The 2nd Biennial International Pediatric Oncology Congress, in Memory of Prof. Parvaneh Vossough, was held at MAHAK Pediatric Cancer Treatment and Research Center (MPCTRC) along with the 25th anniversary of MAHAK’s establishment with the presence of the deputy minister and the chairman of the Head Quarter for the Social Determinant of Health in the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, head of Iranian Pediatric Hemotology-Oncolgy Society, and several speakers including Iranian physicians from all over the country along with 15 international lecturers who are all leading medical specialists and professors. 

This congress was organized jointly by MAHAK Pediatric Cancer Treatment and Research Center (MPCTRC), Iranian Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (ISPHO) and German Society for Pediatric Oncology and Hematology (GPOH) and scientific centers and universities of medical sciences with certified retraining accreditation for medical and para medical groups with participation of hundreds of attendants. 

MAHAK, as an organization that has been ranked as the 4th NGO in the World with the score of 95.5 by Société Generale de Surveillance (SGS), endeavors consistently to take effective steps in treatment and providing full support for children with cancer by holding scientific congress and sharing its gained knowledge and experiences as a referral center in the Middle East for children's cancer treatment during the past quarter-century of activity.

Subsequent to the 1st International Pediatric Oncology Congress in 2014, this congress was held in memory of the late Prof. Parvaneh Vossough, the founder of pediatric hematology-oncology in Iran. 

Prof. Parvaneh Vossough’s bond with MAHAK started from the very beginning, initially as a volunteer associate director. After her formal retirement, she became the chairperson of MAHAK’s Board of Trustees and later, she assumed the additional responsibility of becoming the chief physician of MAHAK hospital. Because of her presence as the guiding light of MAHAK, patients came to this treatment center one after another thereafter. 

 

The Congress President: “Transparency, accountability, appreciation and integrity are the secrets of development for NGOs“

Dr. Mardawig Alebouyeh, a member of the MAHAK Board of Trustees and the president of the congress, while mentioning MAHAK’s history and 25 years of activities, he explained the importance of such congresses held by community-based organizations and said: “Non-governmental and non-profit organizations which are founded by socially motivated people, have an important role in engaging with the diverse humanitarian and cultural aspects of civil society with a view of curbing existing shortcomings while alleviating various hazards that threaten the public and society at large.”

He added: “NGOs who depend permanently on sponsors and sustained financial public supports to continue their mission, will be able to establish a mutual trust with their supporters and ensure the continuity of their support by being committed to the principles of transparency, accountability, appreciation and integrity.”

 

Dr. Mohammad Ayazi: “Organizing scientific congresses in international levels indicates MAHAK’s ability in benefiting from Iranian civil capacity”

During the opening ceremony, Dr. Seyed Mohammad Hadi Ayazi, deputy minister and the chairman of the Head Quarter for the Social Determinant of Health in the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, highlighted the importance role of social capacities in resolving the challenges of treatment services and said: “This congress has been organized by a NGO which is the most particular point of this scientific event. This indicates that if we believe in public participation we will be witnessing growth and development in the field of health and treatment. MAHAK is one of the best examples for other newly started charity organizations. With extending this pattern, the qualitative and quantitative development and as a result, effectiveness will be ascertained.” 

Dr. Ayazi mentioned that: “the government and NGOs with the company of private sectors can create and improve the capacity in the field of health together and fortunately we are witnessing such cooperation nationally.”

 

Dr.Ayazi: International specialists have come here to see the 4th NGO in the world personally.

Dr. Ayazi as the answer to the question of “why international specialists are so interested in attending this congress, said: ”since MAHAK has been ranked the 4th NGO in the world by SGS benchmarking audit, in 2016 between 299 organizations; the specialists are motivated to take part in such events and conferences and they are also interested to see the organization known as the 4th NGO in the world personally.”

He also added: ”Since 25 years ago, MAHAK could have developed this center by public trust and participation with the aim of serving children with cancer. Undoubtedly the main reason of public participation is the love for humanity. In fact if we provide the proper atmosphere we can witness more and more development among community-based organizations.”

At the end, Dr. Ayazi saluted late prof. Parvaneh Vossough and acknowledged the trophy he received as the most appreciated trophies during his services.

 

Head of Iranian Pediatric Hematology Oncology Society: Creating the Opportunities for Interaction and Exchanging Knowledge and Experiences

Dr. Hassan Abolghassemi, Head of Iranian Pediatric Hematology Oncology Society as the next speaker of the opening ceremony said: ”I should appreciate MAHAK and the other organizations cooperated in organizing this congress which made a great atmosphere for interacting and exchanging experiences and knowledge among international experts and specialists. Cancer treatment requires supporting services according to the high rate of expenses. MAHAK have succeeded in treatment process and also its outcomes via covering the expenses of drugs and supporting children suffering from cancer and their families. We hope for a day we can extend such experiences as what MAHAK has.”

 

Presenting Specialized Articles in the field of Pediatric Cancer

Following the keynote speeches, the other speakers delivered their presentations as follows: 

  • Dr. Ardeshir Ghavamzadeh, Chief of Hematology-Oncology and BMT Research Center of Tehran University of Medical Sciences; HSCT at Leukemia
  • Prof. Ursula Creutzig, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Specialist - Hannover Medical School and Honorary Congress President Presentation: AML-BFM De Novo and Relapse Therapy
  • Prof. Dirk Reinhardt, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Specialist - Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany Presentation: New Treatment Options in Pediatric AML
  • Prof. Jacqueline Cloos, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Specialist – VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands Presentation: Molecular Diagnosis/New Diagnostic Methods in AML

 

The first day of the congress ended with a close meeting focusing on the modern methods of diagnosis and treatment of ALL and AML.

This congress is being held till May 13 with 65 received and assessed different articles with focus on the  subjects of ‘Acute Lymphoblastic leukemia’s and Acute Myeloid leukemia’s’: treatment, toxicity, stem cell transplantation and late effects, ‘Brain Tumors’: treatment (surgery-Chemo radiation) roxicity and late effects and the importance of supportive care in cancer treatment.

 

Why national and international specialists attend this congress?

The position and the personality of prof. Vossough as an outstanding scientist is one of the most important reason that so many specialist are interested in this congress. In fact, some of the scientists attending this congress are the colleagues of hers. The other reason is the appropriateness and applicability of the presented panels in the first Biennial International Pediatric Oncology Congress held at MAHAK in 2014.

It should be mentioned that organizing such congresses in this level is usually done by hospitals and universities and this is the first experience in Iran and even the world that a NGO holds a specialized-scientific congress in line with the most up to date information and researches. The presence of 15 outstanding Iranian and foreign specialists indicates the scientific status of this congress which is the most striking distinction of this congress.

 

What is MAHAK’s Vision about Scientific Interactions?

MAHAK strives to achieve the highest quality level of medical services to the cancer stricken children by organizing scientific events, and exchanging knowledge and experience. MAHAK hospital as one of the biggest specialized pediatric cancer hospital in the Middle-East has achieved different and particular experiences which is necessary to share with other specialists from all over the world. As well, in such conferences there is a chance of close acquaintance with specialists with different achievements. MAHAK has the vision to be top of the primer multi-functional organizations in the world.

After a quarter-century of activity, MAHAK believes that being committed to the principles of accountability and transparency has enabled this organization to be sustainable and ever improving. This is possible only with the ever expanding donors’ family and their great wishes which has assist this organization to serve more children with cancer and their families.