2020 Award Recipients

These award recipients will be recognized at the upcoming xDigital Annual Global Meeting of the International Gynecologic Cancer Society which will be held in a fully digital setting this September 10-13, 2020. The Awards Ceremony will take place during the Opening Ceremony on September 10th at 2:00 p.m. UCT.

Please join us in congratulating them on their achievements!

2020 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

Monica Bacon, RN
Canada

Co-Founder of the Gynecologic Cancer InterGroup (GCIG), Ms. Bacon is a recipient of the IGCS 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award for her lifelong dedication to women’s health and serving the gynecologic cancer community though nursing, clinical trial coordination and international team building, advocacy, and volunteerism.

Read more about Monica.

Nicoletta Colombo, MD, PhD
Italy

Principle investigator of several international clinical trials and established author, Professor Colombo is the recipient of the IGCS 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award for her exemplary leadership in multiple gynecologic oncology organizations, and lifelong commitment to science, research and clinical trials.

Read more about Nicoletta.

2020 Excellence in Teaching Award Recipient

Rahel Ghebre, MD, MPH
USA

For her mentorship and leadership with gynecologic oncology sub-specialty training programs in Ethiopia, specifically at Addis Ababa University and initiating a program at St. Paul’s Millenium Medical College. This award recognizes a deep commitment and dedication to gynecologic oncology, exemplifying the core components of teaching and education.

Read more about Rahel.

2020 Distinguished Advocacy Award Recipients

Runcie C.W. Chidebe & Project PINK BLUE
Nigeria
For outstanding advocacy throughout Nigeria and in global forums, including founding Project PINK BLUE—an organization focused on cancer advocacy, oncology training, and research—as well as influencing the establishment of the National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment, developing numerous programs to serve the most needy, and changing cancer awareness and care throughout Nigeria

Read more about Runcie & Project PINK BLUE.

Nathalie Dauphin McKenzie, MD (USA) &
Innovating Health International (Haiti)
For courageous, ongoing advocacy for survivors-patients in the USA and Haiti, including traveling to Haiti several times a year—at great personal risk—to perform life-saving surgeries (otherwise unavailable) and to train oncologists to do the same, currently primarily through Innovating Health International, a Port-au-Prince based women’s cancer center, where no patient is ever turned away because of treatment costs

Read more about Nathalie & Innovating Health International.

Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance
For dedicated service to advocate and research communities, as the largest global, non-government funder of ovarian cancer research, having raised over $100 million for research/services and developed and conducted extensive advocacy programs including Survivors Teaching Students® through which ovarian cancer survivors and family members have trained/reached nearly 100,000 medical and other health professions students

Read more about the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance.

2020 IJGC Award Recipients

The International Journal of Gynecological Cancer (IJGC) is a joint publication of the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) and the European Society of Gynaecological Cancer (ESGO). The IJGC Awards are presented at the IGCS and ESGO Annual Meetings on alternate years. This year, the IJGC Awards will be presented at the 2020 IGCS Annual Global Meeting.

Most Downloaded Paper Award (2020)

Gloria Salvo, MD
for the paper titled
“Updates and management algorithm for neuroendocrine tumors of the uterine cervix”

Editor’s Choice Award (2020)

David Cibula, MD, PhD
for the paper titled
“European Society of Gynaecological Oncology quality indicators for surgical treatment of cervical cancer”

View Top 10 Journal Reviewers of 2020

CEO Update: COVID-19 Survey Results

Dear Members and Friends,

In this CEO Update, I’d like to share with you the results from our recent COVID-19 survey, provide an update on IGCS 2020 abstracts and our upcoming Surgical Film Festival with AAGL, and remind readers of the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer to complete the 2020 readership survey.

COVID-19 Survey Results

We would like to thank our members for taking the time to complete our international survey of gynecologic cancer care providers to help us better understand the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer care in the initial months of the pandemic. An executive summary of the results is now available.

