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Meet discusses latest trends in paediatric oncology

MUSCAT: The Paediatric Oncology East and Mediterranean (POEM) Group organised its first scientific meeting under the theme “Oman 2017, Reach Out to Heal” in Muscat on January 26-28.

The meeting was inaugurated at Al Bustan Palace under the auspices of Her Highness Dr Mona bint Fahd al Said, Assistant Vice-Chancellor for External Cooperation at Sultan Qaboos University.

The meeting was attended by above 200 professionals in general paediatrics, paediatric oncology and haematology, surgeons, pathologists, pharmacists, nurses and other healthcare professionals. The meet discussed scientific advances in the treatment of paediatric cancer, in addition to update on POEM Group activities and plans.

During the opening ceremony, Dr Abdul Hakim al Rawas, Chairman of the Organising Committee, Oman representative member in POEM Group Board of Directors and Senior Consultant in Paediatric Haematology/Oncology & HSCT at the Department of Child Health, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, gave a welcome speech. Then Dr Hassan El Solh, Vice-Chairman of POEM Group, gave an overview of POEM Group initiation, achievements and strategic plans under the title “POEM Group: Past, Present and Future”.

Dr Sima Jeha, Regional Director of Eastern Mediterranean Region at the International Outreach Program at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis Tennessee USA, presented St Jude role and vision for collaborative groups like POEM Group that aims at improving the care for children with cancer in the East and Mediterranean region.

At the end of the opening ceremony, Dr Yasser Wali, Chairman of the Scientific Committee and Professor and Head of the Paediatric Haematology Unit at Child Health Department at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital and Dr Al Rawas presented a short video on the Development of Haematology/Oncology Treatment in Oman.

The scientific meeting sessions were divided into two days: January 27 and 28 where high caliber international and regional presenters gave lectures on updates in the treatment of the different cancer diagnoses. The presentations were divided into five sessions.

The first session included an update on St Jude Global Medicine vision and strategy by Dr Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, Executive Vice-President, Chairman of the Department of Global Paediatric Medicine and Director of the International Outreach Program — Haematology/Oncology Department at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, USA.

Dr Raya Saab, POEM Group Scientific Director, Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the Children’s Cancer Institute at the American University of Beirut Medical Centre, presented an update on POEM Group Scientific Activities. Dr Zakia al Lamki, Professor at the Department of Child Health — College of Medicine and Health Sciences at Sultan Qaboos University, closed this session with an update on Paediatric Oncology in Oman.

The four other sessions were disease specific where international and regional speakers gave updates on recent advances in the treatment of Haematologic Malignancies, Solid Tumors, Neuro-Oncology and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. At the end of the meeting on January 27, Dr Muhammad Saghir Khan, Chairman of Abstract Committee and Specialist Physician at the Division of Paediatric Haematology/Oncology, Tawam Hospital, Al Ain, UAE, announced the winners of the submitted abstracts. Thereafter, the winners presented their abstracts.

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