Conference brings skin, brain, prostate, colon, breast and hematological cancer specialists together


Journalists are welcome at the F.A.C.T. conference but must be accredited by the McGill University Health Centre. Dr. Pierre Laneuville, Dr. Denis Soulières and Cheryl-Anne Simoneau are available for interviews before, during or after the conference. Contact Cheryl-Anne Simoneau at 514-782-2004 or Seeta Ramdass at 514-934-1934 local 34320.

Patients and families have unique opportunity to interact with cancer experts

Cancer specialists will gather in Montreal March 17-19 to take part in a unique continuing medical education event. For the first time in Canada, specialists in Skin, Brain, Prostate, Breast and Hematological cancers will gather for the F.A.C.T. conference — Future Approaches to Cancer Treatment — to discuss advances in all of these specialty areas. A panel of leading experts will provide a focused update and overview of the rapidly expanding knowledge base in each field.

The event's co-chairs are Dr. Pierre Laneuville, Director of Hematology at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), and Dr. Denis Soulières, Director of Hematology/Oncology at the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM).

The conference addresses an unmet need for oncologists. As Dr. Laneuville points out, "It's not often that we get the opportunity to meet away from the clinical environment to discuss advances in cancer treatments. The F.A.C.T. conference is just that — an opportunity for us to present and discuss the topics of tomorrow."

Dr. Antoine Loutfi, Director, the Quebec Centre for Cancer Control, will be a keynote speaker at the conference luncheon. His talk is titled "Le cancer au Québec: défis et plan d'action."

Satellite Symposium — 5th Annual Montreal Colon and GI Cancers Conference
The conference will also play host to an important annual event of the McGill Cancer Centre and the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada. The 5th Annual Montreal Colon and GI Cancers Conference will focus on these two important areas with an opportunity for patients to participate in workshops. The committee includes Dr. Joseph Ragaz, Director, Oncology Program, MUHC, Dr. Michel Tremblay, Director, McGill Cancer Centre, and Sarita Benchimol, Assistant Director, McGill Cancer Centre.

Turning a dream into reality
The F.A.C.T. conference organizer, Cheryl-Anne Simoneau, is herself a cancer patient who, thanks to a cutting-edge molecular therapy, is living a healthy — and very active — life today. Simoneau was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) in November 2000. "My experience as a patient and as a long-time pharmaceutical industry professional planted the seed for this conference. I saw the need for an event that would focus on advances in cancer treatment but also one that would give patients the opportunity to meet with cancer specialists and take an active role in their outcomes."

Patient Day brings doctors and patients together
The conference agenda also includes an innovative Patient Day on Saturday, March 19, which will give cancer patients and their families the opportunity to interact with cancer specialists and learn about new therapies and treatments. Workshops will be held on PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scanning, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer (brachytherapy) and hematological cancers. This precedent-setting conference will be the first CME event to offer a live webcast to patients in their homes to allow them to participate in a unique workshop. Patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia, a rare form of leukemia, will be invited to attend an afternoon workshop which will be webcast to CML patients across Canada. Dr. Laneuville will chair the special workshop and announce the newly adopted guidelines for the treatment of CML in Canada.

Cancer survivor Alan Hobson to give motivational talk
The conference agenda also includes an evening with Canadian mountain climber Alan Hobson. In 1997, Alan realized a lifelong dream when he stood on the summit of Mt. Everest. Three years later, he was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia and given less than a year to live. Alan beat the odds: he underwent a bone marrow transplant and four years later is one of a handful of people to achieve elite athlete status after a bone marrow transplant. Alan will discuss his experience in "Climbing Back from Cancer." The lecture will take place on Thursday, March 17 at 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm). Admission is free for cancer patients, their families and close friends.

The F.A.C.T. conference is organized by Med Summit and will be held at the Centre Mont-Royal, 2200 Mansfield, Montreal, from March 17-19.

Registration information: To register for FACT and the 5th Annual Montreal Colon and GI Cancers Conference, please visit the Med Summit website.

CME accreditation through the McGill University Department of Continuing Medical Education.