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Vienna Pediatric Brain Tumor Symposium with patient conference for the first time

From April 18 to 20, 2024, the Medical University of Vienna and Vienna General Hospital will focus on brain tumors in children at the "3rd Vienna Pediatric Brain Tumor Symposium".

Under the motto "Translating Science to Patient Benefit", the latest scientific findings will be presented with the aim of improving the lives of patients and survivors in the long term. Health and Social Affairs Minister Johannes Rauch will open the patient conference at the symposium, which is taking place for the first time.

There will be a special focus on involving patients and their organizations, such as the Austrian Children's Cancer Aid with Florian Schwarz, the NF Kinder association with Claas Röhl, Survivors Austria with Hannah Gsell and Childhood Cancer International Europe & The Alliance of Oncological Patient Organizations with Anita Kienesberger. For the first time, a patient conference will be held with the aim of building networks and creating synergies. At least 70 participants, including parents and patients from all over Austria, are expected to attend. Anita Kienesberger, Childhood Cancer International - Europe & The Alliance of Oncology Patient Organizations: "A vision has become reality: Childhood cancer patients as experts are involved at all levels of care".

Federal Minister for Social Affairs and Health, Johannes Rauch, opened the first patient conference on Friday afternoon: "As a former cancer patient, I know what it means to fight this terrible disease with all your might. But I can only imagine how it feels when your own child falls ill and the terrible pain when you fall ill yourself at a young age. This makes it all the more important that affected families receive the best possible care and comprehensive support. A patient conference was also held for the first time at the third symposium on brain tumors in children. Patients, parents, survivors, doctors and researchers came together to share their expertise and strengthen each other. My message: You are not alone! Don't give up hope. We will help where we can!"

Johannes Gojo ©MedUni Wien/feelimage

Johannes Gojo, Head of the Department of Neuro-Oncology at MedUni Vienna's Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and a member of the symposium's Scientific Committee, emphasizes: "With the symposium and patient conference, we want to work together to further improve the lives of patients and survivors." The symposium is being held in cooperation with the Comprehensive Cancer Center Vienna and the Comprehensive Center for Pediatrics of MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital.

Rare disease and frequent cause of death

Brain tumors in children are considered rare diseases. At the same time, they are the most common tumor disease in children and the most common cause of death in children due to illness. Although these tumors are considered to be particularly aggressive, thanks to modern research and medicine, four out of five of those affected are now long-term survivors. Late effects, which will also be discussed, must be taken into account. In addition to the scientific sessions and lectures, the symposium will highlight important social and psychosocial aspects of coping with the disease. Topics such as the social integration of children with chronic diseases and psychosocial care after treatment are on the agenda.

International keynote speaker line-up

The symposium is characterized by an impressive line-up of international keynote speakers from Europe and the USA: Eelco Hoving from the Princess Maxima Center, Utrecht (NL), Carl Koschmann from the University of Michigan, Ann-Arbor (USA), Philipp Euskirchen from Charité Berlin (D), Michal Zapotocky from Motol University Hospital, Prague (CZ), Johannes Gojo and Ulrike Leiss from MedUni Vienna will be giving the keynotes at the symposium, which is being held in MedUni Vienna's Lecture Center. The scientific management of the symposium, consisting of Johannes Gojo, Christian Dorfer, Kerstin Krottendorfer, Ulrike Leiss and Verena Rosenmayr, has put together a comprehensive program that includes innovative therapies, interdisciplinary management strategies and the latest research findings in paediatric neuro-oncology.

Additional events and networking opportunities

A series of workshops and round tables on topics such as rapid diagnostics, where next generation sequencing in combination with artificial intelligence (AI) is used to perform molecular diagnostics in real time directly in the operating room, as well as communication, late effects of treatment, professional integration and the new construction of the pediatric clinic will provide opportunities for professional exchange and personal networking. The symposium is not only an important event for experts in the field of pediatric oncology, but also an important platform for the further development of patient care.