research. Together, we can reach our goal of #NoWomanLeftBehind

Download the #WOCD2022 Get Involved Guide on ways you can engage with this year’s campaign.

Project GEOCC

The International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) is embarking on an initiative to assess and address ovarian cancer care at a global level and has assembled an international steering committee called the Global Equality Group in Ovarian Cancer Care (GEGOCC) to conduct the assessment.

The goal of this project is to assess current practices, access to, and standards of care globally, and ultimately use this information to strive towards achieving equality and equity in care for all women affected by ovarian cancer.

It is essential to determine how ovarian cancer care is organized across different countries and regions and our steering committee has developed a practice survey to collect this data. 

If you are a clinician (gynecologic oncologist) who cares for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, we would be grateful if you would participate in our study by completing this survey. The survey will remain open until June 15. 

We ask that each clinician only completes the survey once and answers the questions with their individual practice patterns in mind.

The survey has been translated from English to Russian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Mandarin. Please chose the language you are most comfortable with and only complete the survey once.

GEOCC Steering Committee

Executive Committee 
Dr. Donal Brennan (Ireland)  
Dr. Robert Coleman (USA)  
Dr. Rhonda Farrell (Australia)  
Dr. Mario Leitao (USA) 
Dr. Sudha Sundar (UK)
Dr. Willemien van Driel (Netherlands) 
Dr. Oliver Zivanovic (USA) 

Steering Committee
Dr. Angeles Alvarez Secord (USA) 
Dr. David Atallah (Lebanon)
Dr. Glauco Baiocchi (Brazil) 
Dr. Aditi Bhatti (
India) 
Dr. Bill Cliby (USA)
 
Dr. SJ Chang (
South Korea) 
Dr. Nicole Concin (
Austria)  
Dr. Ignace de Hingh (Netherlands) 
Dr. Greta Dreyer (South Africa)



Dr. Andreas DuBois (Netherlands) 
Dr. Keiichi Fujiwara (Japan) 
Dr. Olivier Glehan (
France) 
Dr. Adrian HS Kim (South Korea) 
Dr. Jae-Weon Kim (South Korea) 
Dr. Brendan Moran (UK) 
Dr. Philippe Morrice (France) 
Dr. Asima Mukhopadhyay (India) 
Dr. Bakrin Naoual (France) 
Dr. Joseph Soon Yau Ng (Singapore) 
Dr. Angélica Nogueira Rodrigues (Brazil) 
Dr. Leslie Randall (USA) 
Dr. Beate Rau (Germany) 
Dr. Muhieddine Seoud (UAE)
Dr. Alexey Shevchuk (Russia) 
Dr. Ignace Vergote (Netherlands) 

Preinvasive Disease Certificate Program

Preinvasive Disease

The IGCS Preinvasive Certificate Program provides a framework for basic training in preinvasive disease of the female lower genital tract. It is a learning opportunity originating from the needs of the trainees enrolled in the IGCS Global Curriculum and Mentorship Program but it’s also a great educational tool to enhance clinical knowledge and skills in preinvasive cervical disease management for all health care providers in any setting

Aims and Objectives

  • To provide an important educational tool that will help train clinicians so that we can meet the goals and objectives of the WHO Global Strategy to eliminate cervical cancer
  • To build and enhance the knowledge and skills of medical providers all over the world on HPV, HPV vaccination, cervical screening methods and strategies including the diagnosis and treatment of preinvasive cervical disease
  • To equip IGCS members with evidence-based knowledge for preventing, screening, diagnosing, and treating patients with preinvasive cervical diseases regardless of the setting they work in

Target Audience
Physicians including gynecologic oncologists, gynecologists, family medicine doctors, general doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, and other healthcare providers who are already involved or keen to be involved in the prevention and treatment of cervical cancer and other HPV related diseases.

Phases
The program will be delivered in three phases:

  • Phase 1: Basic Theory (self-guided education)
  • Phase 2: Advanced Theory (self-guided education)
  • Phase 3: Practical/Competence Assessment (hands-on training)

The first opportunity for hands-on training will be provided at the IGCS Annual Global Meeting in New York on September 28, 2022. Additional training dates and locations will be announced.

All three phases must be completed before the learner will receive a certificate of completion for technical competency in colposcopy and treatment of preinvasive cervical disease. Learners who complete only phases 1 and 2 will receive a certificate of knowledge that does not certify technical competency.

View additional details and requirements about the preinvasive disease curriculum.

Those who enroll will receive an email with instructions how to access the course within 24 hours. To optimize your experience, please clear your browsing history and cookies prior to beginning the course. The recommended web browser is Google Chrome.

Leads
Mila Pontremoli Salcedo, MD, PhD
Ida Ismail-Pratt, MBChB, MRCOG

Contributors
Ellen S. Baker, MD, MPH
James Bentley, MBChB, FRCSC
Julia Brotherton, PhD
Maggie E. Cruickshank, MD
Gustavo Ruvino De Azevedo Focchi, MD, PhD
Suzanne Garland, AO, MBBS, MD, FRCPA, FRANZCOG Ad Eundem, FAChSHM, FASM, FACOG Hons

Jose Jeronimo, MD
Rachel Masch, MD, MPH
EJ Mayeaux, Jr., MD, DABFP, DABPM-CI, FAAFP
Jane R. Montealegre, PhD, MSPH
Joseph Ng, MD, FACOG, FAMS
Katina Robison, MD
Kathleen Schmeler, MD
Erich Madison Sturgis, MD, MPH
Melissa Lopez Varon M.Sc.
Alan G. Waxman, MD, MPH

Council Election Candidates

The online election is being managed by Simply Voting, Inc. IGCS Members with voting rights will receive a link to the online ballot from the email address vote@simplyvoting.com on Monday, April 18 and will receive weekly reminders to vote through May 18, 2022.

If you need assistance of have questions about voting, please contact rosie.stephans@igcs.org or igcs@igcs.org. 

Candidates for President Elect

Prof. Greta Dreyer
Professor and Chair of Gynaecological Oncology
University of Pretoria
South Africa

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

IGCS Activities:

  • Active Member since 2000, attended congresses since 1995
  • IGCS Council Member representing Africa, Middle East (& Europe) (2018-2022)
  • Chair: Committee Africa, an IGCS Council project
  • Representative of IGCS at several academic and business meetings
  • Mentor for IGCS Gynaecologic Oncology Fellowship programme
  • Scientific Program Committee Member, IGCS 2014 Biennial Meeting in Melbourne
  • Program Committee Member, IGCS 2014 Regional Meeting in Cape Town
  • Presenter, invited expert and reviewer at previous IGCS meetings
  • Strategic alliance partner chair (SASGO)
  • Regular peer reviewer to the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer

Personal Statement:

Over the years, I have witnessed the IGCS growing from a professional network into a global power. As Council member, I have gained insight into its operations, programmes, strengths and needs. Today, the IGCS is a vibrant and growing organisation, striving to make a difference in all aspects of gynaecologic cancer and especially in increasing access to appropriate surgery, radiation and medical oncology treatment.

