Following the success of this year's South Bone Cancer Conference, we held our North Bone Cancer Conference at the Marriott Hotel in Leeds.

It was our first year holding two conferences and we're pleased to report that the second instalment of our Support & Information Service event was a fantastic day for all!

But don't just take our word for it. 99% of people rated the conference as good or excellent overall and said they would attend another. We're also pleased to share that 100% of people said that the conference was pitched at the right level for them.

Thank you so much to everyone from the incredible bone cancer community who joined us from patients, former patients and family members to researchers and medical professionals. Below we share some of the highlights from our North conference:

Launching our 2022 - 2032 strategy

Our CEO, Mat Cottle-Shaw, began the day with an introduction to our brand new 2022 - 2032 strategy: More Patients Surviving. More Patients Thriving. This bold and ambitious ten-year plan has bone cancer patients right at its heart, and we were proud to present our new commitment to a room full of people that it impacts the most.

The new strategy puts our patients up front and centre, and you can read it here.

Research updates

Leading researchers from across the globe took to the podium to provide updates on advancements in bone cancer research. Joining us from Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer & Blood Disorders Center was Dr Brian Crompton, along with Professor Aykut Uren from Georgetown University in Washington DC, USA. Both speakers provided attendees with an insightful, transatlantic view of drug development for the treatment of primary bone cancer.

We were also joined by researchers whose work is either funded or part-funded by the Bone Cancer Research Trust including Dr Liz Roundhill, Dr Luke Tattersall, Dr Mark Morris, Belle Creith, Dr Lucas Souza and Dr Tyler Barr.

One attendee commented:

Hearing about all of the fascinating research that's going on at the moment, including the 10-year strategy for the charity, was truly exciting considering that advancements in bone cancer diagnosis and treatment that are so desperately needed. I feel very privileged to have listened to such moving experiences from so many individuals who have been affected by bone cancer in some way.

Patient stories

Patients, former patients and family members bravely took to the stage to share their experiences of primary bone cancer with the wider community.

With every story that was told it became clear how sharing personal experiences can help others whose lives have been impacted by bone cancer.

One attendee added:

Meeting fellow patients and former patients through the Bone Cancer Research Trust conferences has given me the community I longed for and equipped me to talk about my cancer with confidence. Although I'm part of a club no one would choose to be in, I'm so happy to be part of the community that this wonderful charity has built.

Sarcoma specialists

Clare David, Specialist Sarcoma Radiographer at University College London (UCLH), gave an insightful talk on the role of sarcoma medics and how they support patients through their bone cancer journey.

Clare's involvement with patients begins with the radiotherapy treatment option, from which point she follows patients throughout their radiotherapy pathway and provides information and support during this time.

Keynote speaker: Krista Bose

Delivering a powerful and impactful keynote speech was NHS doctor and metastatic osteosarcoma patient, Krista Bose.

In June 2018, while on a surgical elective in Prague, Krista noticed swelling emerging in the top of her right thigh. This was accompanied by pain in her leg that became sore while standing in the operating theatre for long periods of time. One of the general surgeons, a Czech-speaking consultant, suggested that Krista had an MRI scan - just to be sure. The scan showed a large malignancy, which was eventually diagnosed as osteosarcoma following a bone biopsy at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital on her return to the UK.

But Krista did no let her diagnosis define her. Instead, she completed her studies to qualify as a doctor. Today, she works for the NHS, and has been living with cancer since 2018.

At the conference, Krista spoke on the language of cancer and covered thought-provoking themes such as breaking bad news, ring theory, self talk and defining jargon. She chose this topic because, in Krista's own words:

The language we use, with ourselves or with others, whether it's a thought, written, or spoken, can define our entire experience with cancer. It's not about toxic positivity, it's about cultivating your words carefully and leaving room for the what-ifs. It's about raising awareness of sarcoma, a forgotten cancer, and getting people talking.

The Bone Cancer Conference was made possible thanks to Takeda. We would also like to thank our headline sponsor, JMW, for sponsoring the North conference.