Aspergillosis presents us with many problems in our efforts to improve diagnosis and treatment, not the least being to raise awareness amongst doctors, nurses and scientists around the world of the many illnesses caused by the fungus Aspergillus.
Many cases are still diagnosed late as the symptoms of some forms of aspergillosis so closely resemble those of other, much more common infections and illnesses. It is possible that many cases lie undiagnosed (ABPA, CPA, SAFS) and could be better treated when treatment with antifungals could possibly be of great benefit to the patient's quality of life and prognosis.
The 5th Advances Against Aspergillosis is the latest in a biennial series that began in 2004 and remains the only specialist international conference to focus exclusively on aspergillosis. Evidence of its effect on increasing awareness lies in the ever increasing numbers attending: in 2004 364 scientists & doctors from 28 countries attended but by 2010 533 attended from 49 countries.
Doctors are encouraged to attend as part of their required 'Continuing Medical Education' (CME) program, thus ensuring awareness is as widespread as possible. Hopefully this will improve the number of cases that are diagnosed.
Outwith its success at raising awareness, the conference itself has grown in its influence by providing an opportunity for medical specialists and scientists from a wide range of fields of expertise to meet and listen to what others are doing around the world, discuss the latest developments and to make plans & coordinate what should be done next.
In 2010 there was even an additional meeting dedicated to patients with talks given from several doctors & scientists who are leaders in their fields (see these recorded talks here). These recordings have since been viewed tens of thousands of times by patients all over the world, and informed patients are playing their part in raising awareness amongst the medical staff treating them.
The 5th Advances Against Aspergillosis conference has a lot to live up to and is taking bookings and abstracts already in an effort to ensure its success continues.
Complete programme is currently under development.
08:00 - 08:45 Daily breakfast sessions: Meet the Professor
Session 1 Cutting issues in pathogenesis of aspergillosis
Session 2 Emerging clinical associations with aspergillosis
Session 3 Top six papers in aspergillosis in 2011
Session 4 Novel immunological insights into aspergillosis
Session 5 Portraits of non-fumigatus Aspergilli
Session 6 Genomics and proteomics
Session 7 Management of aspergillosis
Session 8 Diagnostics and imaging
Session 9 Controversies in Aspergillus biology
Session 10 Antifungal resistance
Session 11 Controversies in aspergillosis
The conference is located in the ancient city of Istanbul, the second largest city in the world and the city at the centre of four successive empires starting in the year 330 (Roman Empire). There is sure to be something of interest to do in the evenings!
As this is the only conference dedicated exclusively to aspergillosis it is one of our main priorities to promote as we play our part in teh ongoing campaign to improve treatment & diagnosis of aspergillosis. We will be revisiting this conference regularly on this blog and on the Aspergillus Website.