The OcuMel UK Annual Patient Conference took place at Wokingham, United Kingdom, between 5-7th of July.
OcuMel UK is a British registered charity run by eye cancer patients and family members. Their goal is to provide direct support for anyone affected by eye cancer and raise awareness of eye cancer amongst the public, as well as working with medical professionals to increase their knowledge.
UM Cure 2020 collaborated with OcuMel UK at their Annual Patient Conference, that took place this month at Wokingham, United Kingdom. The consortium participated with five talks.
Guilherme Neri Pires and Diogo Martins Branco, members of the Champalimaud Foundation team for UM Cure 2020 dissemination and project results exploitation work package, prepared three lectures addressing general understanding of anatomical and biological basic concepts as introduction for later talks about more advanced aspects of research, diagnosis, risk staging, treatment and screening. Dr. Neri Pires, chief resident of ophthalmology, opened the meeting with an interactive session on anatomy of the eye, providing a practical look at the structure of the eye and elucidating where do ocular tumours may grow. Dr. Martins Branco, medical oncologist, presented two talks about biology of cells and human body, explaining some key terms such as DNA, chromosomes, mutations or immune system cells and providing a closer look at circulatory and lymphatic systems. Dr. André Valente (PhD), leader of the Champalimaud Foundation UM Cure 2020 team, gave an overall perspective of the UM Cure 2020 project and its actual progress.
Dr. Pieter van der Velden (PhD), researcher at the Department of Ophthalmology of Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), also member of the UM Cure 2020 Consortium, gave a talk about the investigation he is leading at his centre, focused on the sequence of genetic alterations that give rise to uveal melanoma and facilitate its proliferation.
This conference was a very fruitful opportunity to promote health literacy of uveal melanoma patients and their advocates, to share experiences within medical professionals and to identify the most relevant difficulties and concerns of the patients who were diagnosed with this rare condition.