The Every Woman Study

Toronto, Ontario, August 31, 2021 - One year following the announcement of their Strategic Advocacy Partnership, the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition (Coalition) and the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) are announcing the launch of The Every Woman Study™️: Low- and Middle-Income Edition at today’s Presidential Plenary of the IGCS Virtual Annual Global Meeting.

With the potential for up to 30 countries to participate in this global study, the objective of this joint initiative is to document for the first time ever, on this scale, the experiences of women with ovarian cancer in Low- and Middle-Income countries (LMIC) from pre-diagnosis through post-treatment. Specifically, the Study is being undertaken because of the current lack of evidence and insight about women’s experiences in LMIC countries - with a view to helping to address global health inequities and because it underscores the belief of both organisations that every woman, no matter where they live, should have the highest quality of care and experience best possible outcomes.

2021 Award Recipients

In 2016, IGCS expanded its awards program to recognize the good work being done to advance the field of gynecologic oncology worldwide. Award recipients are recognized at the IGCS Annual Global Meeting.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Recognizes individual(s) who have performed an outstanding service and accomplishment spanning their career in gynecologic oncology. The goal is to recognize a life of excellence and service to gynecologic oncology. Formerly referred to as the Award for Excellence in Gynecologic Oncology.

Beth Y. Karlan, MD
USA
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Michael Quinn, AM, MGO
Australia
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Award for Outstanding Achievement in Gynecologic Oncology Surgery

Recognizes gynecologic oncologists who have had a sustained career in academic surgery and have made seminal contributions in clinical surgery or surgical education that established new benchmarks or paradigms.

Pierluigi Benedetti Panici, MD 
Italy
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Global Humanitarian Award

Recognizes outstanding individuals, organizations or programs who work to improve access to quality gynecologic oncology training and services in low- and middle-income countries or in areas of need within more developed nations.

Tri Dinh, MD
USA
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Distinguished Advocacy Award

Recognizes advocates and/or advocacy organizations that provide active, dedicated service to patients/survivors, families, and caregivers—on a local, regional, or international level—and persistently engage in the fight against gynecologic and other cancers.

Elisabeth Baugh and
Ovarian Cancer Canada  
Canada
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Murat Gultekin, MD       
Turkey
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Abhishek Shankar, MD
India
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Excellence in Teaching Award

Recognizes individuals deeply committed to the profession whose work and accomplishments set a standard of excellence. This award recognizes the importance of teaching as an integral part of women's cancer care and the lasting impact of educators to shape and inspire future generations of clinicians and researchers.

Nadeem Abu-Rustum, MD
USA
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Hextan YS Ngan, MD
Hong Kong
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Andreas Obermair, MD, CGO
Australia
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Award for Community Advancement in Resource-Limited Settings

Acknowledges those improving their own communities with dedication to providing or facilitating advanced medical education and training in resource-limited settings to improve screening, prevention, and treatment of women affected by gynecologic cancer.

Asima Mukhopadhyay, MBBS, DGO, MD, MRCOG, CCT (Gyn Oncology), PhD, MSc
India/UK
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René Pareja, MD
Colombia
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IJGC Impact Factor Rises

IGCS Members and Friends,

We are extremely proud to announce that the latest Impact Factor for the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer is 3.44. This represents a 64% increase over 2019. Additional journal metrics can be viewed here.

Dr. Pedro Ramirez became the IJGC Editor in Chief in January 2019. We’d like to congratulate him on this achievement and applaud the efforts of the Associate Editors, Editorial Board, our Publisher BMJ and the journal's Managing Editor, Lindsey Struckmeyer.

IGCS Council Member Dr. Rainer Kimmig commented, "Its great to see the success of our journal which represents work and research being conducted in various regions of the world highlighting key issues critical to patients not only in developed countries but also in low-resource countries."

Dr. Pedro Ramirez shares his sentiments: “Our team wishes to thank all who have supported and continue to support our journal and for submitting your research work. We are grateful for the support of the International Gynecologic Cancer Society and the European Society of Gynecological Oncology, as well as our Managing Editors, and our Publisher BMJ. I would also like to personally express my gratitude to our outstanding team of Associate Editors and our Editorial Board.”

IJGC is the scientific publication for topics relevant to detection, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gynecologic malignancies. IJGC emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach and includes original research (clinical trials and translational or basic research), reviews, and opinion pieces.