Download COVID-19 Survey Results Executive Summary

We received responses from a total of 270 participants from 62 countries, with representation largely from North America, South America, and Asia. 83% were gynecologic oncologists and the rest included medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, and nurses. The primary practice of 97% of participants is in clinical work and 91% work in an urban setting. 70% work in academic medical centers while 26% work in community hospitals.

From the survey responses, we learned that there is a definite and urgent need for the IGCS to comprehensively evaluate and understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on gynecologic cancer practice and women’s cancer care. This understanding goes to the raison d’être of the Society in supporting its membership through education, advocacy, and political activism for women living with cancer all over the world. If you are interested in informational resources IGCS has compiled related to cancer care and COVID-19, please visit our COVID-19 page for resources, articles and recordings of educational tumor boards.

I would also like to thank Dr. Joseph Ng, IGCS Council Member and Chair of the Mentorship and Training Committee for his work in developing the survey questions and Dr. Li Min Lim for analyzing and compiling the executive summary.

The IGCS will be diving deeper and into some of the comments and responses you have provided. We intend to share what we find on these deep dives across our entire suite of information-distribution platforms including social media and in our society journal, the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer.

IGCS 2020 xDigital Annual Global Meeting

Abstract and Surgical Film Submission for the IGCS 2020 Annual Global Meeting closed on July 15, 2020 at 11:59 pm PDT. We are grateful to have received over 500 abstracts and surgical films.

Late Breaking Abstracts will be accepted from July 25-August 15. Please note that the late breaking submission site is reserved for high priority data that was not fully available at the time of original submission deadline on July 15. Other submissions will not be considered for acceptance.

There is still plenty of time to register for IGCS 2020. Learn more about the meeting which will be 100% digital. Session details will be released soon but until then, please view the program overview to see all the great sessions that will be offered.

IGCS/AAGL Surgical Film Festival

The next IGCS/AAGL Film Festival covering surgical complications will be held July 29, 2020 at 5:00 pm CDT. This online event is free but registration is required. View the program outline and speakers.

 

IJGC Readership Survey (July 2020)

The International Journal of Gynecological Cancer is conducting a readership survey to collect feedback from IGCS members and subscribers regarding journal content and educational offerings such as podcasts, video articles and different article types.

Please complete the IJGC survey here.

 

In closing, I’d like to thank the numerous volunteer leaders who allow IGCS to achieve our goals and better the care for women with gynecologic malignancies.

Sincerely,

Mary Eiken, MS
IGCS CEO

Welcome, SASGO!

We are so pleased to announce that the South African Society of Gynaecologic Oncology (SASGO) has joined the IGCS Strategic Alliance Partnership.

SASGO Members will now benefit from dual membership and gain access to IGCS Member benefits such as the Early Career Research & Publications Network,  the online member Education Portal (including the new Pathology Corner), AAGL’s SurgeryU video library, discounted registration for the IGCS Annual Global Meeting, and access to our online member community Social Link.

Greta Dreyer, who serves as SASGO President and as an IGCS Council Member, was instrumental in communicating with SASGO Council and Members and sharing feedback with IGCS leadership to discuss challenges and opportunities to collaborate and share resources to improve treatment of women affected by gynecologic cancers in South Africa.

SASGO was founded in 2006 to promote excellence in gynaecologic cancer care through training, research, and quality of care. They also advocate on behalf of women in South Africa by liaising with concerned governmental and non-governmental groupings, institutes for training and examination, authorities, and related advisory and research groups.

South Africa, with a population of 55 million, is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures and religions with 11 official languages. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, breast and cervical cancer are the most prevalent cancers affecting women in South Africa with cervical cancer being number one cause of cancer-related deaths. Vulvar, uterine, and ovarian cancer are also among the top eight most prevalent cancers in the country.

We look forward to our partnership with SASGO, to serve the gynecologic cancer professionals in the region, unite them with our global community, and to find ways to achieve our common goals to fight gynecologic cancers through training, education and public awareness.

