Bladder Cancer Think Tank 2011
Saturday – Day 3
More than 100 leading doctors, researchers, patient advocates, and industry representatives have come to Coronado, California to talk about ways to improve bladder cancer care at BCAN’s 6th Annual bladder Cancer Think Tank Meeting. The meeting started on Thursday with a keynote address and working group meetings, and continued on Friday with some great panels and additional working group time. Saturday, the final day of the meeting, was another busy and successful day.
We started out with a great panel about the relationship between the quality of care (especially for radical cystectomy) and the way care is paid for by health insurance companies and other payers. Payers can encourage doctors to provide higher quality care by only paying if the doctors meet certain standards, but that also has a lot of challenges.
The day continued with a presentation from the 2010 BCAN Award for Bladder Cancer Research recipient. Dr. Elizabeth Guancial presented on her work in finding biomarkers that could indicate whether a patient with muscle-invasive or advanced bladder cancer is likely to respond to platinum-based chemotherapy. If doctors have a better idea of which patients will respond to chemotherapy, they can make a more informed decision about whether the potential benefit from the treatment is worth the side effects. Dr. Guancial’s work is extremely promising, and we were very excited to hear some of the great research being done as a result of BCAN’s first research award.
Our next presenter was Dr. Peter Goebell, an Associate Professor at the University of Erlangen in German. Dr. Goebell has served as Secretary General of the International Bladder Cancer Network (ICBN), a global group of doctors and scientists dedicated to bladder cancer research. He discussed how the ICBN worked, and how international networks can help advance research.
The day concluded with final meetings of the five working groups. The groups reported on their work to the rest of the attendees, and then had an opportunity to ask questions and look for opportunities to collaborate on their projects. They have some great new projects that we’ll be posting about here soon.
Everyone is looking forward to finding ways to better work amongst themselves, and also with you – patients, caregivers, supporters – to advance education, treatment and research options. It’s been a great meeting, and we’ll continue to keep you updated about the truly inspiring work that is coming out of it.