Indian Society of Neuro-Oncology Society (ISNO)
Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting (Number 11)
Venue: Hotel Crowne Plaza, Kochi, ISNO Annual Meeting
Date: 27th March, 2015
Following members attained the meeting:
Dr V Rajshekhar, Dr Rakesh Jalali, Dr Dattatreya Muzumdar, Dr Tejpal Gupta, Dr Neelam Shirsat, Dr Nagraj Huilgol, Dr Madhuchanda Kar, and Dr Chitra Sarkar (special invitee).Following members expressed inability/could not attend :
Dr Sandip Chatterjee, Dr Suresh Sankhla, Dr Keki Turel, Dr Deepu Bannerjee, Dr C Kesavdas, and Dr Uttara Chatterjee
- Welcome address: Dr Vedantam Rajshekhar, President-ISNO presided over the meeting and welcomed all EC members present. The minutes of the previous EC meeting dated 14th December 2014 were briefly discussed and approved.
- Secretary’s report: Dr Jalali presented the Secretary’s report to the EC. He informed that the society had crossed the membership mark of 300 with the largest number of members from Radiation Oncology followed by Neurosurgery, Pathology, and Basic sciences. He also apprised the members of various local/regional group meetings organized under the ISNO banner. Since the last EC meeting, the World Federation of Neuro-surgical Societies (WFNS) ‘Neuro Oncology’ course endorsed by ISNO was successfully conducted in January 2015 in Mumbai under the 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. This was welcomed by all EC 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.
- ISNO session at SNO: Dr Jalali informed the members about growing presence and acknowledgement of ISNO as a major leader in Asia and internationally. 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. Dr Jalali also remarked that ISNO participation should also increase in other international neuro-oncology meetings such as Asian Society of Neuro-Oncology (ASNO), European Association of Neuro-Oncology (EANO), International Society of Pediatric Neuro-Oncology (ISPNO) and World Federation of Neuro-Oncology (WFNO).
- ISNOCON 2015 update: All EC 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. 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 going to be 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.
- ISNO Awards and Fellwoships: The EC members discussed at length about the annual ISNO awards initiated wonderfully by Dr Somasundaram in the basic neuro-oncology and welcomed the 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. After detailed discussion, it was decided that President’s Annual Award for the Best Clinician Researcher and the Students Awards would continue just like before. 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. The EC also deliberated and discussed 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 up to a maximum of 4 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 at the next meeting. 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.
- Treasurer’s report: Dr Tejpal Gupta and Dr Jalali presented and circulated the budget sheets as well as memberships and account details. Interest accrued on ‘fixed deposits’ on donations as above would be used to provide the cash prizes and grants for awards and fellowships.
- Website updates: Dr Muzumdar apprised the EC about the teething troubles with the website and issues related to the domain name (www.isno.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. A ‘case of the month’ has also been initiated from January 2015. Dr Muzumdar requested inputs from EC members and wider participation from all members to make the website vibrant and buoyant.
- Election of new office bearers: The results of the elections were presented to the EC. Dr Sandip Chatterjee (in his capacity as Presiding Officer being the President Elect) conveyed the results to the General Secretary (Dr Jalali) for announcement in the EC and GBM as he could not attend the meeting. EC 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
- ISNOCON 2016 and 2017: Dr Jalali informed the EC 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.
- Next EC Meeting: The next EC meeting would be held during the SNO Annual Meeting at San Antonio, Texas, USA in November 2015.
- Vote of thanks: The meeting concluded with a vote of thanks to the chair.