Globally, there is a huge need for initiative and leadership to improve equity in the prevention and care of gynaecologic cancer. The world needs highly resourced regions as research leaders, while efforts to test the relevance and enable implementation of research findings in less resourced countries must be increased. In my opinion, the IGCS has the membership, capacity, experience and vision to lead and contribute on all these fronts.

Current IGCS flagship programmes, including the mentorship and training, and educational initiatives demonstrate this ability. The next step for these projects could be to increase their capacity, relevance and range via increased involvement of senior members and local experts. All outreach must focus on respect, sustainability, local relevance and two-directional learning to ensure mutual benefit.

I believe the IGCS must strive to become ever more inclusive and representative, and to improve collaboration and coherence between global regions. Better communication with members and strategic partners can contribute to reaching these goals. It will also increase the sense of belonging, the reach of existing programmes and contribute to maintain membership. The future impact of the Society depends on its members and other income streams, on operational efficiency and affordability. Continued collaboration with the WHO and FIGO as partners with a shared goal is also of paramount importance to limit inequity in access to health resources in both developed and developing regions.

As a leader I am courageous and task oriented; I have experience in leading societies and dealing with diversity. I can focus on the details of the operational structure, and also attend to the overarching vision and goals of the Society. If elected, I will aim to contribute to the success of the IGCS using these attributes and my first-hand experience of working in both well-resourced, and resource-constrained areas.

The President-Elect position will allow me to increase my involvement in this visionary movement, and gain further insight into its operations and needs. As President, I will then aim to build on the existing framework, try to provide clarity of purpose and motivation, and if needed, assist in adapting the strategy.

Dr. Thomas Ind
Head of Department of Gynaecological Oncology
Royal Marsden Hospital, London
United Kingdom

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

IGCS Activities:

  • Active Member

Personal Statement:

I am Head of Department of Gynaecological Oncology at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, UK which was the first hospital in the world dedicated purely to the care of people with cancer. I have also served as an associate medical director for the hospital which is where, along with our academic partners the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), the carcinogens in cigarette smoke were discovered and many chemotherapeutic agents developed (including Busulfan, Melphalan, Chlorambucil, Carboplatin, and Abirotanone). I have held many officer positions in numerous societies and I am currently towards the end of my term as President of SERGS. It is a privilege to have been selected for the final slate of candidates as President of IGCS.

The pandemic and war has brought forward a renewed focus on the health inequalities between different communities in the world. For gynaecological cancers, it is clear that these variations exist across the whole oncology pathway from prevention to diagnostics, and treatment to supportive care. In addition, disparities exist in opportunities for learning and continued professional development. The IGCS can and has addressed some of these imbalances by working as a diverse and multidisciplinary group; supporting innovation at the same time as championing academia; and supporting less advantaged populations with education, patient information, as well as online material.

I have served as an Officer or President for many national and international societies and have a long history of hard work and productivity. I understand that serving in this capacity is not about status but rolling up your sleeves and working for the good of that society. During my tenures I have had the privilege to participate in educational activity not just across Europe and the Americas but also visiting colleagues and teaching in the Middle East, China, India, and Africa. Societal work involves diligence, toil, integrity, and time. If elected, I would dedicate my industry towards expanding educational opportunities in areas where they are hard to reach and would concentrate on a unified global community in gynaecological oncology focused on elevating education, innovation, and academia. I am particularly keen that IGCS is involved in providing global leadership by canvassing for and supporting a levelling-up agenda in gynaecological cancer health care opportunities around the world. To achieve this, I know the importance of working across all disciplines and being inclusive to general gynaecologists, pathologists, medical & clinical oncologists, radiologist, and those involved in supportive & palliative care. I very much hope to be given this opportunity to make a difference.

Candidates for Vice President

Dr. Anuja Jhingran
Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, Division of Radiation Oncology
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
United States

Specialty: Radiation Oncology

IGCS Activities:

  • Active Member
  • IGCS Secretary-Treasurer Elect and Secretary-Treasurer (2018-2022)
  • Volunteer Faculty Contributor, IGCS Project ECHO Virtual Tumor Boards (2018-present)

Personal Statement:

I, Anuja Jhingran, am currently a Professor at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and specialize in the treatment of gynecologic cancers. I have treated patients with gynecological malignancies for more than twenty-five years and it is fair to say that I have developed a true passion for these patients and their care. I have been involved with IGCS for many years in several different capacities. Most recently, I have served as the Secretary Treasurer-Elect and the Secretary-Treasurer.

Throughout my career, I have been involved in many organizations and programs that endeavor to improve patient care and training for physicians both nationally and internationally, regardless of financial status. My work in these developing countries to improve their access to and standard of care has made me a better and more empathetic leader. It has shaped my career, who I am as a clinician, and cemented the importance of these programs and the vital role they play. This is what drew me to IGCS and its important work. The IGCS plays such an important role in improving the quality of care of our gynecological cancers worldwide, including many of the LMICs that I have worked with. They do this through global education and training programs, and patient advocacy spanning across multiple disciplines.

I believe that I possess the key leadership skills and experience to serve as the Vice President effectively. I am a team player, a good listener, driven educator, mentor, researcher, and clinician. As the Vice President, I would strive to continue and further this society’s mission to improve patients' access to and quality of care.

Dr. Ana Oaknin
Head of Gynaecologic Cancer Programme
Vall d’Habron Institute of Oncology, Hospital Universitari Vall d’ Hebron
Spain

Specialty: Medical Oncology

IGCS Activities:

  • Active Member
  • Scientific Program Committee Co-Chair, 2021 IGCS Annual Global Meeting in Rome (Virtual)
  • Editorial Board Member, International Journal of Gynecological Cancer (2018-2021)

Personal Statement:

A key feature of the IGCS is to gather all medical specialties involved in the Gyn Cancer patient under the same umbrella and I want to be part of those who carry the umbrella. To disseminate and to bring the latest Gyn medical information to all members of the Gyn Community across the world is the IGCS mission and I want to work to make this mission a reality.

I as medical oncologist, I have developed my career based on two pillars: take care of my patients every day and keep my medical education at the highest level. As a result of this, I have been fortunate and have had the chance to be involved in the most relevant, practice changing studies and having an active role in some of the most prestigious oncology medical associations including ESMO and ASCO.  Indeed, I have been actively involved in the last few years as ESMO Faculty in the GYN Track. This position has allowed me to identify and implement the best ways to build an attractive academic Gyn program and to meet esteemed colleagues.

I think my experience in academia and in the organization of international meetings, I may favorably contribute to the IGCS. I expect to work very closely with all the IGCS Council members to learn from them and at the same time to share my former experience to make IGCS a great success. 

