The 11th international AMD and Retina Congress which will be held in Lisbon, Portugal, from4-5 November, 2011, will featurea scientific programme which includes plenary sessions, panel discussions, case studies and meet-the-expert sessions delivered by distinguished speakers fromall across the world. In addition to this programme, a scientific poster exhibition is planned and the best poster presented at the congress will be nominated by the Scientific Committee. Other highlights will be the 2nd ESASO Graduate Award Ceremony and the 2nd XOVA Award Ceremony, supported by Novartis. “The field of age-related macular degeneration and retinal diseases is very challenging,” said Prof Francesco Bandello MD, chairman of the Scientific Committee for the congress. There are a lot of changes happening in clinical practice and thetreatment of these diseases day by day. The need we have is to discuss these changes and to try and be updated on what we can dowith different drugs and different diseases.”
Prof Bandello said that the Lisbon congress was an ideal venue for the discussion of AMD and retinal diseases as it would bring together leading ophthalmologists from all over the world. “This year we hope to have new data concerning the use of intravenous therapies,” he said, “not only for AMD but also for other diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and particularly diabetic macular edema and retinal vein occlusion.”Prof Bandello pointed out it was important that delegates attending the congress would get involved in discussion and interactive sessions. “As well as the main sessions,”he said, “we will have expert-meets-expert sessions where one or two speakers will discuss with 20 or 30 attendees specific subjects to encourage the exchange of ideas.”The congress will also offer an opportunity for young doctors who have attended ESASO courses to meet with their teachers and fellow students. During the congress, ESASO will hold the Graduation Ceremony andwill hand out the diplomas to students who completed their studies.
“ESASO is the European School forAdvanced Studies in Ophthalmology which teaches young residences and young eye doctors in the different fields of our specialty,” said Prof Bandello. “The aim of the school is to improve the level ofophthalmology in different countries and at our congress in Lisbon in November,young doctors who are anxious to improve themselves can meet their teachers and tutors and discuss and exchange ideas.”Prof Bandello hopes that one of the key messages that will come out of the 11th international AMD and Retina Congress isthe need to look at specific treatments forindividual patients.
“The studies we have done up until nowhave had wide exclusion criteria,” he said.”We included all patients with new vessels,for example, for AMD or all patients withdiabetic macular edema or retinal veinocclusion without any sub-classification of these patients. Because of that, today we are not able to say what is the best treatment for each patient. What we must do now is to try to recognise that there are different sub-types of clinical diseases. I am convinced that if we are able to make these classifications more precisely it will help usto improve the efficacy of each treatment.”