Indian Society of Neuro-Oncology (ISNO)
Minutes of General Body Meeting (Number-6)
Hotel Crowne Plaza, Kochi
Date: 28th March, 2015
The General Body Meeting was chaired by the ISNO President, Dr Vedantam Rajshekhar who welcomed all the members to the GBM. A roll call was maintained.
GBM 2015/1: The previously circulated minutes of the previous general body meeting dated 12.04.2014 were approved. Dr Ashish Pathak proposed and Dr Chitra Sarkar seconded.
GBM 2015/2: Dr Jalali presented in detail the report of the General Secretary. He informed the house that the society had recently crossed the membership mark of 300 with the largest number of members from Radiation Oncology followed by Neurosurgery, Pathology, and Basic sciences. Names of all new members with their affiliations were read out and welcomed formally to ISNO. All members were requested to keep the momentum going for increasing the membership of the society with regular interaction and fellow colleagues. Dr Jalali also apprised the members of various local/regional group meetings organized under the ISNO banner or endorsed by ISNO in the last one year. A CME on Neuro-Oncology was organized by Dr Meenu Gupta at Himalayan Institute of Health Sciences, Dehradun. A symposium on low grade gliomas organized by the Bombay Neurological Association was an ISNO endorsed event. In addition, ISNO also endorsed and contributed to the World Federation of Neuro-surgical Societies (WFNS) ‘Neuro Oncology’ course under the dynamic leadership of Dr Atul Goel.
Dr Jalali also proposed closer interaction and fostering of ties with other societies within the country such as Neurological Society of India (NSI), Indian Society of Pediatric Neurosurgery (IndSPN), Association of Radiation Oncologists of India (AROI), Indian Association of Radiology & Imaging (IARI), Indian Society of Oncology (ISO), Indian Society of Medical & Pediatric Oncology (ISMPO) for wider participation, promotion and endorsement of neuro-oncology sessions in their annual meetings, symposia, and workshops which was welcomed by all members. Towards that end, ISO/ISMPO and AROI had agreed to have an ISNO endorsed event in their forthcoming annual meetings (Nov 2015) in Mumbai and Lucknow respectively. Dr Vedantam Rajshekhar was requested to liaise more closely with NSI, while Dr Sandip Chateerjee would be requested for liaison with IndSPN. The idea was unanimously applauded by all members
GBM 2015/3: Dr Jalali informed members about ISNO’s growing presence and acknowledgement as a major leader in Asia and internationally. There was good participation by ISNO members in the International Society of Pediatric Neuro-Oncology (ISPNO) biennial meeting in Singapore as well as Asian Society of Neuro-Oncology (ASNO) annual meeting in Istanbul, Turkey. He informed about the forthcoming international meetings such as the Asian Society of Neuro-Oncology (ASNO) meeting in Manila, Philippines and the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) meeting in San Antonio, Texas, USA. In recognition of the growing presence of ISNO, the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) had agreed to have a dedicated special 90-minute session in its forthcoming Annual Meeting at San Antonio, Texas (19-22nd November 2015) that would allow us not only to showcase the society’s activities and progress, but also the unique challenges and opportunities peculiar to our context and culture. Several members had already confirmed their participation at the SNO 2015 meeting. A formal schedule for the special ISNO session was under preparation keeping in mind the participation from ISNO members at the 2015 SNO meeting. The International Brain Tumor Alliance (IBTA) continues to support ISNO in its activities and initiatives related to patient welfare with the current ISNOCON meeting at Kochi being highlighted on their website.
Dr Jalali informed the members about the ISNO Annual Awards and Fellowships which was greeted by a thunderous applause by all members. The first substantive contribution of Rs 2,20,000/- for the awards was from Dr Somasundaram followed by a generous contribution of Rs 2,20,000/- from ex- President, Dr CE Deopujari as well as Rs 2,20,000/- by Dr Jalali on behalf of the ASNO 2013. In addition, another sum of Rs 7,50,000/- from ASNO 2013 had been earmarked for instituting annual training fellowships in neuro-oncology. Dr Jalali informed members about the EC discussion and decision to retain the President’s Annual Award for the Best Clinician Researcher and the Students Awards as before. In addition, it was also decided to have one annual award for ‘outstanding work’ in neuro-oncology without any age cut-off which would be open to all ISNO members with post-graduate qualification either a medical degree (MD/DM/MCh), or doctorate in life sciences/health sciences (PhD), or masters degree (MS/MSc). Like the President’s Award, this award too would be by nomination by an ISNO member and self-nominations would not be accepted. Dr Jalali also informed about the EC discussion and decision on instituting ISNO annual training fellowships in Neuro-Oncology to be awarded from the year 2016. It was agreed to have two such fellowships wherein awardees (who should be 40 years of age, within 7 years of completing their highest academic qualification and ISNO members at the time of application) could spend 4-6 weeks at any host institution within India to enhance their skill-set and knowledge pertinent to neuro-oncology. The winners would receive a lump-sum amount based on interest accrued on fixed deposits for the purpose of the fellowships as well as cost of travel, accommodation, and living expenses for the tenure of the fellowship. Dr Muzumdar and Dr Gupta would work on the details of all the awards and fellowships in close association with Dr Jalali and inform the EC in its next meeting as well as all members at the next GBM. Selection committee for the training fellowships would comprise of President-ISNO, immediate Past President-ISNO and General Secretary-ISNO. Selection committee for basic science faculty awards was already constituted in 2014 chaired by President, ISNO and comprised of Dr Paturu Kondaiah, Dr Sanjeeva Das, Dr Chitra Sarkar and Dr Tejpal Gupta. The students’ award committee also included President-ISNO (as chairperson), Dr Anjali Shiras, Dr Geeta Chacko and assisted by the General Secretary. The Secretary’s report was accepted following proposal by Dr Sridhar Epari and seconded by Dr Aliasgar Moiyadi.
