Bone Cancer Research Trust's Research Manager Victoria Vinader, Support Manager Louise Kirby and GP ambassador Phil Green, attended the two-day conference which showcased some fantastic presentations covering a host of topics within the sarcoma world.

From 31st January until 2nd February at Marriott Hotel in Milan, Italy, Bone Cancer Research Trust attended the 10th SPAEN (Sarcoma Patients Euronet) Annual Conference for Organisations Representing Patients with Sarcomas. Bringing together patient representatives and medical professionals from around the world, the theme for the conference weekend was ‘Together We Can Make a Difference for Those Affected by Sarcomas’.

The conference included Professor Adrienne Flanagan from University College London, who spoke about the concept of Precision Oncology and the impact that this is having within sarcoma research. Amy-Bruno Lindner from GIST Support Austria, discussed how we can improve the way we communicate with our supporter community to improve advocacy within our work. Kenny Rankin, a Bone Cancer Research Trust funded researcher from Freeman Hospital in Newcastle-upon-Tyne presented an excellent overview on chondrosarcoma tumours and their current treatments and management.

However, our proudest moment of the entire weekend was receiving a SPAEN Advocacy in Action Award. The Bone Cancer Conference was recognised as an outstanding project by SPAEN Board of Directors, highlighting the importance of patient advocacy in sarcoma, how action can be taken to improve situations, achieve changes and help to fulfil unmet patient needs.

Sarcoma Patients EuroNet Association (SPAEN), the international Network of Sarcoma, GIST and Desmoid Patient Advocacy Groups, was founded in April 2009 with the aim of extending information services, patient support and advocacy to patient organisations for the benefit of sarcoma patients across the whole of Europe and internationally. Acting in partnership with clinical experts, scientific researchers, industry and other stakeholders SPAEN is working to improve the treatment and care of sarcoma patients through improving information and support, and by increasing the visibility of sarcoma with policymakers and the public.