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Nicole Concin as the first Austrian ESGO President at the world's largest congress for gynecological oncology, ESGO 2024

The new Head of the Division of Gynecology and Gynecologic Oncology at MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital's Department of Gynecology, Nicole Concin, will chair ESGO 2024 as the first Austrian President of the European Society of Gynecologic Oncology (ESGO). Around 3,000 international participants are expected to attend the world's largest congress for gynecological oncology from March 7-10, 2024 in Barcelona. Concin will also present the first study results for a new European research network of ESGO-certified centers under the leading role of MedUni Vienna. The aim is to improve the treatment and quality of life of patients with gynecological cancers, and in particular the surgical treatment of ovarian cancer patients.

Treatment in a highly specialized oncology center, where specific research-based knowledge, the necessary surgical expertise for performing complex operations and in-depth experience with systemic therapy and radiotherapy are available, patients are cared for in interdisciplinary tumor boards and participation in studies is possible, increases the survival rate and quality of life of gynecological oncology patients. The Gynecological Cancer Center of the Comprehensive Cancer Center of MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital is certified by ESGO and the German Cancer Society (DGK).

Extensive data pooling in Vienna

A total of 80 ESGO-certified gynecological oncology centers have joined forces to form a research network in order to advance scientific progress in the field of gynecological oncology for the benefit of patients. Within just one year, the data of more than 10,000 patients worldwide (90% from Europe, but also from Egypt, India, South Korea, etc.) with advanced ovarian cancer was collected in a joint database. The Medical University of Vienna has a special role to play here: "Christoph Grimm, Head of Gynecologic Oncology at my department, Ane Gerda Eriksson from Radium Hospital in Oslo, and I in my role as ESGO President initiated this study and this ESGO network. We pool the data from gynecological oncology patients internationally in this database, and our data from the Medical University of Vienna is also included here. This has a major impact on research and quality assurance in the field of gynecologic oncology. A unique pan-European (and beyond) database has been created in the field of gynecological oncology," says Concin, "which has never existed before on this scale and in this quality."

The first study project of the new network of ESGO-certified centers is the validation of quality indicators in the surgical treatment of patients with advanced ovarian cancer, a retrospective study over the last three years. These study results will also be presented for the first time at ESGO 2024. "This study provides us with important real-world data on the surgical treatment of ovarian cancer patients and allows us to validate known quality indicators and better assess their value," says Concin. "For the individual participating centers, there will subsequently be benchmarking in an international comparison, and we will therefore be able to use this database as a quality assurance tool."

Closing the gender gap in gynecologic oncology

Also at ESGO 2024, a gender equality program will be presented with the aim of closing gender gaps in the career development of young female gynecologic oncologists. The starting point is a questionnaire-based study conducted within the ESGO among young gynecologic oncologists in Europe, which revealed substantial gender differences in terms of surgical training, the achievement of leadership positions and also salary differences. The kick-off event for a mentoring program in which women AND men act as mentors in the sense of a "He for She" approach will also take place at the congress in Barcelona.  Over 60 young female gynaecological oncologists from 27 different countries will receive support in their career planning in this program. Nicole Concin will mentor two mentees, one prospective gynecologist from Hungary and one from India.  "Veronika Seebacher-Shariat from my department is also mentoring a mentee in this program."

March 7 - 10, ESGO 2024 in Barcelona

Gynecologic oncology will take center stage in Barcelona for four days. From surgical to systemic therapy and radiotherapy, with a focus on new targeted therapies, in close interdisciplinary cooperation between gynecological oncologists, internal oncologists, radiotherapists and pathologists, to palliative care topics and cancer prevention, to a 3-day patient seminar and various workshops, the ESGO 2024 covers all relevant current topics and the latest study results. Several new guidelines, for example on the treatment of patients with uterine sarcomas or on fertility-preserving treatment of patients with gynecological malignancies, will also be presented at ESGO 2024 and work will be carried out on the new European guideline on endometrial carcinoma (led by Nicole Concin). Overall, this major educational event serves the mission of ESGO to provide research-based knowledge to improve the health and quality of life of patients with gynecologic malignancies.

Nicole Concin has been a volunteer on the ESGO Board for more than 8 years, with ESGO 2024 being the highlight of her two-and-a-half-year presidency: "This work makes so much sense and it gives me great pleasure to work in an international context, in interdisciplinarity, and with people who are driven by the vision of making a difference for gynecologic oncology patients and working together to make progress in this field. It is very inspiring to be able to contribute in this environment, teams make dreams fly."