Candidates for Secretary-Treasurer Elect

Prof. Dr. Francesco Plotti 
Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Head of Preventive Gynecology Unit
University Campus Biomedico of Rome
Italy

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

IGCS Activities:

  • Active Member
  • IGCS Mentor of Early Career Research & Publications Network
  • Member of IGCS Intraoperative Technology Task Force (ITT) (2019)
  • Taskforce Member, IGCS and European Menopause and Andropause Society Position Statement (2019)
  • Scientific Program Committee Member, 2019 IGCS Annual Global Meeting in Rio de Janeiro
  • Scientific Program Committee Member, 2020 IGCS Annual Global Meeting (Rome/Virtual)
  • Scientific Program Committee Member, 2021 IGCS Annual Global Meeting (Rome/Virtual)
  • Chairman of the Surgical Video Festival Session for 2021 IGCS Annual Global Meeting

Personal Statement:

I strongly believe in the role of scientific societies for their informative, educational and professional networking role. I always try to acquire knowledge and to pass it on to my students and residents in Rome. Teaching has always been my passion, and I strongly identify with my role of Gynecologic Oncology Professor, that I have been holding since 2010, at Campus Biomedico in Rome. International network is also very important, therefore I try to encourage my students to travel and take part in fellowships abroad. I consider IGCS a launching pad for us. I have always followed all the IGCS activities and I gave my contribution to the Scientific Program Committee for the Annual Global Meeting in 2019 and 2020. I was also one of the IGCS mentors for the Early Career Research and Publications Network. Now, I would like to increase my support to IGCS with an official role. My goals for IGCS are to improve the Internationalization of the society, since I have good relationships with South America, Middle East, Asia, United States, and Europe. Then, to create a budget model to guarantee constant income during the year, through web seminars, donations, advertising, and advocacy programs. I also hope to strengthen the strategic alliance partnerships with international and local societies. I am part of the council of the Italian Society of Gynecological Oncology (SIOG) from 2019, and in the last 2 years I held the role of Secretary Treasurer (it will end in 2022).  My managerial training is certified at IESE business school (University of Navarra Spain) through the Healthcare Management Program.

Prof. Ritu Salani
Professor Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Division Director of Gynecologic Oncology
University of California Los Angeles
United States

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

IGCS Activities:

  • Active Member
  • Education Committee Chair (2018-present)
  • Education Committee Member (2016-present)
  • Member Education and Website Co-Chair (2016-present)
  • Scientific Program Committee Member, 2019 IGCS Annual Global Meeting in Rio de Janeiro
  • Volunteer Faculty Contributor, IGCS Project ECHO Virtual Tumor Boards (2018-present)

Personal Statement:

Being a member of IGCS since 2006, I truly appreciate the impact of the society has made on me both professionally and personally and would be honored to serve as the Secretary-Treasurer for the Society.

As the current IGCS Education Committee Chair, I have come to understand the different educational needs of society members across the globe. In this position, I helped develop and oversee different programs, such as the surgical film festivals, palliative care curriculum, and many other educational products. I was involved with the selection of a Learning Management System (LMS) and Professional Conference Organization (PCO), which included in-depth financial evaluations and negotiations. In addition to my role on the Education Committee, I serve(d) on the SGO and AGOS Finance Committees, which have helped me understand the business aspect of medical societies. Furthermore, I have a Master’s in Business Administration, giving me both medical and business perspectives which are vital in this position. Additionally, I have been involved with many societies and had leadership roles that have helped me with prioritization, organization, and collaboration which will serve me if elected to the secretary-treasurer position.

As an IGCS Council member (ex-officio), I have gained insight into both the staff resources and financial investments that are required to support the Society. I believe it is critical to develop a sustainable society that can securely invest in itself to provide the membership the highest level of service aligned with the society’s mission. It is also essential to identify new opportunities for funding and growth. If elected, my specific goals include the development of an IGCS Foundation that would be used to provide research grants focused on international collaboration, continue the development educational programs, and support patient advocacy. My vision, along with others on the Council, includes the exploration of additional avenues for growth such as partnerships with regional societies and industry sponsors to improve our reach and potentially identify new sources for financial growth. It would be an honor to be considered for this position.

Candidates for Council Member Positions

Candidates for regional Council Member positions will be elected by IGCS Members residing within each respective region.

Africa/Middle East

Dr. Shima Alizadeh
Gynecologic Oncology Fellow
Tehran University of Medical Science
Iran

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

IGCS Activities:

  • Active Member, IGCS Strategic Alliance Partner (PARSGO)

Personal Statement:

I am Dr. Shima Alizadeh, board certified in Gynecology & Obstetrics and first rank in the Gynecologic-Oncology fellowship at Tehran University of Medical Science. I graduated as first-rank from NODET (National Organization for Development of Exceptional Talents) and received the silver medal in biology Olympiad competitions.

I am a Gynecologic Oncology Fellow at GYN-Oncology department in the Tehran University of Medical Science and am working in the educational and referral hospital which is the center for gyneco-oncologic patients. With nearly 15 years’ experience in Gynecology & Obstetrics, now I'm working in numerous fields such as Gynecological Cancer surgery, Accreta-percreta management and surgery, and pelvic exenteration. Since our center is the top hospital in medical education in the country, I have participated in launching several conferences, scientific webinars, and tumor board meetings . Also, we have several residents in our department who were educated in our ward.

Research is my primary interest and because I am in the referral center, I have the opportunity for different research projects in cervical cancer, HPV, ovarian neoplasm, uterine cancer, and GTN. I wrote several publications and books in gynecology and have attended conferences. I was also recently honored with the award for the best presentation at the Charite-Mayo Conference with my paper entitled “Fertility-sparing surgery in MOGCT.” I have actively participated in IGCS’ educational webinars, and the journal club discussions hosted by the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer.

I am interested to start and expand relations between lKHC (IK Hospital Complex) and IGCS; this will lead both to cooperate in gynecologic operation, papers, educational activity, and more for our region.

I'm an active member in IGCS, NAIGO, ASCO, iSTARC and PARSGO. I hope to be elected in this position and work towards our goal for women everywhere to get the best care. I wish for a future with more relations between nations and that all the woman in the world - especially in Africa and Middle East – may take a step towards a healthier life.

Prof. David Atallah
Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology Department; Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Hotel Deiu de France University Hospital; Saint Joseph University
Lebanon

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

IGCS Activities:

  • Active Member
  • Co-chair Middle East/Africa Chapter of the Scientific Program Committee, IGCS 2019 Annual Global Meeting in Rio de Janeiro
  • Liaison for IGCS-MEMAGO Strategic Alliance Partnership

Personal Statement:

I am a gynecologic oncologist with over 20 years of experience and Chairman of the Department at Hôtel Dieu de France University Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon. I am also a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Saint Joseph University Beirut on the academic level and head of the gynecological cancer teaching program at the faculty of medicine. I tutor 2-3 medical students every year to prepare their medical thesis to acquire the title of doctor.

I founded the first gynecologic oncology unit in a tertiary hospital in Lebanon and started the multidisciplinary tumor board at Hôtel-Dieu de France University Hospital weekly.

My colleagues and I created the first Lebanese gynecologic oncology group in Lebanon after tremendous efforts and cooperation between my department and the American University of Beirut. This group cooperates with regional and international societies. It contributes to organizing local and regional annual congresses, workshops, and meetings in the Middle East (LGOG, MEMAGO, PARSGO, Turkish Society) to update the local medical community about the latest studies and guidelines in gynecologic oncology. Besides the scientific engagement, I also collaborate with local NGOs, like ClinGroup, to improve women's healthcare in the region by raising awareness about cancer detection and conducting regional clinical studies to improve the standard of care.

