At the start of the event, Delphine Heenen spoke about her experiences as mother of a child with cancer and the urgent need of new therapies in pediatric oncology. She is the founder of the Belgian initiative "KickCancer" and active member of the European network "Unite2Cure". Her goal is to expand Unite2Cure to stand up for new treatments for childhood cancer more effectively.
The scientific program focused on talks about biodiversity of childhood cancer, classification of cancers and new therapeutic concepts in pediatric oncology and hematology. In 35 presentations, renowned pediatric oncologists from Europe, the USA, Canada and Australia presented their research projects. A poster exhibition supplemented the lecture program.
The day before, around 200 guests had already arrived to visit the satellite symposium on childhood cancer predispositions.
Research and networking is particularly important in pediatric oncology
Special research and fast translation into new therapies are very important in pediatric oncology. Childhood cancers differ significantly in type, frequency and origin of adult cancers. Medical findings from adult oncology cannot be transferred 1: 1 to childhood cancer medicine.
The total number of children with cancer is rather small compared to adults. In Germany there are approximately 2,000 new cases per year. Due to the relatively low number of pediatric oncology patients, scientific exchange and close networking with other institutions are important. The KiTZ directors Stefan Pfister, Olaf Witt and Andreas Kulozik emphasize: "If we work together across individual research sites, we will be able to obtain reliable results faster to develop new clinical applications."
That's why the 2nd KiTZ Symposium will not be the last. The next international event is already being planned.