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Lyon’s oncology hub attracts major cancer congresses

Lyon’s leadership in oncology treatment and research has been recognised with two major events heading to the French city this year.

The 51th Congress of the Société Internationale d’Oncologie Pédiatrique (SIOP) will be held 23-26 October and is expected to attract some 2,000 delegates; and the 14th European Congress of Neuro Oncology (EANO) from 19-22 September, with 1,000 attendees.

Lyon holds 5th place in Europe in terms of scientific and medical publications in the domain of cancer. Under the network of Synergie Lyon Cancer Foundation, a number of key players in oncology are making strides in the fields of cancer escape, immune-monitoring, and the emergence of new targeted therapies.

These include the Hospices Civils de Lyon (HCL)  and the Léon Bérard Centre. These two establishments represent the second largest national concentration of oncological expertise in France after the Institut Curie de Paris.

Lyon has a long history in oncology specialism. Professor Léon Bérard founded the first anti-cancer centre in the city in 1923; the centre wholly dedicated to oncology bearing his name was opened in 1950.

The second major event for Lyonnais oncology was the installation of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 1967. The IARC is now part of the WHO and employs more than 300 researchers. It collaborates with different organisations in Lyon such as the INSERM, the Ligue Contre le Cancer, the Cancer Research Centre of Lyon and care centres, forming a closely knit scientific and medical network.

Other major players include the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1; the CLARA Cancer Cluster which works to speed up the implementation of new translational research projects within the region, and Lyonbiopôle, the international cluster specialised in infectology.

This network also has strong collaborations with the pharmaceutical companies in the region, such as Merck, Sanofi and bioMérieux, and they participate in the creation of innovative start-ups such as ERYtech pharma and Netrispharma.

EANO is being helmed in Lyon by Jérôme Honnorat of the Institut de cancérologie at HCL. Following an education day on the main topics in Neuro-Oncology, the program will focus on brain tumors biomarkers and treatment with discussions on the main clinical trials. Novel developments in immune-oncology and in neuro-oncology will be presented, with a special focus on paraneoplastic neurological syndromes.

SIOP’s chair of the local organizing committee, Christophe Bergeron, has worked at the Centre Léon Bérard for the past 22 years as head of the paediatric department and is the co-founder of IHOPE – the Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Institute in Lyon which is dedicated to cancers and leukemia of children.

He says: “We hope that SIOP 2019 in Lyon will be an important moment to share research and knowledge and help us to cure more children and to cure them better.”

(via Synergie Lyon Cancer, Events Lyon, SIOP)