Leading Together

President’s Perspective

IGCS Members and Friends,

We are all on a journey with COVID-19. All over the world, our way of life is changing, and priorities are shifting.

There is still so much to learn, behavior to change, data to gather and analyze, all while trying to reassemble our lives both personally and professionally within this new era marked by a virus. The last several months are unlike anything most of us have experienced in our lifetimes. The only certainty today is uncertainty – and this is going to take time, lots of time.

To undertake this journey, we must be multidimensional and adapt boldly to the changing circumstances. This includes being acutely self-aware, insatiably curious, authentic, resilient, flexible, and courageous. Now more than ever, the world needs strong leadership, decisive action, innovative ideas, and effective communication.

Many of you may find yourselves in leadership positions with your colleagues, divisions and departments, your friends and even your families. Priorities, responsibilities, and roles may have shifted dramatically in the past several months. Effective leaders are now more important than ever.

As an organization, the IGCS is no different. We have taken the lead in transforming our Annual Global Meeting to a fully digital meeting because we believe in the importance of sharing data and science, uniting the gynecologic cancer community, and continuing to focus on our patients in these times of uncertainty.

I am grateful to the IGCS Council for being my partners in leading the society through this trying time, making tough decisions, assessing risk, and moving forward swiftly and decisively. I must also acknowledge the IGCS staff who have been relentless in leading our efforts to transform IGCS not only from the Annual Meeting perspective but organizationally as well.

IGCS xDigital Annual Global Meeting
September 10-13, 2020

The IGCS xDigital Meeting will be held this September and I hope that you all will join us and experience our innovative new meeting portal. We have been quick to adapt our regular meeting format to accommodate the needs of our members and partners and we are excited to deliver a unique meeting experience with “xDigital” technology that is so much more than a webinar.

  • The program will feature multiple simultaneous sessions (or channels) and delegates can easily move from one session room to another.
  • The sessions are scheduled for different time zones each day to accommodate our global audience.
  • The main sessions are equipped with audience participation features such as live polls and Q&A.
  • Delegates will be able to connect and communicate with each other within the meeting portal.
  • A digital exhibition hall will be brought to life with 3D rendered spaces and delegates will be incentivized to visit all the exhibit booths where they can access videos and downloadable materials and schedule meetings with industry representatives.

Registration

One major benefit of this new format is that the cost of attendance is significantly lower than it would be to travel and attend a physical meeting and we hope that this will make the IGCS Meeting more accessible than ever for our members and friends around the world. In true IGCS fashion, we are collaborating with many regional groups to offer group registration packages as well.

Abstract and Surgical Film Submission

Abstracts and surgical films are being accepted through July 15 and late-breaking abstracts will be accepted from July 25-August 15.  Late-breaking abstracts should contain new information that was not available prior to the general deadline. Don’t miss your chance to lead the way and present at the first IGCS xDigital Meeting!

Now is the time to come together (digitally) to share our experiences, discuss lessons learned, and meet the challenges we face head-on. With our combined expertise, creativity, and compassion, we will lead together through these trying times. We are making plans for IGCS to gather in Rome in 2021 and I truly hope to see you all there face-to-face but until then help us lead IGCS into a new era, new way of conducting education and disseminating vital knowledge.

Sincerely,

Roberto Angioli, MD
2018-2020 IGCS President

A Message from Dr. Roberto Angioli on COVID-19

IGCS President, Prof. Roberto Angioli speaks about the Coronavirus from his office in Rome.

Transcripts of the message are available in the following languages: English, Italian, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish.

 

Membership Milestone – 3200 Members!

President’s Perspective

Dear Colleagues,

As I reflect on the past three years, our society was made up of about 900 members, mostly from the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Today, IGCS has transformed into a truly global organization with over 3200 members in 115 countries across the globe.

The IGCS Council, along with our new administrative structure led by our CEO, Mary Eiken, set goals to grow our membership and balance the representation between high-, middle-, and low-income countries.

IGCS began engaging members in new ways to enhance our programs, with a focus on mentorship and training, online education, and outreach to improve the gynecologic cancer care worldwide. She guided Council to re-imagine our membership strategy, utilizing the strength of our collaborative relationships with key leaders and gynecologic oncology groups around the world.

