The 50th Congress of the Société Internationale d’Oncologie Pédiatrique (SIOP) was held about 10 days ago in Kyoto, Japan.  I had the privilege of attending and it was fascinating.  SIOP is the largest international gathering of pediatric oncology researchers, research funders, clinicians, and industry.  This year’s Congress attracted over 2,400 “Delegates” (attendees) from 91 countries!!!  Included in the group were 2 royal family members from 2 different Middle Eastern countries.  And, if that’s not enough, 2 Japanese Nobel Laureates presented as well.

The motto of SIOP 2018 was short and to the point – “No Child Should Die of Cancer”.

The SIOP conference is a diverse look at the challenges and exciting discoveries of childhood cancer.  In addition to the basic, translational, and clinical scientific discussions, SIOP sessions also delved deeply into psycho-social, survivorship, nursing, and access issues.  Some of the psycho-social sessions explored:

    • Resilience of kids with cancer during treatment and afterwards
    • Mental health screening/identification
    • Risky health behavior of survivors of childhood cancer
    • Cognitive recovery and brain repair
    • Impact of increased patient involvement in their care
    • Sleep problems for patients and parents
    • Impact on family dynamics of having a child with cancer

Other sessions that I attended looked at the long-term impact of a childhood cancer diagnosis.  Specifically,

    • Academic achievement prediction and outcomes for survivors
    • Impact on income potential of kids with cancer
    • Increases in breast cancer (& other types of cancer)

Decison-making during end-of-life care was discussed during one of the nursing sessions.  Needless to say, it’s very hard to sit through that.

And, while we struggle occasional with drug shortages in the U.S., there was a lot of discussion about drug availability in developing countries and the significantly lower survival rates.

And, there were a whole lot of sessions of some really complicated biology!  🙂


Thank you to everyone who supported us on #GivingTuesday!  A LOT of families will benefit from your kindness.


Ali & Andrew’s Dad