We have initiated, along with colleagues in Lebanon and the Arab world, the Project ECHO® program with IGCS, which has enabled us to discuss and present the tricky and rare cases that need the experience of highly qualified physicians in the field.

Unfortunately, gynecologic oncology is still underdeveloped in this part of the world and that is why it is essential to cooperate with international societies like IGCS to disseminate gynecologic oncology guidelines and management protocols throughout the region. With this in mind, I was the catalyst in establishing  partnership the strategic alliance between MEMAGO and IGCS.

Given this background, my engagement mirrors that of the mission of IGCS. If elected, I plan to engage with our whole medical community to support IGCS's mission. It is clear that more colleagues and patients should be exposed to the advocacy of IGCS.

Furthermore, it will be exciting to share data from this under-explored region to enrich the international scientific database, especially on the genetic level, and to participate in clinical trials which are mainly performed in Europe and the USA. My vision is to involve this region in international trials to increase the accuracy of the findings by ensuring our patients’ experiences reflect those of Western populations.

Teaching, training, and spreading awareness in parallel with the IGCS vision and message will also be further supported in this region through exchanging experiences and initiating IGCS fellowship programs.

It is an honour to be considered for this position on council. 

Asia/Oceania

Dr. Dilyara Kaidarova
Director of KazIOR
JSC Kazakh Institute of Oncology and Radiology
Kazakhstan

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

IGCS Activities:

  • Active Member
  • Liaison for IGCS-Kazakhstan Cancer Society Strategic Alliance Partnership (2017-present)
  • Faculty Contributor for IGCS-Kazakhstan Project ECHO Virtual Tumor Boards (2017-present)
  • Organizer, CGH (AECA)-IGCS-EURAMA Congress held in Almaty, Kazakhstan in 2017

Personal Statement:

IGCS has proved itself as a powerful and motivating organization, which has a significant impact on the overall development of gynecological cancer care globally. 

Having joined the IGCS over a decade ago as a member, I have been increasingly engaged in its activities, which lead to my participation as an organizer of the IGCS conference in Kazakhstan in 2017. Since joint event in 2017 we have involved to IGCS activities such countries as Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Mongolia, as a result of which a Memorandum of understanding was signed. And now we are on the way to engage of Caucasus countries in IGCS activities. We developed strong educational program with IGCS experts, conducted over 40 tumor board within the ECHO Project, while engaging large network of gynecological oncologists from all regions of Kazakhstan and Central Asia into the knowledge exchange and learning process.

Within the last 7 years of my service as a country's Chief Oncologist, Kazakhstan has significantly improved its cancer control landscape. Understanding our country’s healthcare challenges in conditions of limited funding, we developed and adopted the National Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan, which allowed us to increase financing and allocate more budget to molecular genetic testing, immunotherapy, as well as measures to provide access to best cancer care for all.

In 2008, I initiated the "Together Against Cancer" Public Fund with the aim of involving of the Kazakhstan’s society in the anti-cancer campaign and attract charity. In 2016, I organized the Kazakh Cancer Society, which joins and leads the efforts of multi-disciplinary teams in every region of the country to promote continuous education, scientific research, efficient management and palliative care programs.

For the past 5 years I’ve been leading the administrative and clinical services of the KazIOR, which has developed collaborative relations with world’s leading cancer institutions and NGO. I involved to scientific team as a director and project manager of Central Asia and East Europe trial group which created with increasing interest in research in this region.  In 2021 I was invited to the Lancet Commission group and as a part of the commission I have been actively promoting research projects in Central Asia region. I was nominated as National Expert of WHO Cervical Cancer Elimination roadmap.

Thanks to my involvement in the work of IGCS, I have a clear understanding and full commitment to the aims, principles and values of the IGCS. I am dedicated to promotion of a comprehensive approach to cancer care, from prevention and early detection to rehabilitation and palliative care, on the regional level and internationally, with the focus on countries with limited resources.

I believe that my extensive professional and personal relations, as well as longstanding understanding of the developments in the region covering one sixth of Earth's land surface will allow me to contribute to the development of high-standard cancer care services in developing countries and countries with limited resources.

I would highly appreciate your support for my candidature to the IGCS Council of Gynecologic Oncologist practicing in Asia or Oceania.

Prof. Sabera Khatun
Founder Chairman, Department of Gynae Oncology
Bangadandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University
Bangladesh

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

IGCS Activities:

  • Active Member

Personal Statement:

I want to serve IGCS as I see the society as the premier organization dedicated to the study of Gynae Cancer in the world. It is an organization through which almost all Gynecologists of the world are benefited. I want to serve Gynae Oncologists within my region and globally, update myself and others through IGCS. I appreciate the value of IGCS’s programs and initiatives such as the Travelling Scholars program, the Annual Global Meeting, Clinical Trials, Mentorship and Training programs, and I want to learn from these programs and to serve IGCS by contributing to the Gynae Oncologists of the world as well as of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh a LMIC country in South Asia where the incidence of cervical cancer is very high due to contributing factors such as early marriage, early childbirth, low education level, and low socioeconomic status. We need to work hard to eliminate cervical cancer and we need guidelines to work for this purpose. This is true not only in Bangladesh, but most of the countries of South Asia. So, as a representative of South Asia, I need to learn from IGCS members and represent and work for these countries. My mission is to uphold the knowledge, skill and experience of the Gynae Oncologists of South Asian countries. And my vision is to increase the number of expert Gynae Oncologists by which our women of gynae cancer will be better served and ultimately will not die from gynae cancer. My another mission is to make a collaborative work with our colleague like Radiation Oncologists, Medical Oncologists, Epidemiologists, Surgeons and others. As we know that management of a cancer patient is always a multidisciplinary approach. No one can run alone behind a cancer patient.

 Last of all, I want to serve our society, our people, our women, and the whole world. Thank you for your consideration.

Americas (South/Central)

Dr. Raimundo Correa
Department of Gynecologic Oncology Palliative Care Unit
Hospital Dr. Luis Tisne & Clinica Las Condes
Chile

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology and Palliative Care

IGCS Activities:

  • Active Member
  • Education Committee Member and Palliative Care Workgroup Co-Leader (2018-present)
  • Program Committee Co-Chair, 2015 IGCS Regional Meeting, Santiago De Chile
  • Scientific Program Committee Member, IGCS 2016 Biennial Meeting in Lisbon
  • Editorial Board Member, International Journal of Gynecological Cancer (2016-2020)

Personal Statement:

It is a great honor and a huge responsibility to be considered for the IGCS Council, representing the Caribbean & Americas Region. I want to serve in this position to be the connection between the region named above and the Society. I have been actively involved in this Society since 2012. I’ve participated in each general meeting with different responsibilities, including serving on the scientific program committee and chairing different parallel sessions. In 2015, I had the privilege of serving as co-chair for the IGCS Regional Meeting in Santiago de Chile. Since 2018, I co-led the development of a global curriculum on palliative care in gynecologic oncology, focusing on low- and middle-resource countries.  In conjunction with Dr. Michael Pearl, Dr. Ritu Salani, and Dr. Ane Gerda Zahl, and a superb international committee, and with the administrative guidance of Mandy Hansen and Mary Eiken, we successfully developed the curriculum within our deadline. It was presented to the membership at the meeting in Rio de Janeiro in 2019 and released to the membership in 2021.