IGCS Updates April 2020

IGCS Members,

We trust this finds you all well and safe during a very unprecedented time. We think of all of you, your families, and colleagues often. We hope that the following is informative, and you can see what’s new from the IGCS.

Cast your Vote: 2020 Council Election

Online voting for the 2020 Council Election is open through May 5th. All voting members should have received an email from vote@simplyvoting.com with a link to the ballot on April 5th and those who have not voted will receive weekly email reminders. Members may also visit igcs.simplyvoting.com and login with their IGCS username and password to access the ballot.

Read more about the open positions and excellent group of candidates here.

COVID-19 Virtual Tumor Boards & Resources

COVID-19 has transformed the world in just a few short months. IGCS Members all around the world are adapting to the changes in many aspects of life including clinical decision-making for gynecologic cancer patients. Many members are discussing their experiences and sharing resources in the online IGCS Member community, Social Link. Log in and join the discussion!

We are hosting a series of virtual tumor boards for IGCS Members with a special focus on the impact of COVID-19 in the management of gynecologic cancer patients. The first tumor board was held on April 4th, with over 275 attendees from all around the world heard from experts who discussed delays in diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. A recording of the tumor board, the slides, and information about future tumor boards can be viewed here.

Keep an eye on your inbox to learn about and register for our future virtual tumor boards on COVID-19 and gynecologic oncology taking place April 18th and 25th. You can also view the list of resources, regional guidelines, and news we’ve compiled here.

Education Highlight

A new IGCS-IJGC Interactive Learning Article is available in the Education Portal: Decision analysis for secondline maintenance treatment of platinum sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer: a review. Interactive Learning Articles are developed with select articles published in the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer. A quiz format enhances the learning experience, allowing readers to test their knowledge on the material presented in the article.

The March compilation of In-the-Know (Ed’s List) is also available to download in the Literature Library.

IGCS Articles Published in IJGC

We recently developed and published two articles in the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer.

The first article in February was the European Menopause and Andropause Society (EMAS) and International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) position statement on managing the menopause after gynecological cancer: focus on menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis.

Just recently at the end of March, the IGCS Intraoperative Technology Taskforce published Update on Near Infrared Imaging Technology: Beyond White Light and the Naked Eye. Indocyanine Green and Near Infrared Technology in the Treatment of Gynecologic Cancers.

Lead author, Dr. Nadeem Abu-Rustum says “near infrared imaging has the potential to revolutionize our intraoperative management for lymphatic mapping and micro perfusion assessment. The technology is available in many cancer centers worldwide and will likely play an increasing role in gynecologic cancer surgery for lymphatic mapping of uterine and vulva cancer as well as skin and bowel perfusion assessment.”

IGCS Annual Global Meeting: Rome 2020

Our thoughts and concerns have been with all of Italy and the entire globe since the onset of COVID-19. We continue to monitor the situation very closely as it pertains to our plans to hold IGCS 2020 in Rome this September. Our President, Dr. Roberto Angioli recorded this message a few weeks ago and we are happy to see that the situation in Italy is improving day by day.

Our program chairs, staff, and conference organizers have been working diligently to ensure that we provide a fantastic educational program for our members and the global gynecologic oncology community, both in person and digitally. We are very excited to share this digital environment in the coming weeks and will send you a demonstration to showcase the interactive ability of a fully digitized meeting for participants who are are unable to travel to Rome. We will also be sharing our new deadlines for abstracts and registration.

Membership & Social Link

We’d like to thank all of you for renewing your membership for 2020 and welcome to those who are new to the society! We hope you are all taking advantage of your membership – the benefits list is now available in English, Chinese, Spanish, and Russian. It’s easier than ever to communicate with your fellow IGCS Members through the online community, Social Link.

Search the online membership directory and browse the discussion forums to connect with other members today.

Follow us on Social Media

Do you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram? If you don’t, you may be missing out! Over the last several months, we’ve been working to increase our presence on social media to keep you all informed of everything that we are doing.

As you can see, 2020 is proving to be a busy year for IGCS! Make sure to follow us on social media and visit igcs.org frequently to check our featured announcement section so you can stay in the know.

