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About SickKids

October 27, 2014

SickKids organizes world’s largest paediatric cancer meeting

By Ashley Durk

The world’s brightest minds in childhood cancer gathered in Toronto Oct. 22-25 for the International Society of Paediatric Oncology’s (SIOP) annual meeting. The largest international paediatric oncology congress was held at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel.

“Toronto was the centre of the childhood cancer world,” said Dr. Jim Whitlock, Division Head, Haematology/Oncology and Director of the Garron Family Cancer Centre (GFCC) at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).

Dr. Eric Bouffet, Director of the Brain Tumour Program and Head of Neuro-oncology, Haematology/Oncology at SickKids, chaired the meeting’s local organizing committee, which consisted entirely of SickKids members. Deborah Tomlinson, Research Project Nurse at SickKids served as the committee’s nurse representative.

“I’m very proud of the hard work of our team,” said Whitlock. “Dr. Bouffet’s leadership, the many physicians, nurses, trainees and administrative staff, as well as the other support organizations here in Toronto, helped to prepare us for a spectacular meeting.”

More than 1,900 health-care professionals from 92 countries attended SIOP’s 46th annual congress to exchange information on current findings relating to a variety of paediatric cancers. Workshops leading up to the meeting were held at The Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning (PGCRL) to cater to smaller, more focused groups.

“Having a venue like the PGCRL facilitated the opportunity to expand the sessions offered,” said Whitlock. “Our program sponsored several workshops that were unique to having the meeting in Toronto and driven by individuals at SickKids.”

The scientific program included group, expert and paper sessions, as well as guest lectures. Before the conference, Whitlock said he was looking forward to learning more about global oncology including adaptations of treatment programs for children in developing countries.

Lindsay Croal, 8A staff nurse and her co-authors, won best nursing poster with an entry entitled “The narrative experience of childhood cancer. A systematic review and critical appraisal.”  

Presentations led by SickKids staff included a seminar by Dr. Sumit Gupta, Staff Oncologist, on the development of consensus guidelines for reporting staging information in children with cancer, and nursing education sessions focusing on knowledge translation, collaboration in nursing and the importance of self care steered by Tomlinson and sponsored by the GFCC.

Dr. Ron Grant, Staff Physician, Haematology/Oncology, also presented a symposium on renal tumors, a topic not usually part of the SIOP meeting, but driven in part by Grant’s passion for the particular area of childhood oncology, said Whitlock.

SickKids showcases collaboration

Leveraging the tremendous platform that the 26th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) provided, the Garron Family Cancer Centre (GFCC), SickKids International (SKI) and the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health (CGCH) joined forces to share with conference delegates the many ways in which SickKids is striving to improve the care of children with cancer in Toronto and around the world. Learn more.

SIOP 2014