Celebrating Innovation

Breakthrough investigational data, treatments, and therapies aren’t the only innovations driving SGO’s annual meeting

The theme for this year’s Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) 2021 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer is Innovation Technology: Scaling New Heights. And with today’s safety guidelines to reimagine all conferences in a virtual setting, SGO leaders came up with a digital solution that makes this year’s theme just a little more meaningful.

In addition to presenting hotly anticipated topics, such as AI’s role in gynecologic oncology, breakthrough data in combination therapy, and eye-opening research in health equity, this year’s SGO gathering will reside solely online.

“To flip the switch and go fully virtual was obviously a lot of work that came with a learning curve. And we will all miss in-person interactions. But still, I’m very excited about the virtual version we have planned,” explains Heidi Gray, MD, SGO 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer Program Committee Co-Chair. “I’m excited to hear and see people speak, watch the debates, and attend our Q&A sessions.”

Sessions of Note

When asked for a few must-see SGO 2021 sessions, Dr. Gray balked – and added that every session was “a favorite.” However, when pressed, she did offer these agenda gems. (Conference Insider will cover them all – so stay tuned for more of the story.)

  • Scientific Plenary 1: Innovation and Progress in Gynecologic Oncology
    • Speakers: Joyce F. Liu, MD, MPH, Junzo P. Chino, MD, Vicky Makker, MD, Katherine C. Fuh, MD, PhD, Leeya F. Pinder, MD, MPH, Sarah M. Temkin, MD, Nathaniel L. Jones, MD, Kemi M. Doll, MD MSCR, Rebecca Kristeleit, Ursula A. Matulonis, MD
    • Learning Objectives
      • Describe new advances in novel and targeted therapies for ovarian cancer.
      • Identify barriers to equitable racial representation in gynecologic clinical trials and discuss potential solutions to resolve existing disparities.
      • Define impediments to effective treatment precancerous cervical lesions in low-to-middle-income countries in the context of HIV positivity; assess relative effectiveness of thermal ablative techniques.
      • Analyze the activity of pembrolizumab and lenvatinib in advanced endometrial cancer.
      • Describe the incidence and characteristics of bullying, discrimination, and microagressions directed towards women gynecologic oncologists.
  • Special Interest Session: The WHO Initiative for Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control
    • Speaker: Edward L. Trimble, MD, MPH. Dr. Trimble is Director of the Center for Global Health, National Cancer Institute, NIH, DHHS
  • SGO Presidential Invited SBOG Lecturer: Eric Topol, MD, a pioneer in digital medicine
    • Topol will discuss how and why the use of artificial intelligence, deep data, and smart technology applies to individualized medicine – both today and in the immediate future.
  • Scientific Plenary V: Late Breaking Abstracts
    • Speakers: Shannon N. Westin, MD, Andreas Obermair, MD,Tiantian Wang, MD, ,Heidi J. Gray, MD, Angeles Alvarez Secord, MD, Ronnie Shapira Frommer, MD, B.J. Rimel, MD

A World of Difference

The WHO special interest session is a sort of prelude to the next day’s symposium, which will be a live stream from the World Health Organization and about its 2020 cervical cancer prevention and control initiative.

The WHO initiative marks the first coordinated, worldwide pledge to eliminate cervical cancer – the only cancer that is preventable with a vaccine and the only cancer this is curable if detected early. The WHO update is expected to include progress on the vaccine front.

Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women globally, and those numbers are particularly high for women in low- and middle-income countries. “How can we get around the barriers that keep us from treating these women?” Dr. Gray asks.

“That’s a big part of what the WHO’s initiative represents, and I'm looking forward to hearing about our progress – as well as the work we still need to do.”

These are a few highlights on Conference Insider’s agenda, with additional coverage focused on the long-term future of gynecologic oncology. And speaking to the future, Dr. Gray looks forward to the day when medical meetings, conferences, and symposiums return to in-person events. For the here and now, however, she predicts that attendees will find SGO’s 2021 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer “fantastic.” There may even be a few creative virtual innovations that stick around long after the pandemic ends.