Stay safe and be well.

Prof. Roberto Angioli
IGCS President
Ms. Mary Eiken
IGCS CEO

 

 

 

Nominations for Distinguished Advocacy Award

The Award

The Annual IGCS Distinguished Advocacy Award recognizes advocates and/or advocacy organizations that provide active, dedicated service to patients-survivors, families, caregivers, and communities—at a local, regional, or international level. The Award, reserved for those most persistently engaged in the fight against gynecologic and other cancers,

  • recognizes those currently engaged in activities and projects that tangibly provide benefit to patient-survivor communities
  • highlights best practices and outstanding individuals and organizations in various settings throughout the world
  • inspires others to engage so generously

Annually, IGCS honors up to three individuals and organizations from different regions of the world, and special consideration is given to those who collaborate beyond their community or country of residence. Award recipients will

  • attend the 2020 IGCS Annual Global Meeting in Rome (September 10-12), with support from IGCS
  • be recognized at the Global Meeting during a Plenary session and during the Survivor-Caregiver Symposium
  • receive a plaque in recognition of the Award
  • be highlighted on the Advocacy pages of the IGCS website

Accepting Nominations for 2020

IGCS is currently accepting nominations for its 2020 Distinguished Advocacy Award. The deadline for receipt of nominations for the 2020 Award is April 15, 2020, at 11:59 pm EST. Award recipients will be determined by a Selection Committee with IGCS Council consultation. In selecting award recipients, we will consider global distribution of the award and regional ableness; however, these will not be the primary considerations. We accept self-nominations.

Award recipients must be patients-survivors, family members, caregivers, or other individuals who make outstanding contribution(s) to the patient-survivor community and be engaged in one or more of the following areas:

  • advocating for enhanced cancer awareness and prevention
  • providing or advocating for the delivery of the highest-quality cancer care
  • supporting achievement of the highest quality of life possible (to include support or palliative care)
  • implementing program(s) that support and/or advance health equity
  • collaborating with other advocates and/or advocacy organizations to benefit patients-survivors across geographic boundaries and demographics

Nominees do not have to belong to an established organization but must be active in their own community and/or beyond. In each calendar year, only one person or organization from a region can receive the Award.

Click here to Download the Nomination Form.
Click here to Submit the Completed Nomination Form.

If you have questions or need assistance, please email the IGCS Director of Global Outreach and Engagement, Mary (Dicey) Jackson Scroggins at dicey.scroggins@igcs.org.

IGCS & WOCC Join Forces

           

Announcing a Strategic Advocacy Partnership Between the International Gynecologic Cancer Society and the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition

It is my pleasure to announce a Strategic Advocacy Partnership between the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) and the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition (WOCC). This partnership maximizes the collective influence, membership, force, and reach of these two premiere organizations and establishes a framework through which they will provide tangible benefit to gynecologic cancer survivors-patients worldwide, with special emphasis on ovarian cancer.

Established in 2016, WOCC is a not-for-profit organization with 145 patient advocacy organization partners in 37 countries. WOCC works to ensure that every woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer has the best chance of survival and the best quality of life possible, wherever she may live. Its mission aligns perfectly with that of the IGCS of enhancing the care of women with gynecologic cancer worldwide. Uniting the globe in the fight against gynecologic cancers since 1985, IGCS currently has over 3,200 members in 115 countries. The membership of both organizations encompasses low-, middle-, and high-resource countries, consistent with their commitment to global health equity.

Elisabeth Baugh, Chair of the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition, explains, “As the largest global ovarian cancer patient advocacy network, the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition is committed to making a difference to the lives of all women affected by ovarian cancer. This strategic partnership creates a powerful global advocacy movement, uniting and strengthening patient and clinical voices to act as a force for urgent change. It is our firm belief that we will achieve much more together.”

With each organization retaining its independence, focus, and governance and with each committed to mobilizing outstanding global leadership, experts, and advocacy to reduce the burden of gynecologic cancers globally, this partnership does indeed represent a formidable force for change.