Nationally, regionally, and locally, I have served, and continue to serve, on numerous and varied committees and in multiple leadership roles. This service has given me substantial experience.

If elected, I will most likely be the only member within the Council with formal training in palliative care and gynecologic oncology, giving the Council the opportunity to encompass the spectrum of gynecologic oncology from prevention to palliation. I will focus on developing new strategies for prevention and reinforcing best therapies for each malignancy, with particular interest in cervical cancer (the most common malignancy in this region). I will introduce a holistic dimension of the patient, putting patients first, assessing and investigating the importance of patient-reported outcomes in the Caribbean and the Americas, leveraging my training in symptom control and palliative care. Moreover, based on the IGCS palliative care global curriculum, I will develop a palliative care unit rotation for IGCS members of this region. I have trained extensively in gynecologic oncology in Chile and Canada, and completed fellowship training at BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto. After completion of fellowship training, I have been working as a Gynecologic Oncologist and Palliative Care Specialist in Chile since 2011. My organizational strengths can be gauged through the different roles I have had within IGCS, the communication and connections I have with colleagues locally, nationally, and internationally. As I said previously, my personal interest and training in palliative care represent a strength for becoming an IGCS Council Member, considering palliative care’s central importance in the treatment of cancer patients, irrespective of the origin of the primary tumor. Also, I understand the idea of this position is to share this responsibility between all countries of the region. From this perspective, if elected, this would be the first time that a Chilean would be a part of the IGCS Council whereas members from Argentina, Brazil and Colombia have already held a position in the Council.

Dr. Audrey Tieko Tsunoda
Surgical Oncologist;  Gynecologic Oncology Department and Medical Director at IRCAD Latin America
Hospital Erasto Gaertner
Brazil

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

IGCS Activities:

  • Active IGCS Member since 2006
  • IGCS travel grant recipient to visit Mayo Clinic in Arizona (2009)
  • Helped establish IGCS Strategic Alliance Partnership with Brazilian Society of Surgical Oncology (BSSO)
  • Abstract Reviewer for the IGCS Annual Global Meeting (2014-present)
  • Peer Reviewer for International Journal of Gynecological Cancer (2016-present)
  • Scientific Program Committee Member, IGCS 2018 Biennial Meeting in Kyoto
  • Scientific Program Committee Co-chair, IGCS 2022 Annual Global Meeting in New York

Personal Statement:

My career has been devoted to improving women's health. I am a Brazilian surgical oncologist, co-chair of the 2022 IGCS Annual Meeting. Connecting outstanding minds to offer a cutting-edge scientific program has been a very challenging life experience.

At Barretos Cancer Hospital, São Paulo/Brazil, I co-created the women's health facility where I had the opportunity to establish the local multidisciplinary team (MDT) protocols, obtain a Ph.D. in screening, and start a well-established fellowship program. In 2009, I was awarded an IGCS grant at Mayo Clinic that changed the course of Barretos' MIS surgery. We participated in international minimally invasive surgery (MIS) trials, and scientific partnerships with MDACC and Charité University inspired all local members to offer the best options to all our public health patients.

I led the activities at the laboratory during the establishment of the center and I have been co-directing gynecologic courses at IRCAD Latin America Barretos, a center of excellence in teaching and research. Over the course of 10 years, we have trained more than 2,500 surgeons and gathered world-renowned experts to advance surgical skills in Latin America (LATAM) and to support new talent.

This movement spread and led to participation in practice-changing clinical trials and, most importantly, improved patient care all over LATAM.

The IGCS is the most comprehensive and supportive global association in the fight against women's cancer. I envision IGCS as a modern source of reliable scientific information, a common place where all professionals have the opportunity to meet and share experiences, an innovative tool to support mentorship and leadership, and the best networking group in our field.

In support of this vision and in accordance with the IGCS principles, I pledge my support the following actions:

  • Prevention: with the dissemination and acquisition of new technologies in prevention and screening; to promote prevention initiatives in the scientific programs and protocols.
  • Treatment: providing mentorship and guidelines to cancer centers depending on each site resources (UICC and WHO, with access considerations); supporting IGCS training opportunities for MDT members; improving access and training in MIS; promoting electronic tools to facilitate staging, identification of ongoing studies, and patient education.
  • Study: to increase LATAM' representation at IGCS and partners meetings; develop and disseminate an update webinar (in a partnership with LATAM societies, launching in May/22); supporting new projects targeting LATAM delegates; assisting paper writing and publishing; overcome language barriers through translation of meetings and websites.
  • Improving the quality of life for patients: I will support meetings and campaigns for survivors; I propose the creation of a palliative care special interest group focused on underserved areas.

I am committed to promoting gynecologic oncology in its entirety, and encouraging LATAM members of our community to become leaders in our field, reducing disparities.

The IGCS has come so far. And together we have much more to do!

I appreciate your confidence and I hope that you will trust me to serve the IGCS as a Council Member - gynecologic oncologist representing Central/South America.

Europe

Dr. Heleen van Beekhuizen MD, PhD, MSc clinical trials
Gynecological Oncologist, Head of Department  Gynaecological Oncology
Erasmus MC, Rotterdam
The Netherlands

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

IGCS Activities:

  • Active Member

Personal statement:

It is a great honour and privilege to have been nominated for the Council Member position for Europe.

Throughout my life I have been passionate to improve international oncology and overall healthcare in high- and low-income countries. Spending several years in Papua New Guinea as a tropical doctor and in Tanzania as gynaecologist, I have learnt that low-income countries still have an immense variety of unmet needs. In my position as gynaecologist in Tanzania, I trained local doctors, conducted research and was responsible for a reproductive health program including cervical cancer screening and treatment. Working in these countries have taught me that we should put maximal effort in irradiation of cervical cancer in both low- and high resource settings.

My work in high-income countries, particularly in the state-of-the-art-oncology centre in Europe, has shown me that even though we have several measures that could prevent gynaecologic cancers, they are not always actively pursued. I have therefore established a taskforce called ‘’The Netherlands HPV cancer-free’’, which aims to significantly reduce the prevalence of cervical cancer and turn it into a rare disease by 2035. I have also been a member of Working Party on International Safe Motherhood & Reproductive Health and board member for Global Oncology since 2016.

In the past years I have been an active member at IGCS through several workshops. I am specifically devoted to conducting research on patients’ quality of life and new surgical techniques for gynaecologic cancer (PlasmaJet), and the treatment and prevention of cervical cancer through vaccination and imiquimod. It is my overall belief that care and research need to go hand in hand to reach both optimal care and sound clinical research results.

As a leader I focus on bringing different stakeholders together and understanding the true and most important needs of patients. In Tanzania, I set up a programme that included brainstorm sessions with patients and healthy women to identify the most important needs and prioritising them.

