Instituto Nacional de Cancero
This one day conference put on by the National Cancer Institute in Bogotá, Colombia highlighted the latest research and techniques of treating lung cancer and mesothelioma.
It was headlined by a trio of invited lecturers, Dr. Carlos Jimenez, MD, Pulmonologist (MD Anderson, Houston, TX), Dr. Garrett Walsh, MD, Thoracic surgeon (MD Anderson, Houston, TX) and Dr. Mark Dylewski, MD, Thoracic surgeon (Baptist Health/ South Miami Hospital – Center for Robotic Surgery).
Dr. Ricardo Buitrago (who readers will be hearing more about in the coming months) and Dr. Rafael Beltran were the moderators for the conference.
Dr. Jimenez spoke on the topics of endobranchial ultrasound and fine needle (Wang) aspiration for lymph node biopsy as an adjuvant of mediastinoscopy for cancer staging, as well as ‘medical thoracoscopy’ or pleuroscopy. (While I will never share his views of pleuroscopy being part of the role/ scope of pulmonology – it was an interesting presentation.)
The presentations of Dr. Walsh and Dr. Dylewski served as beautiful counter-balance to each other and demonstrated the spectrum and breadth of thoracic surgery in the treatment of thoracic diseases.
While Dr. Dylewski presented the latest data from his experiences performing over 355 cases by robotic approach, Dr. Walsh spoke about performing large open cases with an interdisciplinary team to treat later stage cancers (T3, T4 respectively) and the ability to resect cases that are often referred for medical treatment due to local metastasis to adjacent organs.
Other notable speakers included Dr. Stella Martinez who debated the advisability of surgical treatment of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM) in response to another presentation by Dr. Walsh, as well as a discussion by Dr. Humberto Varela of the utility of specific diagnostic modalities for the detection and staging of malignant pleural mesothelioma.