Emphasizing the importance of advocacy partnerships, IGCS President Roberto Angioli notes, “This partnership with the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition is representative of our commitment to working collaboratively with advocates worldwide to ensure best outcomes for all women and families affected by gynecologic cancers. We will continue to partner with local, regional, and global advocacy groups across all gynecologic cancer sites. These partnerships are essential to our mission.”

And, specifically, in activating this partnership, we will

  • Launch the WOCC’s Global Ovarian Cancer Charter—a call-to-action to all involved in the care of ovarian cancer survivors-patients—during the 2020 IGCS Annual Global Meeting.
  • Convene cancer site-specific partnership meetings and other forums that support the IGCS-initiated Global Advocacy Network focused on gynecologic cancers.
  • Integrate into IGCS, WOCC, and other international meetings, our individual organization-specific, mission-driven programming that supports advocacy broadly.

Together, IGCS and WOCC will amplify the global voices of gynecologic cancer survivors-patients and will prompt and accelerate change that expands awareness and options, improving survival rates and survivorship. To manage joint initiatives, each organization has a dedicated partnership lead—Dicey Jackson Scroggins, IGCS Director of Global Outreach & Engagement, and Clara MacKay, WOCC Executive Director.

We are well positioned to take on the challenges and excited by the opportunities to benefit women and families—wherever and under whatever circumstance they might live.

Sincerely,

Mary Eiken, MS
IGCS Chief-Executive Officer

Congratulations to IGCS Global Curriculum Graduates!

Congratulations to the first three fellows completing their two-year training and final examinations through the IGCS Gynecologic Oncology Global Curriculum & Mentorship Program!

Dr. Benjamin Elly Odongo
Moi University Hospital, Kenya
Dr. Jerome Katumba
Uganda Cancer Institute
Dr. Mariam Nabwire
Uganda Cancer Institute

The Global Curriculum was established in 2017 under the leadership of then-IGCS President, Michael Quinn. It is a comprehensive education, training, and mentorship program designed for regions around the world that do not currently have formal training in gynecologic oncology. There are now 12 training sites utilizing the IGCS program under the leadership and guidance of Drs. Tom Randall and Linus Chuang.

The program at Moi University in Kenya has been in place for about 10 years, producing a number of gynecologic cancer specialists practicing in Kenya and Uganda. Dr. Benjamin Elly Odongo is the first to complete the Moi University program with the IGCS Global Curriculum in place. The program at the Uganda Cancer Institute was initiated more recently in 2017, utilizing the IGCS Global Curriculum from the start. Notably, Drs. Mariam Nabwire and Jerome Katumba are the first gynecologic oncologists to be trained locally in Uganda.

Instrumental to the program’s success is the hard work of the fellows, local faculty and administrators at each facility who are committed to implementing the curriculum and working to ensure its sustainability over time. We also acknowledge the dedication and support of the international mentors from established institutions and faculty contributors who participate in monthly Project ECHO virtual tumor board video conferences. Finally, we’d like to thank Dr. Allan Covens for his efforts as Chair of the Final Examination Committee.

To learn more about the program, please download the 2019 Annual Report.

Those who would like to learn more about how to contribute to the mentorship and training aspects of this program, please email mary.eiken@igcs.org.

Dr. Benjamin Elly Odongo
Moi University Hospital, Kenya
Fellowship Training Completed: 2019

“The IGCS Fellowship, especially the time spent to prepare for the ECHO tumor boards made me realize that no matter how busy I thought I was, I had to find time for reading, or surrender myself to self-chosen ignorance.

Having local mentors made me understand that there are abilities within us which have not yet been developed and can be developed further particularly the skills to manage patients with gynecological malignancies locally, the resource limitations notwithstanding.

The international mentors and the time spent at The University of Toronto led me to the discovery of the fundamental fact that we are continually learning new things and that the problems which perplex us in our part of the world can be solved through leadership, research and commitment. I am therefore proceeding to advocate for implementation of cancer prevention strategies, support efforts towards improving the capacity to make accurate cancer diagnosis, provision of treatment including palliative and end of life care.”

