The OESO Organization (UNESCO)
- Today OESO is represented in 85 countries.
- Its Permanent Scientific Committee comprises world renowned specialists belonging to 19 disciplines.
- The number of its corresponding members comes to 10,000.
An exceptional cooperation was established between OESO and the UNESCO (see website), consisting of An official Resolution approved at the General Conference of 1999 by the 187 member States, The reward of a Chair for distance learning in multi-disciplinary gastroenterology.
- The place of OESO in the international scientific community, and the rundown of its achievements are displayed on the home page of www.oeso.org
- The OESO Foundation, headquartered at the University Hospital of Geneva, is the arm of OESO for CME:
● It sets up courses in the area of multi-disciplinary gastroenterology.
The intended audience comprises practicing physicians and trainees (residents and fellows) with an interest in the physiology and diseases of the digestive tract. In particular, this body of knowledge is expected to be of use to those physicians who do not have easy access to attend the OESO World Congresses or other specialty meetings, such as those who practice in remote areas or regions with more limited resources, but need to keep abreast of the latest practical knowledge in the field, and who would get practical updates on what can be done and how to do it.
Each online topic consists of an approximately 10-minute slide presentation with audio narration that can be easily uploaded online and streamed using the current OESO CME Platform.
● It organizes missions in developing countries, where exchanges are carried out in the fields of endoscopy and laparoscopic surgery. This joint initiative is carried out in the framework of the Chair for Distance Learning awarded by the UNESCO in compliance with one of its missions for dissemination and sharing of knowledge.
Each mission comprises two stages:
- First, a 6 day training course in France, during which 3 to 4 members of each African team (1-2 laparoscopic surgeons, a nurse, an anaesthesiologist and a gastroenterologist) are integrated in the clinical and educational activities of these Departments for a course in laparoscopic surgery and interventional endoscopy. The most up to date techniques in anaesthesia-intensive care are reviewed in the framework of these missions. At the end of each training program, educational material (DVD containing the acts carried out during the week) is given to the trainees.
- Secondly, the teams having hosted this first mission will then go to the Centers in Africa to assist in the application of the techniques.
● Modules for training: in the aim to assist surgeons in digestive celioscpy, a noteworthy project for surgical E-learning is now proposed to all countries interested in the development of this technique: Surgeons are offered the opportunity of a whole week connection to a surgical center via Internet, and will access an innovative E-learning module:
- morning: watching surgical procedures live, with possibility to ask questions, either in French or in English,
- afternoon: interactive exchanges and didactic presentations.
This new system technically allows for simultaneous connections in as many countries as wish to.
The entire content of the week will afterwards permanently remain on the web as an educational tool accessible from any country.
● The OESO Foundation, in cooperation with the University of Vienna, proposes on each last Wednesday of the month the discussion of a clinical case of educational interest on an Internet forum (see website).
The discussion, which continues for one full week and is open to all, arouses the interest of about a thousand users each time, coming from diverse parts of the world, who connect, either to make a commentary, or simply to observe the author’s procedure of diagnosis and therapeutic strategy, and to run down the references given at the end of each discussion.
● The 10,000 corresponding members of OESO receive a monthly Newsletter, "Current topics in esophagology", thereby keeping them informed of ongoing and future activities and projects.
● Since the first one in 1984, the OESO congresses have been devoted each time to one, single topic, and have respected a specific, original question & answer format, each reply provided in no more than 5 minutes. The program is completed by Symposia, Topic Fora, and Special Sessions.
- The texts of the presentations, written by their speakers, are published, following the congress, in a comprehensive “Encyclopedia of Esophagology” and updated by an original procedure: OESO has developed with HON a user-friendly original procedure designed to update the texts using an OESO-HON voice recorder. This system allows the author to comment on the initial text and to specify those modifications considered as significant.
- The OESO congresses now also benefit from special collaboration with the New York Academy of Sciences which sees to the publication of a special issue of the Annals following the event. To the prestige imparted by this partnership, must be added the exceptional advantage of having the content simultaneously appear on PubMed and other IT media, thus offering unequalled global exposure.