Submit your work to the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer.

Make sure you are taking advantage of all the benefits of being a subscriber to IJGC including weekly podcasts with leading experts discussing the latest research in their respective and monthly Zoom journal club discussions where members of our Editorial Board join the authors of IJGC lead articles to discuss and debate their research and other relevant topics in a collegial, informal setting.

Again, congratulations to Pedro and the entire IJGC team!

Robert Coleman, MD
IGCS President

Mary Eiken, MS
IGCS CEO

Follow IJGC on Facebook and Twitter to learn about the latest articles, podcasts, journal club discussions and more. Follow the IJGC Fellows on Twitter for additional content.

Uganda Fellows Complete Training

Congratulations to three fellows from the Uganda Cancer Institute for completing the IGCS Gynecologic Oncology Global Curriculum & Mentorship Program!

Dr. Pius Mulamira
Uganda Cancer Institute
Fellowship Training Completed: 2021

“I am so grateful to my mentors for your commitment to us and the program. I remain eager to learn and grow even more with your continued guidance and counsel in my career. The program has empowered me to make better decisions and judgement in the care of my patients. I am indebted to you all.”

Dr. Julius Nkalubo
Uganda Cancer Institute
Fellowship Training Completed: 2021

“Thank you all for the support. This has been one of the most impactful academic journeys I have experienced.”

Dr. Martin Origa
Uganda Cancer Institute
Fellowship Training Completed: 2021

“The IGCS Fellowship program has profoundly expanded my skill and knowledge toolkit which will definitely and positively impact my lifelong clinical practice."

The Global Curriculum was established in 2017 under the leadership of then-President, Michael Quinn. It is a comprehensive two-year education and training program designed for regions around the world that do not currently have formal training in gynecologic oncology. Click here to learn more about the program.

Congratulations to Drs. Mulamira, Nkalubo, and Origa on achieving this important milestone. Many thanks to the local and international mentors for their support and guidance.

Local Mentors - Uganda Cancer Institute

Dr. Juliet Birungi
Dr. Peter Gimei
Dr. Mariam Nabwire

Dr. Miriam Nakalembe
Dr. Carolyn Nakisige
Dr. Anthony Okoth Ndira

Dr. Jane Namugga
Dr. Nixon Niyonzima
Dr. Jackson Orem

International Mentors - Duke University School of Medicine (USA)

Dr. Paula Lee

Dr. Stephanie Ueda

Dr. Paula Lee, Gynecologic Oncologist at Duke University School of Medicine (USA) and International Mentor for the Uganda Cancer Institute congratulates the recently trained fellows:
“I am extremely proud of Pius, Julius, and Martin for their accomplishments and completion of the fellowship. They have made many sacrifices to achieve their professional goals to improve the care and outcome for women with gynecologic cancers. Their success is also a reflection of the dedication of the local mentors, especially during this past year when international mentors have not been allowed to travel due to the COVID19 pandemic. The unusual challenges have been an opportunity for growth and for local leadership to recognize the importance of paving a path for the local mentors to lead this training site in gynecologic oncology. As an external mentor, I am grateful for IGCS, the local mentors and leaders, all the faculty participating in our ECHO Tumor Board sessions, and of course to all the fellows. Congratulations Pius, Julius, and Martin!”

Volunteer to Support IGCS Mentorship & Training Programs

We are always looking for volunteer leaders of all disciplines to support our mentorship and training programs. If you are interested in becoming a mentor or contributing to our virtual tumor boards, please contact Susan Ralph at susan.ralph@igcs.org.

See all the IGCS Fellows who have completed training since 2019.

Brazilian Society of Surgical Oncology Partners with IGCS

We are pleased to announce that the Gynecologic Oncology Branch of the Brazilian Society of Surgical Oncology has joined the IGCS Strategic Alliance Partner Program.

The Brazilian Society of Surgical Oncology is a nonprofit organization that supports its members in a wide range of activities including education, research, and leadership in multidisciplinary cancer care. The BSSO helps to disseminate knowledge all over Brazil through educational events and awareness campaigns about cancer diagnosis and treatment, especially surgical treatment. The BSSO is responsible for the Certification of specialist in surgical oncology in Brazil.

