Dear colleagues and friends,
It is my pleasure to reach out to you to share exciting updates on PROS activities.
After having two virtual congresses jointly with SIOP, we succeeded in having our first in-person PROS congress since the beginning of the pandemic in Essen, Germany, from June 23-26, 2022. First, I would like to thank an executive committee, our local organizers, and an entire membership for making this congress possible despite many ongoing uncertainties and adversities. We had 135 members from 123 countries attend the congress. We put forth a robust educational and social program without exceeding our budget. The success of this congress was evident by the highly engaged audience, erudite presentations, and positive feedback received from attendees during the congress and the post-congress survey.
Essen PROS 2022 Participants
Moreover, the atmosphere in Essen was genuinely joyful. On behalf of PROS, I would like to express our immense gratitude to our local organizer Dr. Beate Timmermann and her team for their hard work and hospitality. They provided an excellent meeting venue and invited noteworthy local speakers and dignitaries like the Mayor of Essen and Rector of the University of Essen. The social programs were superb, creating an unforgettable experience by sharing great food, local music, and each other's company.
In addition to our usual themes, which included a contouring workshop, presentations on scientific abstracts, clinically relevant topics, technological advancements, and challenges in LMIC, we first heard a very emotional and uplifting talk from a parent representative. As in previous congresses, we provided support allowing LMIC colleagues to attend and present their important work. I want to take this opportunity and thank our LMIC officer, Dr. Jeannette Parkes, for securing sponsorship from the Global Access to Cancer Care Foundation.
Many of you have learned about PROS' ongoing activities and collaborations during the general assembly in Essen. Please join me in my heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Gaze, who we nominated as PROS' next President-elect. He received unanimous support from the general assembly.
We have announced several positions opening for elections to serve on the PROS Executive Committee. If interested, please submit your letter of intent/ personal statement and CV. The PROS EC will review these qualifications to endorse your candidacy for the vote, which will be held electronically in late October 2022.
Members who could not attend PROS Congress will be able to view some presentations, our general assembly point slides, and pictures on the PROS website. PROS oral abstracts will also be published in an upcoming IJROBP issue.
I hope many of you will attend SIOP Congress in Barcelona from September 28-October 1, 2022. PROS has arranged an exciting joint program with SIOP, including PROS' full-day education program on September 28th. In addition, Dr. Jeannette Parkes will deliver the traditional Dr. D'Angio Keynote symposium on Global Pediatric Radiotherapy this year.
I am happy to share that we are restarting our joint PROS/ASTRO sessions at ASTRO annual meetings. This year, we picked the topic “Lessons Learned from Treating Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” These clinical challenges is still affecting us in clinics and will hopefully be engaging good audience. Session is scheduled on October 25, 12:45-2 pm.
Please continue to visit the PROS website for the forum, publication updates, and announcements. Also, check the recorded interviews with luminaries in pediatric radiotherapy, including Dr. Paulino’s recent interview with Dr. Halperin.
I will close with the exciting news that the PROS EC has selected Sydney, Australia as the host for PROS 2024 Congress. Dates will be forthcoming but we are confident this meeting will build on past success and prove to be the most robust and engaging congress yet.
Please continue to support and grow PROS' mission in setting the worldwide standard of excellence in the care of children and adolescents with cancer through your active engagement in PROS. We hope our membership grows as we build on the momentum of our Essen congress.
Natia Esiashvili, MD