Second Cancer Care Forum 2014 in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Medicine International (17/10/2014)

Clemenceau Medical Center (CMC), affiliated with Johns Hopkins International, held for the second year in a row the Cancer Care Forum on the 17th and 18th of November 2014.
The forum was a success. Attended by hundreds of guests, it attracted local, regional and international multi-disciplinary specialists who presented lectures covering topics related to the care of cancer patients including, screening for cancer, prevention, research, quality, multidisciplinary approach and latest treatment modalities.

Dr. Mounes Kalaawi, Chief Executive Officer at CMC said “It is our honor to host the Second Cancer Care Forum in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Medicine International confirming CMC’s commitment to be at the forefront of healthcare innovation in Lebanon and the region, bringing forward a multitude of knowledge and experience.” He added “Local, regional and international patients deserve the best quality of care and CMC will always aim to provide the world class healthcare through continuous education to its team”.

Keynote speakers from reputable Universities in Lebanon, the Region and John Hopkins were present in the conference. Among them, were Dr. Ali Bydon, MD, MSc, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Naji Khouri, MD, Radiology & Oncology for Johns Hopkins International, Dr. Ronan Kelly, MD, MBA, Medical Director of Global Oncology for Johns Hopkins International, Dr. Sami Khatib, MD, from Jordan and Dr. Hamdy Azim, MD, MSc, Chairman of Oncology Department at Cairo University.

Professor Marwan Ghosn, Director of the Cancer Center at CMC and Chairman of the Forum, summarized the key topics discussed during the meeting:
“Currently available chemotherapy kills normal cells as well as cancer cells, leading to serious side effects. The immune system, meanwhile, is remarkably effective at combating bacterial and viral invaders while sparing normal cells, but the goal of coaxing immune cells to target cancer has eluded researchers for decades. The new frontier in cancer treatment is getting a person’s own immune system to eliminate tumors, rather than targeting the cancer cells with chemotherapy. In contrast to conventional cancer treatments, Immunotherapies can lead to very durable clinical responses. Novel agents, including checkpoint inhibitors such as anti-PD-1 antibody, anti-PD-L1 antibody and CTLA-4 inhibitors are being developed. Positive results were observed.”

Progress in the management of Spinal tumors by advanced surgical techniques and stereotactic or cyber knife radiotherapy were exposed.
In addition, Lung Cancer occupied a big part of the discussion focusing on the extremely promising results of immunotherapy in this disease and highlighting the minimally invasive new procedure in the evaluation of these tumors (Endobronchial ultrasound - EBUS).

Palliative care took an important place of the forum. Myths and taboos in cancer care in Middle East Countries were reviewed.
Finally, “Simulation” an innovative, a method to train practicing nurses and other health care professionals on new procedures and healthcare techniques was highlighted. Its major role to generate better quality in the management and support of the patients were exposed.