Through the IGCS Strategic Partnership Alliance, over 100 new Brazilian surgical oncologists who specialize in gynecologic cancers are now a part of the IGCS Membership. They will 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, and discounted registration for the IGCS Annual Global Meeting and contribute significantly to IGCS programs and education over time.

We want to thank the BSSO leaders who worked to make this partnership possible: Dr. Reitan Ribeiro (BSSO Scientific Director), Dr. Glauco Baiocchi, (BSSO Vice Director-International Relations), and Dr. Alexandre Ferreira Oliveira (BSSO President). Of course, we must acknowledge IGCS Council Member, Dr. Rene Pareja (Colombia) for his work in building relationships and strengthening IGCS’s reach across Latin America.

Dr. Alexandre Oliveira said, “we are pleased and honored to join the IGCS Strategic Alliance Partner Program. BSSO mission is aligned with IGCS to provide the best care of women in gynecologic cancer.”

Brazil, officially Federative Republic of Brazil, Portuguese República Federativa do Brasil, is a country in South America that occupies half the continent’s landmass. Brazil is the fifth most populous country on Earth and accounts for one-third of Latin America’s population. Most of the population is concentrated among the eastern seaboard although its capital is located far inland.

According to a study published in BMC Cancer, “There are major disparities in the availability of high-complexity oncology services and a high variability in the types of specific services available in Brazil.” In fact, the BSSO in 2020 published guidelines in the Journal of Surgical Oncology for surgical treatment of endometrial cancer in regions with limited resources, concluding that cancer patients in resource limited regions can receive adequate treatment although the first option should be referral to specialized centers with more resources.

IGCS President, Dr. Robert Coleman said, “it is very strategic for IGCS to bring the BSSO into our Strategic Alliance Program. The contributions they will make to IGCS are endless, including their surgical expertise. We are excited to share our programs and collegiality with the BSSO members.”

IGCS looks forward to our partnership with the BSSO, 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.


Sincerely,

 

 

Mary Eiken, MS

Nominations for Distinguished Advocacy 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

  • receive complimentary registration to virtually attend the 2021 IGCS Annual Global Meeting (August 30 - September 2)
  • be recognized at the Global Meeting during the Opening Ceremony and during the Survivor-Caregiver Symposium (awardees will be asked to record a 2- minute acceptance speech)
  • receive a plaque in recognition of the Award
  • be highlighted on the Advocacy pages of the IGCS website

Nominations are currently closed.

IGCS is no longer accepting nominations for its 2021 Distinguished Advocacy Award. The deadline for receipt of nominations was May 7, 2021. 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.

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

Previous Recipients

Gynecologic Oncology of Canada Partners with IGCS

We are pleased to announce that The Society of Gynecologic Oncology of Canada (GOC) has joined the IGCS Strategic Alliance Partnership. IGCS and GOC are aligned in many ways including the GOC’s purpose, to improve the care of women with or at risk of gynecologic cancer by raising standards of practice, encouraging ongoing research, promoting innovation in prevention, care and discovery, and advancing awareness.

Gynecologic oncology was recognized in 1989 by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, due in large part to GOC’s ongoing commitment to the development of practice guidelines, training standards and research goals in women’s reproductive cancer care. Subspecialty certification examinations by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada began in 2010.

Today over 216 of all gynecologic oncologists practicing in Canada are members of GOC. Its membership reflects the multi-disciplinary approach to cancer care and includes medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, fellows-in-training, residents, nurses specializing in gynecologic cancer care, scientists and pharmacists who devote a significant amount of their practice to the treatment and research of gynecological cancer.

GOC 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 to name a few.

Canada, with a population of 38 million, is the largest country in the Western hemisphere and the second-largest country in the world after Russia. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer affecting women in Canada with cervical cancer being the number-four cause of cancer-related deaths after breast, lung and colorectum cancer.

Dr. Helen Mackay, GOC’s President, had this to say: “At GOC, we are ready to push the envelope by developing new ways of thinking, involving the next generation of healthcare professionals with an interest in gyn cancers and partnering with like-minded organizations such as IGCS. Most importantly, we aim to also include women in the discussion to find novel solutions and work towards the eradication of gynecologic cancers. We are excited for this next chapter in our history.”

IGCS President, Dr. Robert Coleman echoes the sentiment of the GOC and feels “having GOC has a strategic alliance partner allows IGCS to further our work under our new health equity statement. We welcome our Canadian colleagues and look forward to our great partnership.”

