WCE2011: Highlights from the 11th World Congress on Endometriosis

Montpellier, 9 September 2011 | by Lone Hummelshoj

The 11th World Congress on Endometriosis (WCE2011) took place in the ancient university town of Montpellier with 1,294 delegates from 73 countries – the largest ever!

But it didn’t begin in Montpellier…

Professor Michel Canis talks about the first WCE, which took place in 1986.

WCE2011 marked the 25th anniversary since the first World Congress on Endometriosis took place in Clermont-Ferrand in 1986.

WES President, Hans Evers, and WES President Elect, Paolo Vercellini, paid tribute to eleven pioneers whose work – presented at the previous ten World Congresses – have made a significant contribution to the field of endometriosis during the past 25 years:

Robert Schenken, Ivo Brosens, Philippe Koninckx, Antonio Pellicer, Carlos Simon, Christopher Sutton, Rodolphe Maheux, Stephen Kennedy, Linda Giudice, Ray Garry, and Ian Fraser.

» Eleven pioneers in endometriosis honoured at WCE2011

It is amazing what can be crammed into four days…

The congress halls were packed for four days!

Over four days 102 oral abstracts were presented in 10 main seminars and eight free communication sessions addressing both clinical and scientific conundrums.

In addition there were ten moderators’ lectures, six keynote lectures, four industry-sponsored symposia, one special seminar, and a debate.  Every morning we met for breakfast to view the 370 posters showing scientific progress across the globe.

Thinking outside the box – and getting awarded for it…

Paolo Vercellini, and Luk Rombauts, present Dr Sawsan As-Sanie with her award at the WCE2011 Closing Ceremony

Dr Sawsan (Suzie) As-Sanie was presented with the 2011 Rodolphe Maheux Award for her work on altered regional brain morphology in women with endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain, which was subsequently also highlighted at the 67th Annual Meeting of the ASRM.

Her work demonstrates that we need to look beyond endometriotic lesions in order to understand the pain associated with endometriosis.

Pain mechanisms are complicated, but there’s increased focus now on this very real problem that most women with endometriosis face.

» 2011 Rodolphe Maheux Award presented to Sawsan As-Sanie

Looking forward…

The day before the Congress started, three pre-congress courses took place, as well as the 2nd Workshop on Research Directions in Endometriosis, chaired by Peter Rogers and sponsored by the World Endometriosis Society and the World Endometriosis Research Foundation.  Fifty researchers from around the globe came together to determine priorities in endometriosis for the next three years.

And it didn’t end there. The day after the Congress representatives from more than thirty organisations around the world, including patient societies, met to achieve consensus on how endometriosis can be managed best with the knowledge we have today. The focus was very much on the impact of patient management and outcome with attention to the effectiveness and potential harms of any given treatment.

» Highlights from the 11th World Congress on Endometriosis

Participants at the 1st Consensus Workshop on Endometriosis, Montpellier Medical School, 8 September 2011

Such commitment from everyone.  Such enthusiasm.  Such positive vibes. Such involvement.  Such hope that by 2014 we’ll have added even more puzzles to the conundrum that remains endometriosis and its associated symptoms.

» 12th World Congress on Endometriosis takes place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2014

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