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World’s leading Melanoma experts to meet in Brisbane

Brisbane has won the right to host up to 1,500 of the world’s leading Melanoma and skin cancer experts. Queensland has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world. Every year skin cancers account for 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers, with medical practitioners providing more than one million patient consultations resulting in a significant burden on the state’s health care system.

It’s estimated that non-melanoma skin cancers alone cost the Australian health system more than $500m in 2010 and are expected to cost $700m by 2015. 

The 9th World Congress of Melanoma will be held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) in October 2017, providing a global platform for the world’s foremost researchers, skin cancer experts and medical professionals.

Brisbane’s key convention partners, led by the team at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC), joined with Cancer Council Queensland and two of Brisbane’s leading melanoma specialists to bid for the conference which is expected to deliver a $3.6 million boost to the Queensland economy.

Tourism and Events Queensland and Brisbane Marketing also played significant roles in securing the four day conference for Brisbane.

Success in securing the return of the Congress to Australian shores for just the second time in 20 years is testimony to Brisbane’s world class research reputation and active engagement in the area of Melanoma and Melanoma management and will provide an opportunity to showcase the ground breaking work of Queensland based researchers and clinicians.

Brisbane and Australia are well recognised as world leaders in this area, developing new frontiers in research in skin cancer, its origins and treatment. Publicly funded research to the tune of $183 million appropriately demonstrates the importance of this world congress to the Queensland and Australian communities.

The main architects of the world congress bid, co-convenors and BCEC Convention Advocates, Professor H. Peter Soyer and Associate Professor Mark Smithers, believe the high calibre of the multidisciplinary Australian Steering Committee and the recent successful hosting of the Dermoscopy World Congress at the Centre in 2012 were factors in the success of the Brisbane bid.

“Brisbane Melanoma research is recognised as world class in so many fields, particularly in primary and secondary prevention. We are excited at the prospect of hosting the International Melanoma Research Community in Brisbane and sharing our commitment to work towards eradicating melanoma globally,” Professor Soyer said.

He is also confident that the highly regarded international event will assist in creating further funding opportunities for new and ongoing research in the fight against skin cancer which affects many Australians. CEO of Cancer Council Queensland and BCEC Advocate, Professor Jeff Dunn, also a co-convenor of the event, said the Congress would underpin future skin cancer control in Queensland.

“Queensland has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world and Australia overall has two to three times the rates experienced in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. We welcome the opportunity to host this important event to share expertise and drive greater action on local and global skin control,” Professor Dunn said.

BCEC General Manager, Bob O’Keeffe said the win was further affirmation of Brisbane’s reputation and track record for hosting major international events and its appeal to the international scientific and research sectors.

“These events have enormous benefit for Brisbane in financial terms, but also in fostering international collaboration, driving investment and delivering research outcomes.”

Mr O’Keeffe said the Centre’s Advocate Program which includes some of Australia’s most eminent scientists, academic and business leaders was delivering an enduring legacy for Brisbane with research and development for the city’s key investment sectors and in furthering Brisbane’s international reputation as a centre of science and research excellence. Brisbane Marketing Convention Bureau Director Annabel Sullivan said Brisbane recorded a strong September quarter for business events.

“The Convention Bureau continues to work closely with its partners to attract more conventions to Brisbane, particularly events that align with the city’s key industry strengths,” she said.

“Brisbane is already recognised as an Asia Pacific conventions hotspot, and that reputation will only grow as the city gears up for the G20 World Leaders Summit in November 2014.”

Brisbane will also play host to cancer experts from around the world this November (21-24) at the first ever global skin cancer conference hosted by Cancer Council Queensland. Global Controversies and Advances in Skin Cancer to be held at the BCEC will provide a forum for international, cutting edge debate across prevention, diagnosis, treatment, management and survivorship for all types of skin cancer.

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