Athens 24-26 October 2013
From the 24th to the 26th of October 2013 the city of Athens will have the opportunity to host the 3rd multidisciplinary oncology congress of the Mediterranean countries, an annual congress that represents the central scientific activity of the Multidisciplinary Mediterranean Oncology Forum (MMOF). MMOF is a non-profitable scientific community that aims in promoting cancer care for patients, education and research across the countries surrounding the Mediterranean sea and was formed as the evolution of the Hellenic-Turkish Oncology co-operation that started several years ago. Nowadays, this co-operation of the two countries has expanded to include the vast majority of nations surrounding the Mediterranean sea, including countries from Europe, Africa and Asia. The 3rd MMOF comes as the continuum of two previous successful congresses, held in Athens in 2011 and in Istanbul in 2012 that raised the expectations from both the scientific and the educational point of view in a very high level.
This year’s MMOF congress has also set a very ambitious target : It will try to unify scientists from all fundamental fields of oncology (surgical oncology, medical oncology, radiotherapy, molecular biology, nursing oncology and social sciences) from approximately 20 different countries into a common goal: to expand knowledge on cancer management and to improve accessibility to cancer care for all the peoples in the Mediterranean. This is not an easy scope, considering the scientific and, most importantly, the cultural disparities of countries in Eastern and Western Europe, North Africa and Asia comprising this multicultural map. In order to achieve this goal, this year’s congress is expected to recruit more than 500 distinguished scientists from 20 countries and will elaborate a robust scientific program: Special sessions for common cancer types including breast, lung, colorectal and prostate cancer and talks from distinguished speakers of internationally acknowledged expertise on specific topics, such as molecular oncology and targeted therapies, cancer immunotherapy and others. There will also be a special session designated to younger medical oncologists from Mediterranean countries focusing on educational and fellowship opportunities for young colleagues in Europe and USA, something particularly useful to those coming from developing and low income countries. The most interesting original research projects will also have the opportunity to be presented during the 3rd MMOF through two special sessions focusing on presentation of original work of high scientific value, after evaluation of quality by an International team of experts. Of particular importance is the “skin cancer day”, a separate scientific event to be held on the 25th of October, that will emphasize on the prevention, early diagnosis and management of the various forms of skin cancer, including malignant melanoma, which is very frequent in people living in Meditterranean countries due to the constant and intense sun exposure. Finally , a special award, the “P. Kosmidis” award, will be offered to a distinguished scientist for his contribution in the fight against cancer in the Meditterranean region.
A great number of visitors is expected to attend the congress and all the appropriate facilities will be activated to serve the scientific “guests” in the best way, including travel and transportation arrangements, accommodation and social activities. Scientists, health professionals and simple visitors are expected to arrive from native countries including Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt, Albania and Italy, but also from more “distant” neighbours, such as France, Spain, Morocco, Israel and other countries Eminent speakers from other European countries (eg the UK) and from the USA will also participate to the meeting. The beautiful and historical city of Athens, along with the famous Greek hospitality will guarantee an excellent educative, scientific and cultural experience for all the attendees. On part of the scientific committee of the congress we hope that the 3rd MMOF congress will meet its expectations and will prove to be an oustanding scientific and educative experience.
Ioannis Mountzios, MD, PhD