I am a thoracic oncologist working at Institut Curie in Paris. I got involved in the field of thymic malignancies in my early career when I was a fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, working on deciphering the biology of thymomas; back to France, I was striked by the inequities in the access to optimal and specialized care for patients, what led to build RYTHMIC, a national network with a central multidisciplinary tumor board dedicated to thymic tumors. I have also been involved in the early days of ITMIG as Vice President and Chair of the Database Committee.
ITMIG is facing many challenges for the next years, including the rebuilding of the prospective database rebuilding, the update of consensual guidelines, the development of international collaboration between specialized multidisciplinary teams for patient care and research, through a very unique spirit of interaction with patients and families.
In those difficult days for our community and for patients, I am proud to serve a the New President of ITMIG, and I would like to thank all the membership and committees members for their support. I also acknowledge the exceptionnal investment and outstanding achievements of our past President Edith Marom over the past years.
Nicolas Girard, MD
President of ITMIG
Letter from the Outgoing President
Dear ITMIG Members,
I am very grateful for the opportunity to have served as ITMIG’s President for the past two years and to have worked with Andreas Rimner (Vice-president), Nicolas Girard (President-elect), Alan Kirk and Malgorzata Szolkowska (Secretaries), and Joshua Sonett (Treasurer), our committee chairs and of course Pam Bruce, ITMIG’s Executive Director. Each individual brings unique qualities and gives selflessly to the overall mission of ITMIG. The Steering Committee provides leadership and strategic planning for the society, which really means that we are here to help guide and support the ITMIG committees.
Two challenging events took place during my term of 2018-2020: the closure of our prospective database house at HubZero and the COVID-19 pandemic. It is thanks to the hard work and initiative of several ITMIG members that we were able to solve these issues and are coming out of them as a stronger and more independent society.
I would like to acknowledge Nicolas Girard and his team, who have worked and are still working relentlessly, shifting ITMIG’s prospective database to the Institut Curie, where the database will now be maintained. The prospective database is a great asset, not only to ITMIG, but also for any future meaningful research, including updates on staging as it develops. This prospective database should be up and running in the beginning of next year and I am excited of new research and knowledge that will be gained by this. The second challenge was and still is the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic affected all of us in the medical field; some of us, had to switch gear, work slightly out of our narrow subspecialty to help wherever needed in our hospitals. Others had to work very long hours. Despite this, I am proud to say, that ITMIG committee activity continued as members found ways to further the ITMIG cause. Examples of this are that: tumor board activity continued; multi-institutional research continued and flourished under the guidance of Anja Roden who heads the mediastinal workgroup; and in lieu of the cancelled annual conference, Malgorzata Szolkowska, organized a series of fascinating webinars, which have gained great popularity and interest. These webinars were recorded and placed on the ITMIG website http://itmig.org/webinars-2020-recordings/ free of charge to all ITMIG members (you will need to log onto your account to view recordings).
At the international level, ITMIG has signed a collaborative agreement with the Society of Thoracic Radiology (STR) to further multidisciplinary research having to do with mediastinal imaging and other fields in medicine. Further collaboration with other societies is being considered for the near future.
I am happy to announce that thanks to Ahmad Usman’s initiative, who submitted a grant request to the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), ITMIG received a grant from IASLC to help with data collection and update of our database to be used in the future TNM staging initiative.
Over the last year, ITMIG’s image has changed. The shift from ITMIG’s previous website, to a new one, using a WordPress platform, thanks to Malgorzata Szolkowska initiative together with Pam Bruce has given ITMIG autonomy. With this user-friendly website, we can now update members in a timely fashion of all news items. If you have not visited the new website, please do so, at: www.itmig.org. Thanks to patient advocates Donna Spangler and Geralyn Johnson our visibility on social media has increased. Patient advocates are active on Facebook, 44 of whom joined a webinar dedicated for patient in October this year.
Finally, after our great 2019 annual conference in Niagara on the Lake, organized by Conrad Falkson, we were looking forward to celebrate ITMIG’s 10-year anniversary at our annual 2020 conference in Warsaw. This conference will happen, in Warsaw, as planned, but in 2021. We are all looking forward to meet face to face again.
As you can see, despite our global challenges, ITMIG is making great strides, thanks to a large number of dedicated, hard-working individuals who donate their time, talent and enthusiasm. As Helen Keller best described: “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”.
Thank you for enabling me to serve as president of this thriving society.
Edith Marom, MD
Past President, ITMIG