2014, International Paediatric Oncology Convention

Cologne set to host international paediatric oncology convention in 2014

Working in partnership with the specialist Paediatric Oncology department at the University Hospital of Cologne, the Cologne Convention Bureau (CCB) has won the bid to host an international convention.

The international ANR convention—held every two years—is organised by “Advances in Neuroblastoma Research Association (ANRA)” and is the most important convention held in the field of this particular type of cancer in children. Following on from Stockholm in 2010 and Toronto in 2012, it will be Cologne’s turn to play host in May 2014.

Some 1000 consultants, scientists and students from around the world will converge at the convention centre in the city on the Rhine to discuss experiences and exchange information about the latest research developments in the field. A poster exhibition will be timed to coincide with the convention.

Neuroblastoma accounts for 7-8% of all children’s cancers, making it the second most frequent malignant tumour found in children. The cancer is usually prevalent in infants and young children.

Neuroblastoma forms in the autonomic nerve system, which controls intestinal movements for example, as a tumour; this tumour contains malignant cells (neuroblasts).  In many children, metastases are already evident when the cancer is diagnosed.

At this stage of the cancer, treatment is extremely aggressive and has a low success rate. Intensive research is being carried out into using genetic characteristics of tumour cells to develop new treatment types and to support immune response.

As Head of the Paediatric Oncology Department at the University Hospital of Cologne and President of the ANRA Association from 2006 to 2008, Dr. Frank Berthold has seized the initiative to bring this extremely important scientific convention for the field of neuroblastoma to Cologne. The Cologne Convention Bureau has been on hand every step of the way, supporting Dr. Berthold throughout the bidding process in organisational matters.

The CCB was set up as an independent department within KölnTourismus GmbH in August 2008, and is responsible for marketing Cologne as a destination for conventions and conferences. International scientific events that take place around the world at different convention centres are subject to a bidding process.

This process is ideally initiated by a representative from the field of science and then supported by the CCB in organisational matters. These include putting together a bid book that presents the benefits the city offers as a location, such as the hotels, the convention centre, supporting programmes etc.

The joint bid also received support from key officials: The Lord Mayor of Cologne, Jürgen Roters; the Deacon of the Medicine Faculty at the University Hospital of Cologne, Dr. Joachim Klosterkötter; the President of the Society for Paediatric Oncology and Haematology, Dr. Thomas Klingbiel and a host of other partners all called for the organisers to host the event in the cathedral city.

“The Cologne Convention Bureau and the University Hospital can be proud of their efforts and what they have achieved. It is a great honour for this city to be able to welcome the participants of this specialist convention to Cologne in 2014″, said Lord Mayor Roters, who commended the successful partnership.

International and national conventions are a key economic factor for the city of Cologne. Scientific conventions play a considerable role in this economic success and also forge Cologne’s reputation as city of science. The Cologne Convention Bureau is always on hand to support scientific institutions during bidding processes to hold conventions.