We were both fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend the 51st International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) meeting, which was held in Lyon in October 2019. Our attendance was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Children’s Cancer Unit charity. SIOP is an annual conference which brings together doctors, nurses and allied health professionals from across the world to share knowledge and updates on childhood cancer. This year there were over 2700 attendees from 110 different countries.
This year’s venue provided a beautiful setting for the meeting; Lyon has many picturesque parks, historic buildings and interesting wildlife. We enjoyed exploring the city in the evenings after busy conference days.
The conference consisted of a variety of different sessions including ‘meet the experts’, a dedicated teaching day for young investigators, poster presentations and networking opportunities. Sessions were centred around a wide range of cancers and treatments, with a strong emphasis on supportive/patient-centred care.
We learned a great deal through attendance at SIOP. In particular, we were excited to hear about upcoming trials, innovative/novel therapy options and future directions in the management of childhood cancer. It was clear that the principle motivation of everyone attending SIOP was that ‘no child should die of cancer’, in line with the SIOP vision statement. This encouraged us to return to the unit back in Belfast inspired to share our knowledge with the team and to continue to strive towards providing a high-level of care to our patients.