Due to these efforts over the past three years, IGCS’s global presence has spread – especially in Latin America, Central and Eastern Asia, and Africa.
The most recent growth that has pushed us over the threshold of 3000 came from the United States, Canada, Vietnam, and Bangladesh.
Much of this growth has emanated from our Strategic Alliance Partner Program in which we have formed mutually beneficial alliances with regional and international gynecologic oncology groups whose objectives are consistent and aligned with our own.

The partnerships unite us, allowing for closer dialogue, idea sharing, and a forum for information and collaboration in finding solutions to the many issues that face us all.

They also allow us to align our voices in the global arena in many ways, including our interactions with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), The World Health Organization (WHO) and others. The voice is more powerful and impactful when we stand together.

I must express my gratitude to all our partners for their willingness to join us and work together to achieve our common goals. The IGCS motto has always been “to unite the globe in the fight against gynecologic cancers.” From my perspective, we operate by this guiding principle and I am honored that our members, supporters, and partners place their trust in us to be the global voice of gynecologic cancers.

IGCS is grateful for those who have been loyal, long-standing members of the IGCS and those who are new to IGCS residing in high-income regions of the world. These members provide such a wealth of knowledge, passion and desire to make a difference. IGCS so appreciates their efforts in making all of our programs successful and impactful.

So many of you regularly reach out and ask, “How can I get involved and help?” Those who are interested in becoming involved – we can always use multidisciplinary volunteers to serve as expert contributors on Project ECHO virtual tumor board calls. Monthly video conferences are conducted with 17 different sites. If you’d like to volunteer, please complete this brief online form so we can assess your availability for the calls.

For the nonmember friends of IGCS, we hope you will consider membership in 2020. We continue to place a major focus on our expanding repertoire of membership benefits, programs, and opportunities for involvement. There truly are many reasons to be a part of the IGCS.

In closing, one thing is for certain, we would not be celebrating this membership milestone without the efforts of our dedicated team of volunteers. Leaders on the IGCS Council, committees and work groups are engaged every day and work tirelessly to improve the lives of women affected by gynecologic cancers worldwide. We have accomplished so much together already, and I look forward to the future with optimism.

Sincerely,

Roberto Angioli, MD
2018-2020 IGCS President

2019 Award Recipients

It is important to acknowledge the exemplary work being done in the gynecologic cancer community on a global level.

This year, we are happy to announce two new award categories that will be given at the 2019 IGCS Annual Global Meeting in Rio: Outstanding Achievement in Gynecologic Surgery and the Distinguished Advocacy Awards.

Since the 2016 IGCS meeting in Lisbon, the recognition and awards program has been expanded to include new categories. In 2016 and 2018 we celebrated those who have displayed excellence in innovation and in teaching, those who have conducted humanitarian efforts, and those who have achieved community advancement in areas of the globe that need the most attention.

Awards do not only acknowledge success; they recognize many other qualities: courage, ability, effort and, above all, excellence. These individuals truly deserve worldwide recognition for their contributions. They motivate us all to imagine what we are capable of, to inspire us to undertake ambitious projects and to strive to continually do better.

It is my honor to announce the 2019 IGCS Award Recipients:

Lifetime Achievement Award

Sergio Pecorelli, MD, PhD (Italy)
For his dedication to pelvic cancer surgery, with original contributions in the field of conservative surgery for ovarian neoplasms, this award recognizes excellence, outstanding service and accomplishment spanning a career in gynecologic oncology.

 

 

Excellence in Teaching Award

Groesbeck Parham, MD (USA/Zambia)
For his leadership in the CIDRZ Cervical Cancer Prevention Program and extensive collaborative efforts to raise awareness of women’s health issues in sub-Saharan Africa, this award recognizes a deep commitment and dedication to gynecologic oncology, exemplifying the core components of teaching and education.

 

 

Outstanding Achievement in Gynecologic Surgery

Manuel Penalver, MD (USA)
For his instrumental role in a medical breakthrough known as the Miami Pouch operation which allows women who have lost their bladder to recurring cancer to enjoy a better quality of life,this award recognizes outstanding surgical achievements and contributions to the field of gynecologic oncology.

 

 

Community Advancement in Resource-Limited Settings

Jorge Saad Souen, MD (Brazil)
For his work in Brazil to promote early detection, prevention and optimal treatment of women affected by gynecologic cancers, this award recognizes steadfast dedication to improving care in local communities through leadership and facilitation of advanced medical education and training in resource-limited settings.