We look forward to our partnership with GOC, 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.

Global Health Equity

The International Gynecologic Cancer Society stands at the forefront in the global fight against gynecologic cancers, supporting and sponsoring programs “to enhance the care of women with gynecologic cancer worldwide through education and training and public awareness.”

Consistent with this mission and the current heightened global awareness of, and attention to, social and health inequity, IGCS is issuing this statement outlining its position on these important matters. Most succinctly put, IGCS supports all who espouse social and health equity around the globe.

Our statement provides clear context and specificity to our longstanding and forward-moving embrace of these important social justice and human right imperatives. We hope that it stimulates dialogue/discourse, and we welcome your comments. Most importantly, we hope that it prompts programming and actions that improve the lives of girls, women, and communities worldwide.

We would like to thank the working group for drafting the statement:

  • Dr. Andreas Obermair (Australia)
  • Dr. Marie Plante (Canada)
  • Dr. Michael Quinn (Australia)
  • Dr. Ritu Salani (USA)
  • Ms. Mary (Dicey) Jackson Scroggins (USA)

To continue the discourse, add to the literature, and prompt discussion and most importantly action, IGCS is currently drafting an article focused on global health disparities. The article will:

  • elucidate IGCS’ position more completely
  • site and explore specific systemic patterns and institutions that support or perpetuate inequities
  • highlight areas of women’s well-being that go beyond gynecologic cancer but are integral to their health and that of their communities
  • offer an action plan for moving forward.

In the coming weeks, we will review IGCS operations and programming for areas of potential improvement relative to issues of global health equity. Where appropriate and needed, we will enhance or restructure these areas such that they more explicitly align with our core belief that global health equity is a social justice and human rights imperative—one that we fully support.

After these initial assessments, we will regularly monitor programming and new program development for consistency with our core values summarized in the statement and with the attainment of documentable enhanced global health equity. Of course, we will keep members informed of this ongoing effort, programming adjustments, and progress in this important work. And, we will need and request your help in this organization-wide commitment to global health equity.

Statement

Global Health Equity: A Social Justice and Human Rights Imperative

IGCS Supports All Who Espouse Social and Health Equity Around the Globe 

As a core principle, the concept of global health equity—the absence of systematic disparities in health to allow the opportunity for every person to attain her (or his) full health potential—is embedded in the mission of the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) and is reflected in the breadth of our membership and the design and implementation of our programs.

With over 3,100 members from low-, middle-, and high-income countries around the globe, IGCS has purposefully developed an inclusive membership framework that encourages interaction and growth across diverse social, political, and health care systems. Through this framework, IGCS connects our members with specific needs to those with corresponding resources and programs; forms partnerships; educates, trains, and mentors clinicians, survivors-patients, and caregivers; and otherwise enhances benefits to women not only in optimal but also in the most challenging circumstances and environments.

Since our establishment in 1987 as a forum for the worldwide exchange of scientific information, IGCS has grown as a model for global health equity, and consistent with that history and our current operation, IGCS supports individuals and organizations meaningfully engaged, at whatever level, in the journey toward social and health equity worldwide.

As we lead the global fight against gynecologic cancers, we do so with the clear understanding that prompting, promoting, and inspiring maximum achievable health outcomes for every girl and woman (and thus every community)—wherever and under whatever circumstance she might live—are fundamental to the social justice and human rights imperative of global health equity, irrespective of

  • national origin or political system
  • location of residence/citizenship
  • race or ethnicity
  • religion
  • sexual orientation and/or gender identity
  • local, national, or regional leadership
  • sociodemographic factors
  • geopolitics
  • any other intervening factor

In keeping with this understanding and by focusing our work and service where they can have the greatest impact on health and well-being, IGCS supports the empowerment of girls and women—and the health professionals who serve them—so they can attain the best health and life outcomes specific to but not limited to gynecologic cancers.

In the coming weeks and months, IGCS will review our programming. Furthermore, as an act of social responsibility, we will continually review the health equity-explicit initiatives within our portfolio and identify the need for new initiatives where none exist. After all, our mission “to enhance the care of women with gynecologic cancer worldwide through education and training and public awareness” and our demonstrated commitment to global health equity explicitly require as much.

Download PDF of this statement.

