BGDO | Belgian Group of Digestive Oncology

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Message from the chairman

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Dear Members, Colleagues and Friends,

I wish you on behalf of the BGDO board and of all the collaborators a happy and successful 2011.
2010 was a year full of activity for the BGDO: a new board was elected, the clinical trials are progressing and new projects have been initiated. We are an open forum for all specialities involved and interested in GI cancer.
The BGDO is being recognized as a forum for education, exchange of ideas and performing clinical trials. Joëlle Dick joined the group as a Clinical Trial Coordinator for our trials. We have in our portfolio several BGDO trials and we participate to several international trials. We will present in January for the first time the results of a BGDO trial at an international meeting: the ECHO trial will be presented by Ivan Borbath at the GI Cancers Symposium (ASCO GI) in San Francisco. Another highlight is the appointment of Chris Verslype, Ivan Borbath and myself as coordinators on behalf of the BGDO of the European Register of ENETS (European NeuroEndocrine Society). It is clearly our intention to increase the portfolio of our trials. I do hope some of you will propose new projects. I would like to invite you to contact me to present your ideas for a trial/project to the board. We received several high quality projects for the new BGDO award 2011, showing our young investigators/clinicians have excellent ideas. We hope to execute some of these projects in collaboration with the BGDO.

Our yearly symposium is growing and we collaborate with other societies:

this year we collaborate with the societies of the surgical oncologists (BSSO) and radiation oncologists (BVRO/ABRO). At the Belgian Week of Gastroenterology, we organize a joint symposium with the pathologists and radiologists. The BGDO became in 2010 officially one of the 7 organizing societies of the Belgian Week of Gastroenterology. We took the initiative to make guidelines for HER2 testing in gastric cancer. The guidelines that were developed with the societies of pathologists and with the BSMO will be published in early 2011. The BGDO participates and supports the outstanding work of the PROCARE project. On the European level, ESDO (European Society of Digestive Oncology: www.esdo.eu) has been created with a prominent role of the BGDO. The BGDO became member and hopes further to contribute to the development of digestive oncology in Europe.

Unfortunately, not everything was sunshine in 2010: we achieved in the past the publication of the legal text of the special competence in oncology, but the composition of the recognition committee is struggling in the national political swamps. We really hope to make progress and we hope and expect to do better than our politicians in 2011. Although several of us have been involved in the development of the new cancer plan, we would like to have a stronger voice as a scientific society that represents the experts on GI cancer.
The projects on screening for colon cancer are progressing. Further initiatives for awareness and preparation of colon cancer screening will be taken.

The BGDO could not function without the unrestricted grants of the pharmaceutical industry. We are very grateful to them for the constructive partnership.

Eric Van Cutsem, BGDO chairman

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