 

 

Distinguished Advocacy Award

Venus Ginés (USA)
For steadfast advocacy in Latino and other medically underserved communities throughout the continental United States, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, including training more than 3,000 Promotores (Community Health Workers) in Texas alone.

 

 

Miho Katagi (Japan)
For outstanding advocacy in Japan, including co-founding SMILEY—the first ovarian cancer patient support group in Japan—and successfully lobbying to improve the speed with which drugs for ovarian cancer and other diseases are approved for patient use.

 

 

Benda Kithaka (Kenya) & Women4Cancer Early Detection & Treatment
For dedicated advocacy in Kenya through Women4Cancer Early Detection & Treatment, which has provided cancer education outreach to over 45,000 Kenyans and free cervical and breast cancer screening—with follow-up facilitation to treatment—for over 7,500 rural women

 

 

 

These outstanding individuals will be recognized at the upcoming Annual Global Meeting of the International Gynecologic Cancer Society, September 19-21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Please join me in congratulating them on their achievements!

Roberto Angioli, MD
2018-2020 IGCS President

Investing in Our Future Leaders

IGCS Programs for Early Career Members

Dear Colleagues,

The exponential growth and success the IGCS have experienced over the last three years from my perspective has been through our unique membership strategic partner model and initiating programs that meet the needs of our members. One of the greatest growth areas has been and will continue to be those early in their careers from both high and low resource settings.

Our society’s greatest strength is our membership. IGCS is made up of over 2,750 gynecologic oncologists, medical oncologists, pathologists, radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, allied health professionals, fellows and residents all dedicated to treating women’s cancer. The leadership of the IGCS feels strongly in investing resources into our early career members and guiding them through professional development of advanced skills in leadership, research, publication and clinical practice. I feel confident we are investing in the future leaders of our society and specialty through the following programs for our early career members.

International Visiting Scholar and Mentorship Program

The goal is to provide mentorship opportunities for early career members seeking to learn a very specific skill not available at their institution or region. Through this program many young doctors in low resource settings are afforded the opportunity to travel to foreign institutions to obtain advanced training in a number of skill sets.

With this new launch of the Visiting Scholar and Mentorship Program under the director of Dr. Vivek Arora, it is our goal to foster long-term mentoring relationships with an aim of narrowing, and eventually eliminating, the gaps in provision of healthcare to women diagnosed with gynecological cancer across different regions of the world.

Click here to see the 2019 Visiting Scholars.

Shingo Fujii Young Doctors Summit Travel Grants

Since 2012, funding has been provided for selected young doctors from low resource settings to attend the IGCS Meeting through the Shingo Fujii Young Doctors Summit Travel Grant. In 2012 the grants were funded with a generous donation from Prof. Shingo Fujii with the goal of bringing together young doctors from around the world for a day of education and networking. Dr. Fujii wanted to invest our young members and encourage them to form lifelong collaborative relationships with their international colleagues. A special thank you to Ane Gerda Erikson for taking the time to review all the outstanding applications.

Those selected to receive funding to attend the 2019 IGCS Global Meeting can be found here.

NEW: Early Career Research and Publication Network

Dr. Robert Coleman, IGCS President Elect is also extremely committed to the success and development of our early career members. He has conceptualized a network to engage our early career members providing mentorship, discussion and collaboration specifically around research project ideas and the importance of publishing and writing. Early career members will participate in the network via video conference, online discussion boards and in-person meetings at the IGCS Annual Global Meeting.

This network is still in its early stages and mentors for the network will include Sean Dowdy from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN, Ioana Braicu from Berlin, Germany and Francesco Plotti from Rome, Italy with Council oversight from Rob. I am grateful for their willingness to participate and mentor our early career members. Please watch for further developments as we share more information on the IGCS home page and via email when it is available. I am hopeful our early career professionals will sign up for participation.

As I reflect on the current state of the IGCS, I am so pleased to see all that we are doing to support and equip the future generation of our specialty. We could not do it without our dedicated multidisciplinary team of volunteer leaders working as mentors, faculty, content creators, and idea generators!

If you would like to become more involved in IGCS’s mentorship, training, and educational initiatives in any capacity, please contact our CEO mary.eiken@igcs.org. We welcome your participation.

I wish you all well and hope to continue this conversation at our Global Annual Meeting in Rio de Janeiro later this year.

Sincerely,

Roberto Angioli, MD
2018-2020 IGCS President