When working in teams, my leadership style is aimed at coaching and mentoring younger researchers and clinicians. In several research studies I have supported and fostered the research of young researchers, for example through clinical mentorship and guidance in their research on cervical and uterine cancers.

Following my experiences throughout the years, I have written a textbook on gynaecology and specifically gynaecological cancers in low-resource settings. This book is meant as a guideline for gynaecologic oncological treatments in low-income countries.

As IGCS Council Member, I specifically would like to focus on IGCS’s goal to improve gynaecological oncology research internationally and to irradicate cervical cancer worldwide. The combination of my experience in training doctors, extensive research and leadership in both low- and high-income countries provide me with a unique angle that will help me in my drive to support IGCS in improving care for women with gynaecologic cancer across the globe through education, training, research and public awareness.

If selected as Council Member, I will be honoured to join the fight against cervical cancer worldwide and improve oncological care globally to create a world in which all women across the world have access to high-quality oncology services.

Prof. Dr. Pauline Wimberger
Head of Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Carl-Gustav-Carus University Dresden, TU Dresden,
Germany

Specialty: Gynecologic Oncology

IGCS Activities:

  • Active Member

Personal Statement:

My application for the council membership is based on my personal desire to contribute with all my passion and professional expertise to the IGCS community. My main clinical and scientific focus is gynecological oncology, especially radical surgical treatment in advanced ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer as well as total mesometrial resection (TMMR) in early cervical cancer and robotic surgery. Furthermore, I have expertise in systemic treatment, especially targeted therapies, within clinical Phase I to IV trials.

The motivation of my translational research is the identification of predictive and prognostic biomarkers by liquid biopsy approaches on different experimental levels, such as the characterization of circulating tumor cells, cell-free tumor DNA and exosome-associated smallRNAs. With the help of my inter-disciplinary team, I have developed bioinformatic pipelines allowing integrated analysis of liquid biopsy parameters. I have proposed a variety of novel biomarkers for e.g. prediction of platinum-resistance or prediction of resistance to bevacizumab. Since my goal is not only predicting but also treating resistant disease, I have established a comprehensive model system for PARPi-resistant ovarian cancer, which serves as a basis for functional genomic approaches with state-of-the-art technology, such as CRISPR-Cas9 screening, in order to define innovative pharmacological strategies for PARPi-resistant ovarian cancer. I built a comprehensive network of international collaboration partners, with whom I initiated a broad spectrum of translational projects, e.g. in the context of stem-cells or immunotherapy.

From 2015 to 2019 I was member of the ESGO council and was involved in the implementation of ESGO exams, I was part of the working group for actualization of the European guidelines for endometrial and cervical cancer and for quality indicators for cervical cancer surgery. I was member of the Educational Committee and the Guidelines Committee within the ESGO council.  I learned a lot about the structure and spirit of a gynecological cancer society by laws and goals and economical demands of a huge international society.

Besides, I am member of different national and international societies, including the IGCS, ESGO, ASCO, SERGS, EUSOMA, DKG, DGGG, AGO, NOGGO, Organkommission OVAR of the AGO-OVAR, Commission for Translational Research of the AGO (TRAFO), and I am vice-chairman of the NOGGO. In addition, I am the representative of the NOGGO for phase I/II trials within the ENGOT.

Due to my experience in the ESGO council and work within ENGOT, it would be a great pleasure for me to be a part of the council of IGCS as a representative for Europe. My expertise may help to optimize education including e-learning and it would be a tremendous honor for me to support the IGCS council in the coordination of worldwide guidelines on gynecological malignancies. I believe that my clinical and scientific work experiences make me a highly competitive candidate for this position so that I would be happy to provide my personal support for education and professional training in gynecologic oncology worldwide. I wish to contribute to the progress and strength of the Society worldwide and hopefully to give new ideas for future strategies of the IGCS.

Medical Oncologist

Dr. Fernando Maluf has been elected to this position by nomination.

Dr. Fernando Maluf
Full Professor, BP Mirante
Brazil

Specialty: Medical Oncology

IGCS Activities:

  • Active Member
  • Scientific Program Committee, 2019 IGCS Annual Global Meeting in Rio De Janeiro
  • IGCS Industry Partnership Committee (2018-present)

Personal Statement:

My entire professional life has been devoted to reducing the impact of cancer on patients’ lives and to research and teaching state-of-the-art multimodal approaches. I graduated as a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center but decided to work in the heart of my home country, São Paulo, Brazil. I am a full professor at Santa Casa de São Paulo and raised funding to build 6 new research facilities in Brazilian underserved States.

Leading Brazilian Gynecologic Oncology Group - BGOG/EVA, as the current president, has been the opportunity to offer continuing medical education, support advocacy, and influence National political decisions to reduce disparities.

IGCS has been the most inclusive and supporting international society in our field. I have been actively working with IGCS since 2012 and served as an Annual Meeting co-chair, and leading IGCS cervical and vulvar consensus for developing regions. If elected as the Medical Oncologist Council Member, I envision increasing visibility, awareness, funding, education, as well as the number of members, to spread IGCS footprint globally.

Based on these core values, the following detail my potential contributions for the IGCS future:

  • Advocacy: to improve IGCS partnerships with global associations, with my experience of creating "Vencer O Cancer" NGO.
  • Collaboration: to increase IGCS collaborations to other medical societies, i.e. from Latin America, Europe, and Asia, which I have been working in research and medical education.
  • Diversity & Inclusion: to reduce disparities throughout inclusion and opportunities.
  • Education: provide innovative education and continuous learning. Using new tools to educate and to offer independent personal development and assessment.
  • Research: to extend IGCS scientific leaders' influence, through supporting grants, and young scientists’ projects, under supporting umbrella mentorship. My experience in collaborating on creating institutional research partnerships came with a recent strong bond created between GOG and EVA/BGOG. I believe I can bring other significant scientific partnerships to IGCS, with established companies and innovative startups.
  • Engagement: I will support IGCS members' feedback and new collaborations with the medical oncology community, bringing volunteers to work in our taskforce against gynecologic cancer.
  • Patient Care: improve public health on an international level by raising the quality of surgical care; improving clinical oncology protocols; and supporting physicians’ adoption of best practices in health care delivery.

I hope to have the opportunity to serve the IGCS community, committed to doing my best "to unite the globe in the fight against gynecologic cancer”.

Global Curriculum News

Zambian Training Site Institutionalizes IGCS Gynecologic Oncology Global Curriculum

We are so pleased to report that the Women and Newborn Hospital School of Medicine and Department of OB/GYN in Lusaka, Zambia has institutionalized the IGCS Global Curriculum in Gynecologic Oncology, officially making subspecialty training in gynecologic oncology a part of their 5-year Obstetrics and Gynecologic MMED program.

The first 2-3 years of this Zambian gynecologic oncology program, the trainees will follow the usual OB/GYN curriculum, after which they will proceed to pursue gynecologic oncology training for an additional 2 years. The first trainees will be recruited soon.