- They also enjoy the advantage of having all the responses to questions, plus the all the other presentations, available on a DVD-Rom which provides, not only recording of the slide presentations, but the 30 minute discussions as well.
●●● The 12th World Conference of OESO took place at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, August 27-30, 2013.
The single theme was: "Cancers of the esophagus", and a major part of the program will be devoted to Basic Sciences in general, with a particular focus on Epigenetics. As customary, and in order to reflect the multi-disciplinary structure of OESO, three Key Opinion Leaders were asked to act as Presidents of this event:
- Richard G.H. Cotton (Melbourne) Scientific Director of the Human Variome Project,
- Brice Gayet, Professor of Surgery, University of Paris,
- George Triadafilopoulos, Professor of Gastroenterology-Endoscopy, University of Stanford.
The congress was carried out with the cooperation of teams from the WHO (World Health Organization) - IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), and from several important cancer centers in the world : the NCI (Bethesda), the MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston), the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (New York), the Tokyo Cancer Centre and the Deutsches Krebsforschung Zentrum (Heidelberg).
The Opening Ceremony of this event was highlighted by the lecture given, live from Cambridge, MA, by Dr Andrew Lo, Professor of Financial Engineering at the MIT, on a provocative topic: “How financial engineering can cure cancer”.
The exceptional, far reaching interest raised by the speaker was sustained by the interactive, intense debate which followed, bringing together representatives from the WHO, the UNESCO, and the Heads of World renowned Organizations like the NCI, the INCA, the MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the University of Michigan, the University of Stanford, the University of Chicago.
●●● The 13th OESO World Conference is scheduled for August 31 to September3, 2015, in Monaco.
The theme will be: “The Esophagiome” Emerging issues in Health and Disease Experiment and theory translated through technology development to clinics.
The esophagiome project is a multicentric, integrated program to design, develop, implement, test, document, archive and disseminate quantitative information and integrative models of the functional behavior of the esophagus. The esophagiome describes the physiological dynamics of the normal intact esophagus and is built upon interdisciplinary approaches with application to esophageal diseases.
A fundamental and major feature of the project is the databasing of experimental observations for retrieval and evaluation. The development of comprehensive models of biological systems is a key to pharmaceutics and drug design, in the aim of better predicting the results of treatments.
The program of the 13th OESO World Conference will attempt to enlighten diverse aspects of the esophagiome concept, placing particular attention on the specific domains of physiology, pathophysiology, and diseases of the esophagus.
The wealth of information collected on the occasion of the Paris Conference at the UNESCO in 2013, and in particular all the advancements foreseeable in the Human Variome Project, will make up the basis of a multi-disciplinary focus that will also constitute one of the highlights of the Monaco Congress.
On this occasion, the presentation of an “OESO White paper” will be a follow up to the Paris conference on esophageal cancers with a vision on epidemiology, risk factors, biology, genomics, and treatments.
The attempt will be to gender a translational vision of Medicine in the years to come, and define future advancements, those foreseeable, as well as those conceivable, in light of exponentially advancing technologies of the future.
Among them, gene targeted therapy, regenerative medicine, nano technologies and artificial intelligence, will be brought to the forefront.
The main value of the OESO multi-disciplinary, inter-university network relies on its ability to evolve according to the results of research and the evolution of medical practice, and the capacity of the technical infrastructure to cope with a large increase of services without loss of performance.
The primary interest in what the Organization OESO has built lies in its innovative approach to expand knowledge across the disciplines related to one organ, and to manage to share this knowledge by using technology in a way that will ultimately benefit patients.
The focus on esophagology enabled to set a standard of innovation that goes far beyond the esophagus and the concept applied by the Foundation can be applicable to other areas: the work that the OESO Foundation has done with the CME platform which is now in function, as well as its specific and original technology, are one of the only examples of such a combination.
R. Giuli, MD, FACS
Professor of Surgery
Member of the French Academy of Surgery
Founder and Director of OESO
Director of the Executive Committee of the OESO Foundation