Indian Society of Neuro-Oncology (ISNO)
Minutes of General Body Meeting (Number-7)
Novotel Hotel, Hyderabad
Date: 2nd April 2016
Dr Sandip Chatterjee, President-ISNO, who welcomed all members, chaired the General Body Meeting. Due to lack of quorum, the meeting was adjourned for some time following which members reassembled to continue with the meeting as per the circulated agenda. A roll call was maintained and attending members signed on the register.
GBM 2016/1: The previously circulated minutes of the previous general body meeting dated 28.03.2015 were briefly discussed and approved. DrAshish Pathak proposed and Dr Chitra Sarkar seconded the approval.
GBM 2016/2: DrMuzumdarpresented in detail the report of the General Secretary. He informed the house that the membership of society had increased to 329 members with Radiation Oncology (n=129) leading the list followed by Neurosurgery (n=92), Pathology (n=49), Basic Sciences (n=27), and Medical Oncology (n=14). 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 through regular interaction with fellow colleagues.
Dr Muzumdar further apprised the members of various international/national/localmeetings organized under the ISNO banner or endorsed by ISNO in the last one year. One of the highlights of 2015 was a special and dedicated ISNO session at SNO 2015 in San Antonio, USA, which was the first of its kind and very well received by all. Dr Jalali drafted the scientific program of this ISNO session at SNO 2015. Several members attending the SNO 2015 meeting showcased their work and contribution of ISNO to the global neuro-oncology community. The issue of holding dedicated ISNO sessions at SNO every year was also deliberated. EC was of the considered view that it would be logistically difficult and challenging to have such dedicated sessions every year, and suggested that it may be better to have them every alternate year instead. The opinion of the members was divided on this issue. While some members felt that having the ISNO session every year would provide opportunity for highlighting ISNO activities and achievements on a regular basis, others felt that it would be financially and logistically unviable. Dr Muzumdar also apprised the house about Symposium on Low Grade Glioma organized by ISNO in the BNA Meeting at Nanavati Hospital and a CME on Neuro-Oncology organized by Dr Meenu Gupta at Himalayan Institute of Health Sciences, Dehradun.
Dr Muzumdar also informed about 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), Indian Co-operative Oncology Network (ICON) for wider participation, promotion and endorsement of neuro-oncology sessions in their annual meetings, symposia, and workshops. Dedicated neuro-oncology sessions under the ISNO banner were held at ISMPO (Mumbai), AROI (Lucknow), and IndSPN (Kochi) annual meetings in 2015 under the guidance of DrJalali.
GBM 2016/3: Dr Muzumdar informed members about ISNO’s growing stature presence and acknowledgement as a major leader in Asia and internationally. Members were requested to participate in greater numbers in the forthcoming international neuro-oncology meeting such as ASNO (Sydney), EANO (Europe) and SNO (Arizona) in 2016. 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 Hyderabad highlighted on their website. The International Brain Tumor Week is observed in October/November every year to increase brain tumor awareness. Members were requested to ensure wider participation in International Brain Tumor Week and even organize patient/care-giver support meetings around that time of the year locally.
Dr Muzumdar informed the members about the ISNO Annual Awards and Fellowships which was greeted by a thunderous applause by all members. Based on last year’s EC decision ratified at GBM, it was decided 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 MastersDegree (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. Similarly, it was proposed by EC and ratified at last year’s GBM that ISNO would award training 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 DrJalali. More and more members were encouraged to apply for the awards and fellowships. Heads of departments and supervisors were requested to encourage their trainees, fellows, students to apply for the same. Members needed to be aware about the requisite information regarding the ISNO awards and fellowships well in advance through the ISNO website as well by e-mail from the ISNO secretariat. Dr Pathak asked for clarification on what constitutes ‘clinical research’ for neurosurgeons in the context of ISNO awards, while DrTurel enquired about the accommodation for fellowship awardees. The Secretary’s report was accepted following proposal by DrAshish Pathak and seconded by DrAnandh Balasubramaniam.
GBM 2016/4:Dr Jalali and DrT ejpal Gupta presented the treasurer’s report including the balance sheets as well as memberships and account details, which had been audited recently. There was a surplus balance in the ISNO account apart from three fixed deposits. A generous amount of Rs.3,25,000/- was received by the central body of ISNO from ISNOCON 2015 Meeting organized by Dr Ashok Pillai at Kochi, which was applauded by all members. Other source of 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 DrChitra Sarkar and seconded by DrSrinivas Chilikuri.