Season’s Greetings from IGCS

Dear IGCS Members and Friends,

This year has been like no other in our lifetime. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been affected by the coronavirus and I would like to express my gratitude to those of you who are frontline workers and caregivers who have selflessly provided care to the most vulnerable in impossible circumstances. You give your strength to so many. I would also like to recognize and applaud the scientists and researchers within our community who dedicate their careers to scientific innovation and the development of life-saving technologies and therapies. Your work is so important.

I think this year it has been more apparent than ever that we are all connected regardless of our beliefs, culture, or geography. I am heartened by what I have seen this year – the global collaboration, support, and communication that has continued despite our inability to gather in the same rooms. The challenges of this year jumpstarted our virtual programs which allowed us to reach thousands of healthcare professionals, advocates, patient-survivors, and collaborate with organizational partners from all over the world. Many of you are new to the IGCS community – I am so glad you are here.

Thank you for participating in our virtual events whether it be our Surgical Film Festivals, Virtual Tumor Boards, Global Patient Perspectives Roundtables, and of course the 2020 Annual Global Meeting and the Survivor-Caregiver Public Summit. Through it all, I have seen how you have been supportive of one another. What a comfort it has been to know that we were never alone; that others were facing similar challenges and that we could find solutions to shared problems together. Thank you for your dedication, collaboration, and courage.

As 2020 comes to an end and knowing that this holiday season may not be as festive as previous years, I wish you moments of peace amid difficult situations, connections with family and friends even if you cannot touch, and the comfort of warm memories of holidays past. We are seeing glimmers of promise that the pandemic will wane, so let’s welcome 2021 with hope.
Thank you for being a part of our community. I wish you all a safe and joyful holiday season and may the New Year bring you good health and happiness.

Sincerely,

 

 

Mary C. Eiken, MS
IGCS CEO

 

Congratulations to IGCS Global Curriculum Graduates!

Congratulations to three fellows from Maputo Central Hospital in Mozambique completing the IGCS Gynecologic Oncology Global Curriculum & Mentorship Program!

Veja esta mensagem em Portugues.

Dr. Dércia Changule
Maputo Central Hospital, Mozambique
Dr. Siro Daud
Maputo Central Hospital, Mozambique
Dr. Ricardina Rangeiro
Maputo Central Hospital, Mozambique

The Global Curriculum was established in 2017 under the leadership of then-President, Michael Quinn. It is a comprehensive two-year education and training program designed for regions around the world that do not currently have formal training in gynecologic oncology.

Congratulations to Drs. Changule, Daud, and Rangeiro on achieving this important milestone. They will be the first formally trained gynecologic oncologists in Mozambique.

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. Dércia Changule
Maputo Central Hospital, Mozambique
Fellowship Training Completed: 2020

“Thank you very much to the whole IGCS team. I am aware that with the program many Mozambican women will be benefited, (during the training, many Mozambican women with gynecological cancer received the appropriate treatment), it is our duty to continue treat them properly.

Special thanks to Drs.: Kathleen Schmeler, Ellen Baker, Mila Pontremoli Salcedo, Geórgia Fontes Cintra, Renato Moretti, Andre Lopes and Marcelo Vieira who were engaged to train us (I am sure that we can always count with you), you trained us with professionalism and goodwill, in a country that did not even have an oncologist gynaecologist. Thank you, amazing team!”

Dr. Siro Daud
Maputo Central Hospital, Mozambique
Fellowship Training Completed: 2020

“The IGCS GC Program changed the approach of diagnosis and treatment of gynecologic malignancies in Mozambique. Our training played a key role in this change. I am happy to be part of this program.”

Dr. Ricardina Rangeiro
Maputo Central Hospital, Mozambique
Fellowship Training Completed: 2020

“It was a great and unique opportunity to be part of this program. I will be forever grateful to the mentors and all the staff involved …Mozambique is now part of Gynecology Oncology team!!!”

We would like to sincerely thank their local mentors in Mozambique: Drs. Elvira Luis and Magda Ribeiro as well as our six volunteer international mentors: Drs. André Lopes (Instituto Brasileiro de Controle do Câncer e Instituto do Câncer do Estado de São Paulo), Georgia Fontes-Cintra (Hospital Sírio-Libanes), Kathleen Schmeler (The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center), Marcelo Vieira (Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein), Mila Pontremoli Salcedo (Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Porto Alegre/Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre/ The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center) e Renato Moretti (Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein).