Upcoming BHD and Upstate Kidney Cancer Symposium

On September 23-26th the Sixth BHD and First Upstate Kidney Cancer Symposium will be taking place in Syracuse, New York. Hosted by Dr Mehdi Mollapour and Professor Gennady Bratslavsky of the Upstate Medical University (both also presenting), it will focus on scientific and clinical developments in BHD and renal cell cancer.

The Symposium will create networking opportunities for clinicians, researchers and patients, enabling the exchange of ideas and discussion of challenges. This will advance the development of innovative and progressive therapies, and improve the management of patients with BHD and multifocal renal cancer.

This year’s first keynote speaker is Dr W. Marston Linehan, Chief of Urologic Oncology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda. Dr Linehan has been at the forefront of research into inherited forms of kidney cancer for many years with a focus on molecular genetics and translational studies (Linehan & Ricketts, 2014). The second keynote speak is Dr Robert Uzzo, Department of Surgery Co-Leader at Fox Chase Cancer Centre. Dr Uzzo will provide an update on the current management strategies for RCC.

Other prominent BHD researchers presenting include: Dr Laura Schmidt also from the NCI; Dr Maria Czyzyk-Krzeska and Dr Nishant Gupta from the University of Cincinnati; Dr Elizabeth Henske from Harvard Medical School;  Dr Vera Krymskaya from the University of Pennsylvania; Dr Arnim Pause from McGill University; Dr Masaya Baba from Kumamoto University; and Dr Jorge Toro from the Washington DC VA Medical Center. Additionally urologic pathologist Dr Fang Ming Deng and VHL Alliance executive director Ilene Sussman will be presenting, with a selection of shorter presentations chosen from submitted abstracts.

The Symposium sessions will focus on basis science on Thursday 24th followed by a poster session, and on surgical and clinical topics on Friday 25th September. Thursday’s range of topics includes FLCN gene function and mutations, pathogenesis in BHD and RCC with regards to cellular pathways such as metabolism and cellular stress, and BHD model systems. Friday’s then focus on patient identification and diagnosis, the clinicopathology of pulmonary and renal manifestations in BHD, and the current management practices and potential future therapies for BHD and RCC.

The conference will end with a patient focused session on the morning of Saturday 26th September. This will include brief presentations and Q&A sessions with genetic counsellors Lindsay Middelton and Bonnie Braddock, alongside several of the pulmonology, dermatology, oncology and pathology experts. Patients and family members will also have the opportunity to discuss their experiences of BHD and gain advice on managing their symptoms. The patients are also invited to attend the earlier conference and social sessions to network with other participants.

For those unable to attend highlights and summaries will be posted on the bhdsyndrome.org blog, twitter and facebook. We look forward to seeing all the participants in Syracuse on Thursday 24th.

  • Linehan WM, & Ricketts CJ (2014). Decade in review-kidney cancer: discoveries, therapies and opportunities. Nature reviews. Urology, 11 (11), 614-6 PMID: 25287783.

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