PASIG CITY – The Sarcoma Study Group of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), in cooperation with the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) and The Medical City, successfully organized the 2nd Philippine Sarcoma Consortium Meeting last September 29, 2018 at the Medical City, Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City.
The meeting was attended by almost a hundred doctors from various hospitals, institutions, and medical organizations across the Philippines. Some of the organizations and institutions involved include the Philippine Musculoskeletal Tumor Society, the Philippine Society of Pediatric Oncology, the Philippine Society of Medical Oncology, the Philippine Society of Oncology, and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
The meeting aims to spread awareness and educate both the medical community and the lay people regarding bone sarcoma and soft tissue sarcoma. It also wants to improve existing specialty centers and develop and implement standardized treatment protocols. The discussions centered on the consensus treatment pathway of both bone and soft tissue sarcoma and the diagnosis and management of soft tissue sarcoma, with emphasis on synovial sarcoma. Overall, its long-term goal was to enhance collaboration in order to better manage and understand these difficult diseases.
NAST PHL President Rhodora Azanza PhD delivered the welcoming remarks, mentioning the organizations that came together for this endeavor and highlighting the need for a multi-disciplinary approach in dealing with sarcoma.
Dr. Edward Wang, MD, MSC, and convenor of the Consortium, gave a short talk on how the meeting will flow and explained the rationale of the meeting to the attendees, citing the end goal of the event which is to gain some consensus and advance in the management and treatment of sarcoma.
The morning session focused on bone sarcoma and was composed of talks of various doctors regarding pediatric cancer management in the Philippines, health financing, and international and local standards of practice with regards to treatment.
From the side of the government, Dr. Mel Santillan MD, OIC Senior Manager of the Philhealth Benefits Development and Research Department, discussed the status of health financing for cancer. She explained the process of getting funding and emphasized PhilHealth’s bias for the poor and needy patients.
Representatives from Baguio City General Hospital, Philippine Orthopedic Center (POC), and University of Santo Tomas (UST) Hospital gave some updates regarding the local standards of practice on Sarcoma. This included information on the number of oncologists in their hospitals, patients treated, and the facilities and funding they have.
The afternoon session focused on the soft tissue sarcoma with talks from various specialists such as Carmelita Navarro MD, Rafael Claudio MD, Karl Morales MD, and Gracieux Fernando MD, focusing on surgery protocols and methods, and presenting viewpoints with regards to properly treating soft tissue sarcoma.
A panel discussion ensued after all the presentations and was facilitated by Dr. Cesar Cipriano D. Dimayuga, MD. Some participants in the panel included Dr. Fernando and Dr. Claudio. They discussed a case on soft-tissue sarcoma and gave their thoughts on how would they proceed on the treatment of the particular case.
To cap things off, Dr. Wang told the participants that there is a lot of work to be done with regards to Sarcoma research and collaboration is needed in order to move forward in this field.
NAST PHL is an attached agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and serves as the country’s premier recognition and advisory body on Science and Technology.