See more about the program in Kenya.

Dr. Jerome Katumba
Uganda Cancer Institute
Fellowship Training Completed: 2019

“I am extremely excited by the great achievement of completing the IGCS Fellowship and becoming one of the first gynecologic oncologists locally trained in Uganda. This fellowship has enriched my knowledge and skills in the field of gynecologic oncology and has completely changed my approach and practice in the management of patients.

I extend my sincere gratitude to my local and external mentors who toiled to impart us with the knowledge and skills during the training. I am also beholden by the hospitality and shadowing experience I enjoyed from the staff of the University of California San Francisco Hospital, North Carolina University Hospital and Duke University Hospital.

Bravo IGCS Fellowship Team! Keep the candle burning.”

Dr. Mariam Nabwire
Uganda Cancer Institute
Fellowship Training Completed: 2019

“The cogitation to initiate the gynecologic oncology fellowship training program in Uganda is a great turning point. The extensive support provided by the IGCS, our external mentors, and the local mentors has led to a successful fellowship program.

I am honored to be one of the first two gynecologic oncologists trained in Uganda. We plan to set up the Uganda gynecologic oncology association to ensure quality and sustainability of gynecologic oncology services in Uganda and Africa at large.”

See more about the program in Uganda.

Thoughts from Mentors & Leaders

“Congratulations to the first three international fellows to pass the final exam for the IGCS Gynecologic Oncology Global Curriculum and Mentorship Program. We are incredibly proud of our fellows and want to thank our local and international mentors for their dedication and support. Together they are changing the care and outcomes of women with gynecologic cancers around the globe.”

– Dr. Kathleen Schmeler (MD Anderson Cancer Center)
IGCS Mentorship & Training Committee Chair & International Mentor for the Mozambique Fellowship Program

“This is a really important day for IGCS. The implications for the care of women from disadvantaged backgrounds are enormous and truly reflect our mission to improve outcomes by teaching and training. Our challenge now is to get the resources to expand the program and to ensure that our new international specialists continue to be supported. Sincere congratulations to all concerned.”

-Dr. Michael Quinn
IGCS Past President and Founder of the Global Curriculum & Mentorship Program

“I am immensely proud of Mariam Nabwire and Jerome Katumba for their achievement in successfully completing their fellowship. They are the first two fellows to graduate from the Uganda program. Their success embodies all the efforts from the current local faculty including Drs. Anthony Okoth, Jane Namugga, Carolyn Nakisige, Judith Ajeani, Miriam Nakalembe; and from the administration including Drs. Jackson Orem, Annettee Nakimuli, and Nixon Niyonzima.

The initial vision for gynecologic oncology sub-specialization came from the prior Head of Department for Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Josaphat Byamugisha, almost 10 years ago. With his leadership combined with Dr. Jackson Orem, the Director of the Uganda Cancer Institute, and leadership from Makerere University, Mulago Hospital, and the Ministry of Health, the gynecologic oncology fellowship in Uganda began in October 2017.

The partnership with IGCS strengthened the curriculum and processes to achieve excellence in the quality of training. With IGCS funding support, Jerome and Mariam were able to complete an 8 week observership in the United States that they both found very meaningful for their training. In addition, the support from other passionate global educators from IGCS has been very rewarding to me.

I am very grateful for the commitment of all the external mentors, especially Dr. Stefanie Ueda. With her experience, I learned how to navigate mentorship and leadership in a challenging setting with many stakeholders involved. I owe many thanks to Duke, especially Dr. Andrew Berchuck, who supported and believed in me to make a difference. Finally, I am grateful to the women in Uganda to trust their care in us as we continue to do our best to improve their gynecologic oncology outcomes.”