Prof. Mulindi Mwanahamuntu, who has been recognized by the Zambian Ministry of Health for displaying distinguished service and commitment to the fight against cancer, spearheaded the campaign to institutionalize this gynecologic oncology MMED program at the Women and Newborn Hospital under the University of Zambia School of Medicine.

Prof. Mwanhamunutu said “There are many people that have assisted in this process, the least of whom is Professor Mike Hicks who was able to transform one person’s single interest and skills to team interest in approaching an explosive problem of early cervical cancer that was being unearthed by an elaborate systematic VIA-based screening program put in place around 2007. Another is Dr. Krista Pfaendler who came to Zambia as a Fogarty Fellow and established Zambia’s LEEP/LLETZ surgical excision service infrastructure.”

Dr. Groesbeck Parham, a mentor and champion engaged in the day-to-day fight against women’s cancers in Zambia notified IGCS that the program was “approved with flying colors.” This is remarkable news and exemplifies the progress and capacity building intended when IGCS deployed the adaptable but universal curriculum for training in low resource settings in 2017.

We applaud all who were involved in achieving this milestone which will have a lasting impact to improve gynecologic oncology services to women in Zambia. We must celebrate every achievement in the global movement to close the care gap and continue to move the goal post forward.

About the IGCS Gynecologic Oncology Global Curriculum and Mentorship Program
The IGCS Global Curriculum supports collaborations between high- or middle-income country academic gynecologic oncologists and local mentors and trainees to either launch or strengthen formal gynecologic oncology fellowships. Milestones include progression through the curriculum, clinical training with local and international mentors, regular Project ECHO tumor boards, logging of cases and educational activities, and observerships at the international mentor’s institution. Trainees sit for a final examination; those who pass are awarded a certificate of completion from IGCS.

Graduate Announcements

Congratulations to the following fellows who have recently completed training through the IGCS Global Curriculum & Mentorship Program

Dr. Mubiru Musa
Uganda Cancer Institute

Fellowship Training Completed: 2022

"Thanks everyone, for giving me this opportunity. I am grateful to the mentors, Prof Lee, Prof Ueda, Dr. Jane, Dr. Okoth, Dr. Carol, Dr. Oryem, Dr. Thomas Randall for starting this programme in Uganda. The IGCS team for accepting to take on the programme. My mentors, both local and international. My colleagues especially Shaki. Today's examiners. And great thanks to Susan who has helped coordinate our learning."

Dr. Maryam Shaki
Uganda Cancer Institute

Fellowship Training Completed: 2022

“I would like to thank IGCS for coordinating this gyn oncology fellowship. Many thanks to the mentors (both international and local) for their tireless efforts to make it possible for me to successfully complete this program.”

Dr. Faiza Ahmed Nassir
Moi University, Kenya

Fellowship Training Completed: 2022

“I want to sincerely thank the International mentors, Prof Coven and Prof Barry, for their tireless commitment and guidance throughout the fellowship. Our local mentors Prof Omenge, Dr. Itsura, Dr. Tonui and Dr. Elly for their exemplary mentorship.”

Dr. Anisa Mburu
Moi University, Kenya

Fellowship Training Completed: 2022

"“It takes a village….” That is exactly what the IGCS family has been for me, a cornucopia of knowledge, skills and support from an eclectic group that has completely and utterly been selfless in the dissipation of their services to the study of women’s cancers. It has been an avenue where one’s potential is allowed to grow and flourish without inhibition. I am indebted to my local mentors at Moi University who guided my every step to be the best gynecologic oncologist that I could be and my international mentors who were always available to teach, challenge, discuss cases and even offer insight on life in general and spared no expenses in making sure I had all the tools to think like an oncologist and give the best well-rounded care to all the women who cross my path. Thank you to the IGCS team for making this program a possibility and sustaining it against all odds. I salute you."

Dr. Peter Xian Li
The University of Hong Kong - Shenzhen Hospital

Fellowship Training Completed: 2022

"It is my privilege to be able to join the IGCS global curriculum. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my mentors Prof. Hextan Ngan (HK), Dr. Kayu Tse (HK), and Dr. Li Zhang (SZ), for making a great effort to help me with the training. And I would like to thank Dr. Joseph Ng and his team for recruiting us to this fantastic IGCS training and helping us overcome many difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic to complete it. My training program was very well-structured, and I had the chance to present interesting cases every month and learn from experts in different countries. It also helped me develop various areas, including knowledge, surgical skills, communication skills, risk management, research, etc. I will continue to enrich my knowledge in gynecologic malignancies and to improve the quality of care of my patients." 

Dr. Mukatimui Munalula
Women and Newborn Hospital, Zambia

Fellowship Training Completed: 2021

“I had a great experience doing the fellowship. Now I look forward to having an even greater experience serving my country.”

Conquering Cancer Virtual Film Screening

The International Gynecologic Cancer Advocacy Network is thrilled to host a virtual screening of the documentary film, Conquering Cancer on Friday March 4th at 12:30pm UTC. After the film, viewers will participate in a live Q&A panel with IGCS President, Dr. Robert Coleman and our special guest panelists championing the global push to eliminate cervical cancer.

Event Details

Friday, March 4, 2022

6:30 am UTC -6 (Chicago)
12:30 pm UTC +0 (London)
8:30 pm UTC +8 (Beijing)
See more time zones.

Film Duration: 70 minutes
Live Q&A: approx. 15-20 minutes
Total duration: approx. 90 minutes

This virtual screening will be held live. 
A recording will not be available after the event.

If you unable to attend our screening, visit conqueringcancercampaign.com to find another screening or host your own screening.

Tickets: $5 USD

Access Codes: We have a number of access codes to join the event at no cost reserved for cancer survivor-patients, members of the IGCS and International Gynecologic Cancer Advocacy Network and individuals residing in low- and middle-income countries.

Please enquire for access code availability by emailing debbie.leopold@igcs.org.

About the film, Conquering Cancer

Conquering Cancer is a feature documentary with a soaring ambition: to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer for every woman and girl. The film brings to life stories of women who have survived cervical cancer and showcases testimonials from health care professionals who work on eliminating cervical cancer through vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV), screening and treatment.

Since its release, Conquering Cancer has won several awards and been shown in theatres, at professional events and to support outreach programs and has international distribution, notably on Amazon Prime, and educational distribution with Kanopy Streaming.

The burden of cervical cancer in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)
LMICs carry a wildly disproportionate burden of cervical cancer, accounting for up to 90% of all cases and a high percentage of related deaths. This is due to lack of vaccination against HPV that causes some 70% of all cervical cancers, high-performance screening programs to detect precancerous lesions and adequate treatment. Indeed, cervical cancer posts an average five-year survival rate of 90% when detected and treated early as is generally the case in high-income regions.

According to the World Health Organization’s Global Strategy, financing elimination is affordable, at an average cost of USD 0.40 per person per year in low-income settings and USD 0.20 in lower-middle-income countries.

Panelists

Dr. Daniela Luvero
Italy

Dr. Luvero is a gynecologist at University Hospital Campus Bio Medico of Rome, in Italy. She received a PhD in oncology at the same University in 2021. She worked as Clinical fellow at UCLH in London in the Department of Oncology for 1 year and she has a strong interest in research and has been involved in several international trials as coinvestigator, authored/co-authored many peer reviewed publications.

