Sydney Wins Lung Cancer Conference for 8,000 delegates

5 June 2008

Sydney will take a lead role in the fight against lung cancer after a successful bid to host the World Conference on Lung Cancer for up to 8,000 international experts in 2013.

The event is one of the most prestigious on the international conference calendar and the biggest event secured by the Sydney Convention and Visitors Bureau (SCVB) this financial year, worth an estimated AU$19.2 million to the local economy.

Sydney's win was announced yesterday in Chicago by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), which chose Sydney over rival bidder Hong Kong.  Sydney's bid was led jointly by Australian Lung Foundation representative Associate Professor Kwun Fong from the Prince Charles Hospital Brisbane and Sydney Cancer Centre Director Associate Professor Michael Boyer, with the backing of the SCVB.

The conference is supported by the Cancer Institute of NSW and will attract up to 8000 delegates at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre from October 27 to November 1, 2013.

SCVB Managing Director Jon Hutchison said Sydney's success had stemmed from its united approach in which key identities from all areas of cancer policy, prevention, treatment and research were brought together to form the bid team.

New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma lent his support to the campaign when he met with key decision makers from the IASLC who visited Sydney in April to inspect facilities.

Mr Hutchison said the conference would address the latest advances in the battle against lung cancer and mesothelioma.

"This event will attract the world's top experts from the very cutting edge of lung cancer research, which not only provides for crucial medical advances but creates important opportunities for our own medical research sector," Mr Hutchison said.

"Australia's institutions and biotech companies will have the opportunity to connect with world leaders in their fields, creating new opportunities for Australian industries and a chance to attract investment in local cancer research."

The Minister for Science and Medical Research, the Hon. Verity Firth MP, welcomed the announcement: "There is extensive medical and scientific expertise in the areas of lung cancer and mesothelioma in NSW across a range of Universities, Research Institutes and Hospitals.  The Asbestos Disease Research Institute at Concord Hospital is the first such institute in the world, with a particular focus on mesothelioma."

The New South Wales Government created the Cancer Institute NSW in July 2003 to strengthen the cancer control effort in NSW.  The Institute runs Australia's most aggressive cancer prevention strategy, manages the BreastScreen NSW program, commissions innovative cancer treatment programs and has overseen a substantial increase in cancer research funding and activity.  As a major supporter of the bid, the Institute will work closely with the organisers.

The conference will also provide an opportunity to promote NSW capabilities in research and commercialisation.

Sydney's bid was also supported by organisations including Events New South Wales, the Sydney Cancer Centre, Cancer Research Australia and the Cancer Council of Australia, along with prominent oncologists, radiologists and other medical and nursing professionals.

The World Conference on Lung Cancer is held every two years, with past host cities including Seoul, Barcelona, Vancouver, Tokyo and Dublin.  The conference will be held in San Francisco in 2009 and in Amsterdam in 2011.