-Dr. Paula Lee (Duke University Hospital)
International Mentor for the Uganda Fellowship Program

“On behalf of myself and Dr. Barry Rosen, and the local supervisors Drs. Omenge, Tonui, and Itsura, we congratulate Dr. Elly Benjamin on his successful completion of the IGCS Global Curriculum in Gynecologic Oncology. He is a special and unique individual. We are proud of both his accomplishments, and the tremendous success of our program at Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya.

Our program has been running for approximately 10 yrs, and has produced a number of gynecologic oncologists currently practicing in Kenya and Uganda. Dr. Benjamin’s accomplishment as one of the first to formally pass the IGCS training program in gynecologic oncology highlights his and our success, and is inspiring for all training programs and individuals working in low resource countries.

The collaborative efforts of the IGCS team, combined with the dedication of the international mentors, local supervisors, in addition to all the individuals participating on the monthly ECHO calls embodies the value and importance this initiative is to so many.

We hope Elly is just one of many such individuals to successfully complete this training program in the future.”

-Dr. Allan Covens (University of Toronto and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center)
International Mentor for the Moi University Fellowship Program

Renew your Membership for 2020

It’s that time of year! If your membership is set to expire on December 31st, please make sure to renew so that we may continue to serve you in 2020.

IGCS, being a member driven organization, relies on the members to support us in many ways – including renewing your membership. This past year, we’ve accomplished a lot thanks to your support and the contributions of our members. I hope you will renew your membership so you can continue receiving member benefits like these. Here are just a few examples of what we’ve accomplished in 2019:

In 2020, we hope to accomplish even more.

We plan to bring our members an enhanced online education experience, including a palliative care certificate program and dedicated resources for pathology and radiation oncology.

2020 is an election year for new Officers and Council Members, so make sure to renew your membership so you can vote in the upcoming election – or apply for a position on the council.

Please sign in to your member account and submit your membership dues for 2020 or pay in advance up to three years. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact the IGCS Membership Manager, Cathy Fearing at cathy.fearing@igcs.org.

As always, we thank you for your continued dedication. We look forward to serving you for another year!

Mary Eiken, MS
IGCS CEO

IGCS Growth in Latin America: Chile, Peru & Mexico

IGCS Members and Friends,

Over the past several years, IGCS has curated relationships with many Latin American regional groups, supporting a variety of educational courses over the years, leading up to the recent successful IGCS Meeting in Rio de Janeiro. IGCS is uniquely positioned to provide programs and resources to help strengthen local societies and connect the members in these regional societies to a global network of gynecologic oncologists to share experiences and knowledge.

Since the launch of our Strategic Alliance Partner program in 2017, IGCS Membership representation in Latin America has increased by over 400 percent, growing from 99 to 423 members.

The IGCS Council is grateful for the efforts of Dr. René Pareja (Colombia) who has been instrumental in helping IGCS identify the many diverse needs in the region.

I am pleased to announce that the Chilean Society of Gynecologic Oncology and the Peruvian Society of Gynecological Oncology recently joined our Strategic Alliance Partner Program. And earlier this year, the Mexican College of Gynecologic Oncology invited us to their congress to promote IGCS membership.

Chilean Society of Gynecologic Oncology

The Chilean Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SCHIGO) has joined the IGCS Strategic Alliance Partnership bringing a total of 44 Chilean members to our global community. SCHIGO was established in 2001 to promote the study of gynecologic cancer in Chile.

At the recent IGCS Meeting in Rio de Janeiro, IGCS President, Roberto Angioli met with the President of SCHIGO, Dr. Clemente Arab to discuss and finalize a partnership between our organizations.

This is not the first time that IGCS and SCHIGO have worked together to bring education and training to Chile; we collaborated in 2015 to host a regional meeting in Santiago.

Peruvian Society of Gynecologic Oncology

We are also pleased to announce that the Peruvian Society of Gynecological Oncology joined the Strategic Alliance Partner Program bringing the total of our Peruvian members up to 113. Gorky Bances Neyra, the current President of Society, was instrumental in securing this partnership.

