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15 thousand people are diagnosed with brain tumors every year

"President of the 11th Asian Neuro-Oncology Congress, Prof. Dr. Türker Kılıç, stated that 15,000 people are diagnosed with brain tumors in Turkey every year."

The Asia Neuro-oncology Congress-ASNO 2014 is being held in Istanbul from September 11-14. Congress President Prof. Dr. Türker Kılıç stated that approximately 20 out of every 100,000 people in our country are exposed to this disease each year, saying: "Considering these numbers, although there is no statistic on this subject in our country, with this calculation, we can say that approximately 15,000 people, along with their families, are directly or indirectly affected by this disease every year. Assuming that the treatments of people with these types of neuro-oncological tumor diseases can last for years or that at least 50% of them result in successful treatment, we can say that there are approximately 150,000 to 200,000 people in our country who have been directly affected by these diseases and have either recovered or are continuing their treatment."


Prof. Kılıç, who stated that the treatment of these diseases costs the country approximately 1 billion dollars annually, also noted that brain cancer is much more common in young people compared to other cancers. Kılıç, who stated that Turkey has all the technological equipment in the world for the treatment of brain tumors, said, "Scientifically, when we look at the information produced in neuro-oncological tumors, our country is among the top 10. Considering that Turkey is the 17th largest economy in the world, being in the top 10 in brain surgery shows a success that is beyond the country's economy."


Prof. Kılıç stated that in the past, they used to think that surgery had a smaller role in the treatment of low-grade gliomas, and that chemotherapy or radiotherapy played a more significant role. However, after recent advancements, they now say that surgical treatment is the mainstay of therapy for low-grade gliomas, and other methods such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or stereotactic radiosurgery are necessary. In meningiomas, they observe that complementary treatments other than surgery are increasingly coming to the forefront. For instance, they have noticed that focused radiation therapy such as Gamma Knife and CyberKnife are being used more frequently than surgery for meningiomas, which is a significant development. As for pituitary adenomas, they are seeing that for prolactinoma adenomas that produce prolactin, medical therapy is now primarily used for treatment, and neither surgery nor radiation therapy is used. For other pituitary adenomas besides prolactinoma, they know that when microsurgery and radiation therapy are used in combination, sometimes one first and sometimes the other, superior outcomes are achieved. Therefore, these new developments related to these conditions that affect the lives of directly or indirectly about 200,000 people can be the focus of many patients.

World's Leading Scientists Gathered in Istanbul

Honorary Chairman of the Congress, Prof. Dr. Kaya Aksoy, stated that Turkey's and the world's leading scientists came together in Istanbul for the ASNO 2014 Congress, and that one of the important participants of the congress was Prof. Dr. Peter Black, who was the former President of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies from Harvard. Aksoy stated that Prof. Black was the person who developed the MRI technology used in the operating room and said, "The transfer of knowledge to the clinic is rapidly improving our success in patient treatment, but this is happening with rapid change. We organized a meeting to aim to keep up with this rapid change." About 500 people from 27 countries participated in the congress.

A tumor bank should be established jointly

Harvard University's Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology Chairman, Professor Dr. Charles Stiles, stated that he is working on high-grade gliomas, emphasizing that these types of tumors are located in areas that surgeons cannot reach, spread rapidly, and cannot be completely removed. According to Prof. Stiles, not much can be done for this type of tumor, and radiation does not work. He said that smart drugs that affect the tumor and do not harm healthy tissue are being developed. Prof. Dr. Stiles stated that more samples are needed to determine the genetic profile of the disease and that establishing a shared tumor bank in large cities like Istanbul would be useful for genetic research. He also explained that partnership is required in the field of education.


"We are targeting the weak point and attacking it."

Prof. Dr. Peter Black stated, "Having a brain tumor does not necessarily mean a death sentence. More than half of them are benign. What matters is when it is treated. Early diagnosis is important even for malignant tumors." Black emphasized the importance of smart treatments for brain tumors, stating that the focus should be on smart chemotherapy, smart surgery, and smart drug treatments that only affect harmful tissue. He said, "We are trying to find the weak point in brain tumors. We aim to target the weak point with smart drugs."

A Syrian assistant doctor reached the congress in 3 days

Fakhr Fakhouri, a Syrian attendee of the congress, expressed that he was able to attend the conference after a difficult journey. He stated, "I heard about this conference on the internet and wanted to come here because Turkey is a neighboring country and education in my country is starting to weaken. I need to improve myself. I had heard about the developments in neurosurgery in Turkey, but after coming here, I saw that it is truly amazing in this field, and the technology has advanced incredibly. Professors are fleeing from Syria because they cannot live their daily lives, and that's why I wanted to add something to myself with this conference. It took me 3 days to come here. First, I had to get on a bus from Syria, then a taxi, but there was a problem on the way, so we had to travel a long distance by taxi. Finally, we reached the border, and then I had to walk a bit to get to Lebanon. From Lebanon, we came to Beirut, and from there, I came to Adana with another vehicle. From Adana, we were able to come to Istanbul. So, we used every means of transportation except swimming and train."

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