Dr. Luvero is active in the global gynecological oncology community, and she is currently the European Representative for the IGCS Council and in 2022 she became the Chief of the Advocacy Committee for the International Gynecologic Cancer Advocacy Network.

Dr. René Pareja
Colombia

Dr. Pareja is a Gynecologist Oncologist at Astorga Oncology Clinic in Medellín and the National Cancer Institute in Bogotá, Colombia

He is an Associate Editor of the International Journal Gynecological Cancer and a reviewer for more than 20 specialty journals, authoring 9 book chapters and more than 70 publications in peer-reviewed journals.
He is currently a member of the board of directors of the International Gynecological Cancer Society and FIGO Gynaecological Cancer Committee

In 2021, he was honored with the IGCS Award for Community Advancement in Resource-Limited Settings in recognition for his outreach throughout Latin America and beyond. René has been an amazing teacher for fellows in Colombia and served as an International Mentor for the IGCS Global Curriculum and Mentorship Program in Guatemala. He also helps established doctors and trainees throughout Latin America often serving as a catalyst for collaborative efforts to increase access to education and training in the region. 

Dr. Ida Ismail-Pratt
Singapore

Special interest: Education and training, screening and prevention of HPV related diseases and colposcopy. She is currently an OBGYN specialist and medical director for The Obstetrics & Gynaecology Centre in Singapore.

Dr. Ida championed the introduction of HPV DNA test in Singapore and co-chair the Singapore national cervical screening program implementation committee introducing HPV primary screening into Singapore in May 2019.

She is the Vice President of the Society of Colposcopy & Cervical Pathology Singapore (SCCPS). She has been actively promoting public education and awareness in Singapore through various societies in Singapore such as Singapore Cancer Society and Alliance Against HPV (A4HPV) particular for the young generations.

Internationally, she co-led the development of the IGCS Global cervical preinvasive disease training program. She is also is part of the education committee for the International Papillomavirus Society (IPVS) and led the IPVS ECHO committee program. She is also the secretary and founding member of the Asia Pacific HPV Coalition, a selected group of experts in the APAC region working together focusing on cervical cancer elimination in the Asia Pacific through research, education and awareness.

Dr. Kathleen Schmeler
USA

Dr. Kathleen Schmeler is a Professor of Gynecologic Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She is also the Executive Director of Global Oncology for the MD Anderson Cancer Network. Her research interest is in cervical cancer prevention and treatment, particularly for resource-constrained countries and medically underserved communities in the US. She is the Past-Chair of the IGCS Training & Mentoring Committee.

Prof. Dr. Woo Yin Ling
Malaysia

Professor Dr. Woo Yin Ling is a Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist at University Malaya Medical Centre, and a professor at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Malaya.

She received her medical degree from Trinity College, Dublin, and her PhD from the University of Cambridge, England. She is also the recipient of multiple international awards in recognition for her professional achievements. In 2021, she received the FIGO award in recognition her contribution to women’s health.

Dr. Woo’s areas of is in the management of gynaecological malignancies, particularly cervical cancer. Dr. Woo is currently the country representative (Malaysia) for the Asia-Oceania Research Organisation in Genital Infection and Neoplasia (AOGIN), taskforce member for the Malaysian policy change to Primary HPV screening for cervical cancer, member of the Asia Pacific Economic Consortium (APEC) Cervical Cancer working group and is the founding trustee for ROSE Foundation.

Moderated by IGCS President, Dr. Robert L. Coleman (USA)

Dr. Coleman completed his Obstetrics & Gynecology residency at Northwestern University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, and completed his fellowship at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1993. Prior to joining the M.D. Anderson faculty in 2004, he served as Vice-Chairman, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. At M.D. Anderson, Dr. Coleman was a Professor and served as the Executive Director for Cancer Network Research, holding the Ann Rife Cox Chair in Gynecology. In March 2020, he joined US Oncology Research as their Chief Scientific Officer.

Dr. Coleman has authored or coauthored over 700 scientific publications, including over 400 peer-reviewed articles, along with numerous book chapters, monographs, invited articles, and textbooks. In 2019, he received the 2019 APGO-CREOG award for Excellence in Teaching. He is a co-Director for GOG-Partners and serves on the Board of Directors for GOG-Foundation, Inc. He currently serves as President of the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) and was recently inducted into MJH Life Sciences™ 2020 class of “Giants in Cancer Care®.”

Cervical Cancer Awareness

Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Throughout January, IGCS will mark Cervical Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM) by highlighting the global burden of cervical cancer and what IGCS is doing to help eliminate this burden. We have also developed a social media toolkit so you too can play a part in driving awareness about cervical cancer this month.

IGCS supports the WHO Cervical Cancer Elimination Initiative to reduce the incidence of and mortality from cervical cancer by:

Social Media

Download and share these cervical cancer facts as far and wide as you can. Click each image to open, then save to your device or download them all from dropbox here

Informative Talks

Innovative Technologies for Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment
Kathleen Schmeler, MD

Dr. Schmeler discusses best practices for cervical cancer screening and treatment, including options for and solutions in middle- and low-resource settings.

ConCerv: A prospective trial of conservative surgery for low-risk, early-stage cervical cancer
Kathleen Schmeler, MD

Dr. Schmeler presents the findings of the ConCerv Clinical Trial, a study conducted from 2010-2019 to prospectively evaluate the feasibility of conservative surgery in women with early-stage, low-risk cervical cancer.

Advances in Cervical Cancer Therapeutics

2021 was an impactful year for cervix cancer therapeutics. IGCS President, Robert Coleman provided this overview for OncLive near the end of 2021 and here are the highlights:

The phase III EMPOWER trial demonstrated the clinically meaningful superiority of single-agent immunotherapy (cemiplimab) over standard single agent, physician’s choice chemotherapy in previously-treated metastatic/recurrent cervical cancer. The results were robust demonstrating superiority in PFS, OS and objective response and in multiple histologies. A regulatory decision this is expected this month. Learn more.

At the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2021, the positive results of KEYNOTE-826: pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy ± bevacizumab versus placebo plus chemotherapy ± bevacizumab for previously untreated persistent, recurrent, or metastatic cervical cancer were announced. The study showed that the addition of immunotherapy to our best frontline standard of platinum/paclitaxel/bevacizumab provided a clinically meaningful improvement in PFS and OS in all-comers as well as in PD-L1 positive tumors. FDA approved the 4 drug regimen in record time in October for treatment-naïve PD-L1 expressing tumors. Learn more.

Also, recently, tisotumab vedotin, an antibody drug conjugate targeting tissue factor was approved as second-line therapy for metastatic cervical cancer based on impressive objective and durable responses in patients whose tumors progressed after frontline chemotherapy. Finally, there were some hints of the expanded efficacy of tisotumab vedotin in combination with chemotherapy and in combination with immunotherapy as well as increased efficacy of dual immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy. Collectively, these findings provide real promise for future advances. Learn more.