The Peruvian Society of Gynecological Oncology was founded in 1995 to promote educational and training activities in the area of gynecology oncology for its members and interested health professionals. The membership is multi-disciplinary in nature and includes members specializing in gynecologic oncology, surgical oncology, pathology, nuclear medicine, medical oncology, radiotherapy, and genetics.

This is our second Strategic Alliance Partner group from Peru.

Mexican College of Gynecologic Oncology

Earlier this year, IGCS was invited to Querétaro, Mexico for the 1st Congress of the Mexican College of Gynecologic Oncology (CMOG) by the President, Dr. Victor Manuel Vargas Hernández and Vice President, Dr. Guillermo Sidney Herbert Nuñez.

At the meeting, Dr. René Pareja presented the benefits of IGCS membership to congress attendees and encouraged them to join.. Our staff was received with enthusiasm, and nearly 50 new members joined our society during the 2-day congress bringing our total of members practicing in Mexico to 70.

Overall, the event was a huge success in beginning to develop a reciprocal relationship with the gynecologic oncology professionals in Mexico. This was a great opportunity and we hope to have the chance to visit many more regional groups to further accomplish the IGCS mission to improve the care of women worldwide.

Our conversations with regional leaders in Latin American have made us aware that issues of interest include pre-invasive cervical cancer management, new management approaches to breast cancer, enhanced laparoscopic surgery and updated tumor staging. These topics were incorporated into the IGCS Annual Global Meeting recently held in Brazil.

We are so grateful to our partners, members, and supporters who – along with us – live our mission every day. If you have any questions or comments about partnering with the IGCS please contact me directly at mary.eiken@igcs.org.

Sincerely,

Mary Eiken, MS
IGCS CEO

Welcome, Russia!

I am pleased to announce that Russia has joined the Strategic Alliance Partnership Program.

Over the past two years, myself and other IGCS leaders have met with representatives from the Russian Society of Oncologists in Cancer of Reproductive System at several international meetings that we both attended to discuss opportunities for collaboration and IGCS programs of interest them. We found that the IGCS Annual Global Meeting, among others, is an excellent opportunity for engagement – especially now that our Scientific Program Committee structure has become more regionally diverse. There is excitement around our virtual tumor boards and reaching a broader audience with Russia. We are glad to welcome representatives from Russia to ensure that IGCS meetings will meet the interests and needs of our international partners.

I’d like to thank Prof. Kirill Zhordania (President), Prof. Alexey Shevchuk, and Prof. Vsevolod Matveev (Council Members) of the Society of Oncologists in Cancer of Reproductive System for working with us to create this partnership.

We are also very grateful to Dr. Sophia Michaelson from the American Eurasia Cancer Alliance for her involvement in facilitating IGCS partnerships not only with Russia, but other Eurasian countries such as Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan. Sophia noted

As the International Gynecological Cancer Society continues successful outreach in Eurasia, this strategic partnership with the Russian Society of Oncologists in Cancer of Reproductive Systems will generate tremendous benefits in the areas of clinical practice, research and palliative care affecting millions of patients throughout Russia and neighboring counties.

Russia is the largest country in the world extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe made up of 83 federal areas. It is the ninth most populous country with 146.8 million people with about 77% of inhabitants living in the Western European part of the country.

After breast cancer, the second most frequent cancer in women is colorectal cancer, followed by endometrial and cervical cancer.

The main challenges that Russia is facing regarding the burden of gynecologic cancers is not unlike the challenges of many other countries. This includes the need for increased awareness and public access to information, strategies for increased prevention and early detection of cancer, palliative care programs, and the need for more skilled physicians trained in gynecologic oncology.

International collaboration and exchange of medical knowledge and research is extremely valuable in reducing the burden of cancer and enhancing care worldwide. It is this collaboration and exchange of ideas that IGCS is working towards in bringing our Strategic Alliance Partners together into a global community.

As we welcome our friends and colleagues from Russia, we look forward to working with them in achieving our common goals to improve outcomes for women affected by gynecologic cancers.

Sincerely,

Mary Eiken, MS
IGCS CEO