Highlights of the 2022 Annual Conference of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology

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Stuart M. Lichtman, MD, FACP, FASCO, Guest Editor

Stuart M. Lichtman, MD, FACP, FASCO, Guest Editor

The 2022 Annual Conference of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) was held in Geneva, Switzerland, on October 28–30, 2022. The meeting was held in conjunction with the SIOG 2022 Public Policy Meeting: Global Policy to Action on Cancer in the Aging Population at UN Headquarters in Geneva.

The goal of the conference was to develop an action plan to increase the clinical trial participation of older patients with cancer. The involvement of older patients in clinical trials could be better. This is due to a myriad of causes, including lack of trials, fear of the unknown, fear of toxicity, and eligibility requirements. The speakers discussed international efforts to increase accrual. It will take an effort by many organizations—such as governments, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector including the pharmaceutical industry—to increase participation.

The theme of the conference was celebrating resilience. Due to the COVID pandemic, it was the first in-person meeting since 2019. More than 370 participants representing 44 countries, including the United States, Belgium, Spain, Netherlands, and France. There were 20 scientific sessions and 1 workshop, for a total of 60 talks with 13 oral abstract presentations. More than 57 speakers and chairs from 18 countries were represented, with 226 posters, 2,164 tweets by 303 people, and 4,153,000 impressions mentioning #SIOG2022.

Keynote Speakers

Two keynote speakers addressed the audience: Benjamin Anderson, MD, FACS, Medical Officer, Cancer Control Lead, Global Breast Cancer Initiative, World Health Organization (WHO), and Yuka Sumi, MD, PhD, Medical Officer of Ageing and Health, Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child & Adolescent Health & Ageing at WHO.

Martine Extermann, MD, PhD, Chair of the SIOG Public Policy Committee, illustrated a road map from policymaking to implementation. Priorities to simplifying practical guidelines, standardizing cancer care worldwide, removing age as an exclusion criterion, and addressing hidden inclusion criteria that inevitably exclude older adults in randomized control trials are set. She presented a 2022 KPMG-Sanofi study, “When Cancer Grows Old,” highlighting an urgent need for effective geriatric assessment tools (for details visit

Recruitment of Trials for Older Patients

There have been an increasing number of randomized trials in many areas of geriatric oncology. They are focusing on assessment, therapy, and symptom management.

One session focused on improving the recruitment of older patients with cancer for clinical trials. It was moderated by -Supriya Mohile, MD, MS, Co-Leader of the Cancer & Aging Research Group and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Geriatric Oncology. An address was made by MEP Alessandra Moretti, of the European Parliament), with the following individuals represented during this session: Capucine Baldini, MD, Chair, GERICO committee; Harpreet Singh, MD, of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Professor Miklos Pless, MD, President of the Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research; Enrique Soto Pérez de Celis, MD, PhD, an ASCO board member; Francesco Pignatti, MD, of the European Medicines Agency; and Ravindran Kanesvaran, MD, of the National Cancer Center Singapore.

A panel discussion followed, with these distinguished panel members sharing their thoughts: Moderator Etienne Brain, MD, PhD, a medical oncologist at Institut Curie, France; Nicolò Matteo Luca Battisti, MD, Co-Chair, Inequalities Network, European Cancer Organisation; Meena Nathan Cherian, MD, of Global Action SIOG; William Dale, MD, PhD, of the Cancer & Ageing Research Group; Professor Hans Wildiers, MD, PhD, of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer; and Beverly Canin, a patient representative.

Award Winners

The following persons were recognized with awards at the 2022 SIOG Annual Conference:

  • Siri, Rostoft, MD, PhD, of the Oslo University Hospital, Norway, received the SIOG 2022 Paul Calabresi Award.
  • Tomonori Mizutani, MD, PhD, of Kyorin University School of Medicine, Tokyo, received the SIOG 2022 National Representative of the Year Award.
  • Matthew Zhixuan Chen, MD, and Nydia Camelia Mohd Rais, MD, of the National University Hospital, Singapore, received the 2022 BJ Kennedy award for the best poster for “Performance of Geriatric 8 (G8) Screening Tool in Older Asians With Cancer.”
  • Joey Chien received the SIOG 2022 Nursing & Allied Health Investigator Award for a pilot study, “The Use of Goal Attainment Scale for Pharmacy Medication Reviews in the Geriatric Oncology Clinic.”
  • Sophie Pilleron, PhD, of the Cancer and Aging Research Group, received the SIOG 2022 Young Investigator Award for “Age-Related Disparities in Relative Survival for 10 Common Cancer Types in the United States.”
  • Melisa Wong, MD, of the University of California San Francisco, received the Arti Hurria Journal of Geriatric Oncology Annual Award for “You Have to Be Sure That the Patient Has the Full Picture”: Adaptation of the best case/worst case communication tool for geriatric oncology.
  • Ryan Nipp, MD, MPH, of Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, received the Arti Hurria Journal of Geriatric Oncology Annual Award for “Effects of a Perioperative Geriatric Intervention for Older Adults With Cancer: A Randomized Clinical Trial.”

More About SIOG

SIOG encourages participation from all areas of health care, including nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, and social work. There are special interest groups and a young SIOG group for new investigators. The society publishes the Journal of Geriatric Oncology. SIOG is an active, collegial society that invites interested persons from all economic and social groups. Diversity, equity, and inclusion have always been integral to the success of the organization.

The 2023 meeting is planned for Valencia, Spain, from November 9–11, 2023. The Society also offers a 4-day training course in geriatric oncology in Treviso, Italy, on July 5–8, 2023. For more information on these meetings or on SIOG, visit

Dr. Lichtman was Attending Physician in the Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College (retired). He is Past President of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (2016–2018).