by Laran Hyder, NETRF Associate Director of Development and Outreach
As a NET patient or caregiver, living with neuroendocrine cancer can be an isolating experience. Perhaps you often feel like there is a lack of information or that treatments and cures are unreachable. You are not alone. But, there is great hope and reassurance to be found at the annual European Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (ENETS) Conference in Barcelona, where more than 1,500 NET researchers, clinicians, patients, and advocates gathered in March.
This annual conference marked the 15th such meeting of the most brilliant minds in NET research. The NET Research Foundation attends this meeting each year to connect with our own funded researchers, learn about new and ongoing innovations, facilitate collaborations, seek out new researchers, and represent the NET community.
The energy at the annual ENETS conference is unmatched.
The NET Research Foundation had a strong presence at the meeting with multiple funded researchers presenting their work in poster sessions. Other NETRF funded researchers were selected to present their work and findings as speakers on a truly international stage. NETRF Board of Scientific Advisors members led poster discussions and chaired sessions. And still more were audience members, attending and learning to better inform their work.
A particular highlight of the three-day ENETs conference included a 750-person all-day course on all things NETs including understanding classifications of NETs, familial NET syndromes, new directions in bronchial NET research, understanding carcinoid syndrome, and theranostics. Attendees (including early scientists, experienced clinicians, and everyone in between) took advantage of it. This session was a wonderful opportunity for attendees to learn and expand their vast knowledge of neuroendocrine cancer.
This year, ENETS also hosted the second annual International Neuroendocrine Cancer Alliance (INCA) and ENETS summit on the unmet needs of NET patients.
The summit was chaired by former NETRF Executive Director and INCA past president, Ron Hollander. NETRF Board member Josh Mailman added his expert insight to the two-hour summit on how patients can be better engaged and involved in research. Numerous advocates, patients, caregivers, and support groups from around the globe were well represented during the summit.
Groups from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and India were all included during the day. The global voice of the NET patient was strongly characterized.
We departed ENETS 2018 with fresh ideas, renewed vigor to accelerate progress forward, a better understanding of the patient perspective, and great potential for future collaborations and work. All to push NET research and care forward on behalf of patients and their loved ones.
Want to get even more of a sense of this conference? Watch Josh Mailman interview an international NET expert from a roof top in Barcelona, Spain at ENETS.