The Poster Abstracts catalogue for the recent NCRI Conference listed a total of 738 posters, displayed in two sessions and grouped thematically. A few had been withdrawn, but clearly there were far too many to see them all by browsing in the time I had available, so I had to be selective.
The Independent Cancer Patients' Voice, a patient advocacy group of which I am a member, had a poster ('Independent Cancer Patients' Voice - speaking clearly and being heard') in Tuesday's session. It gave us an opportunity to meet people and hand out copies of our Year Book.
There were three posters relating to the ovarian cancer screening study I've been in and I was delighted to see that one of them (presenting a decision making model concerning risk reducing surgery) had won one of the NCRI Prize Awards for PhD students submitting an abstract as first author. Congratulations to Jana Witt and team at Cardiff! Of the other two, one looked at the psychological effects of screening in the context of being recalled after an abnormal result which then turned out not to show a problem. The other investigated the reasons prompting women to withdraw from screening and have risk reducing surgery instead.
I was also interested to see another update on the AZURE trial that is looking at adding zolendronic acid to standard adjuvant treatment in primary breast cancer and which suggested a need for further study to look in more detail at the effect of menopausal status.
Others that caught my eye included methods of follow-up; discussing genetic testing with family members; the efficacy of cognitive behavioural interventions to treat menopausal symptoms; increasing recruitment to clinical trials; the provision of information; the prevalence of low vitamin D levels in breast cancer (this one from my own cancer centre) and suggesting that routine testing and, where appropriate, supplementation should be offered.
There was a poster on lifestyle habits and late toxicity after radiotherapy for prostate cancer that I particularly admired for its clarity and beauty of layout.
That is just a brief selection of those I stopped to read. I could easily have spent a whole morning or afternoon on each of the two sessions looking at the posters and chatting with those presenting them, but there just wasn't enough time for that.