GBM 2015/4: Dr Jalali and Dr Tejpal Gupta presented the treasurer’s report including budget sheets as well as memberships and account details which had been audited recently. There was a surplus balance of Rs 8,53,605/- in the account apart from three fixed deposits of Rs. 2,20,000/- each for the ISNO annual awards and one fixed deposit of Rs. 7,50,000/- for ISNO annual training fellowships. Income was mainly from the membership fees and expenditure towards Ab Guha Oration (including travel and local hospitality), awards/fellowships, secretarial assistance, website maintenance, and plaques/certificates. The treasurer’s report was accepted following proposal by Dr Srinivas Chilikuri and seconded by Dr Neelam Shirsat.
GBM 2015/5: Dr Muzumdar apprised the GBM about the teething troubles with the website and issues related to the domain name (www.nosi.in versus www.isno.in). Finally, both domain names belonged to the society, but it was decided to have a single domain named www.isno.in and all data and information would need to be migrated to that domain. The website has been revamped and now includes updated information under Dr Muzumdar’s supervision. A separate member’s area (My ISNO) has been created to allow members to access classified information such as ‘full membership directory’. A ‘case of the month’ has also been initiated from January 2015. Dr Muzumdar requested inputs and wider participation from all members to make the website vibrant and buoyant.
GBM 2015/6: The results of the elections were announced in the GBM by Dr Jalali on behalf of Dr Sandip Chatterjee (in his capacity as Presiding Officer being the President Elect). The EC had already ratified the unopposed election of the following members to the respective vacant posts:
- Vice President: Dr Rakesh Jalali
- General Secretary: Dr Dattatreya Muzumdar
- Joint Secretary: Dr Tejpal Gupta
- Treasurer: Dr Vani Santosh
- Joint Treasurer: Dr Sona Pungavkar
- EC Member, Medical Oncology: Dr Girish Chinnaswamy
- EC Member, Radiation Oncology: Dr Srinivas Chilikuri
- EC Member, Neurosurgery: Dr Ashish Pathak
- EC Member, Neurosurgery: Dr Venkataramana
All new office-bearers were welcomed by members with a big round of applause.
GBM 2015/7: Dr Jalali apprised the audience about success of the Kochi ISNOCON meeting. The total number of registrations at the Kochi meeting was 170 (excluding trade and industry). A total of 85 abstracts had been received that were judged and scored by an eminent panel of experts. Most abstracts were accepted as poster presentations, while some were provided an opportunity of oral/platform presentation based on merit and novelty. Dr Jalali highlighted two very important unique sessions that were being held for the first time in an ISNO meeting in Kochi. The first of these was a special session on ‘consensus guidelines’ for the management of any particular tumor. In keeping with one of the themes of the present conference (pediatric neuro-oncology), medulloblastoma had been chosen as the prototypical tumor for consensus building in ISNOCON 2015. ISNO would deliberate with relevant stakeholders and come out with a ‘Position Statement’ on Consensus Management Guidelines for Medulloblastoma finally resulting in a publication in an indexed medical journal. In the other special session aptly named ‘Don’t Miss It Session’; expert faculty would discuss and dissect recent landmark and path-breaking trials that may have been presented at other international meetings but are as yet unpublished and have significant potential to change practice. All the members were unanimous in acknowledging Dr Ashok Pillai, Professor, Neurosurgery, AIMS, Kochi and Organizing Secretary, ISNOCON 2015 for his efforts in putting forward a wonderful academic meeting with generous hospitality and greeted him and his team with a round of applause.
Dr Jalali also informed the house that two bids had been received for the 2016 ISNO Annual Meeting. One of these was made by the team of Dr Srinivas Chilikuri and Ananadh Balasubramaniam from Yashoda Hospital, Hyderabad and the second by Army Research & Referral Hospital, New Delhi. After discussions it was decided by the EC unanimously to award the 2016 Annual Meeting to Yashoda Hospital, Hyderabad. The tentative dates were 1st/2nd week of April 2016 to avoid any clash with the NIMHANS convocation held in March-end every year. No decision was taken for the 2017 Annual Meeting. Fresh bids would be invited for the same in due course of time. The decision to award the 2016 ISNO meeting was welcomed and approved by the GBM following proposal by Dr Girish Chinnaswamy and seconded by Dr Chitra Sarkar.
The Next EC meeting would be held during the Annual SNO Meeting at San Antonio, Texas, USA in November 2015, while the next GBM would be held during the Annual ISNO Meeting in Hyderabad in April 2016.
The meeting concluded with a vote of thanks to the chair.Sd/