GBM 2015/5:DrMuzumdar 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 were secured, but it was decided to have a single domain named www.isno.in and all data and information had been migrated to that domain. The website has been completely revamped and now includes updated information. A separate member’s area (My ISNO) has been created to allow members to access classified information such as ‘full membership directory’. The Joint Secretary of ISNO is designated as ex-officio Webmaster and responsible for the website. ISNO News Bulletin would also be published twice a year from hence forth. ‘Education Forum’ is the section of the website for interaction and community participation. Dr Muzumdar requested inputs and wider participation from all members to make the website vibrant and buoyant.
DrJalali apprised the house about the recently launched ASNO website. Under his guidance, the ASNO website and emblem was designed which was highly appreciated by the ASNO leadership. The ISNO website now also has a link to the ASNO website. Dr Jalali also informed the house about the World Federation of Neuro-Oncology Societies (WFNOS) comprising members from SNO, EANO, and ASNO. Now, ISNO has been formally invited to be part of WFNOS and contribute to its Newsletter. Dr Tejpal Gupta had been nominated as the official ISNO representative on the WFNOS newsletter.
GBM 2016/6: Dr Jalali as the Returning Officer announced the results of the elections in the GBM. The EC had already ratified the unopposed election of the following members to the respective vacant posts:
- President Elect: Dr Vani Santosh
- Joint Treasurer: DrAnandhBalasubramaniam
- EC Member, Pathology: Dr Sridhar Epari
- EC Member, Basic Sciences: Dr Anjali Shiras
- EC Member, Radiology: EC was of the opinion that guidelines for nomination for EC membership should be modified. Candidates should have attended at least two annual meetings as members, demonstrated interest and participated in ISNO activities to be considered eligible for EC membership.
DrTurel suggested that instead of keeping the Radiology Member post vacant, members from other disciplines should be co-opted in the EC. Members with a big round of applause welcomed all new office-bearers.
GBM 2016/7 : DrMuzumdar and Dr Jalali requested Dr Gupta to update the house on the current status of the ‘ISNO Consensus Guidelines for the Management of Medulloblastoma’. Dr Gupta apprised the members about the process involved in guideline development. He also informed that the draft of the consensus document had been circulated amongst the ‘expert panel’ who felt that the document was too lengthy and technical and needed significant pruning to be able to be used by relevant stakeholders. Attempts were now being taken to make an abbreviated version for more widespread use. Dr Gupta also informed that apart from ISNOCON, consolidated medulloblastoma guidelines had also been presented at AROICON and IndSPN annual meetings.
GBM 2016/8: Dr Muzumdar apprised the audience about success of the Hyderabad ISNOCON meeting that saw over 280 registrations including 13 International and 90 National Faculty. Dr Uday expressed concerns regarding the high registration fees for ISNOCON that could act as potential deterrent. Dr Muzumdar informed about the EC deliberation on separate charges for ISNO members vs non-members. At ISNOCON 2016, single day registration was also allowed to encourage participation from allied specialties. Dr Turel expressed concerns regarding part-time registration leading to tunnel vision by specialists confining to their specialty and not attending the full duration of the meeting. Dr Sridhar enquired about participation by other national bodies, while Dr Chitra wanted participation by international societies. It was proposed that a central scientific committee comprising President, President Elect, Past President, and General Secretary, ISNO be constituted to oversee the content and conduct of ISNO annual meetings. Dr Ari applauded the control of the central body over the scientific program resulting in high quality of ISNO meetings every year. There was debate and discussion on the respective roles and autonomy of local scientific committee including the Organising Secretary. All members were unanimous in acknowledging Dr Anandh Balasubramaniam and Dr Srinivas Chilikuri for their efforts in putting forward a wonderful academic programme with generous hospitality and greeted them with a round of applause.
GBM 2016/9: Dr Muzumdar also informed the house that two bids had been received for the 2017 ISNO Annual Meeting from New Delhi and Bangalore respectively. It had been decided unanimously to award ISNOCON 2017 to Bangalore with Dr Uday Krishna from KMIO as the Organizing Secretary, who would work closely with Dr Vani Santosh from NIMHANS for the same. The dates of the ISNOCON 2017 should be such that it does not clash with either the NPSI 2017 Meeting or NIMHANS convocation in 2017. No decision was taken for the 2018 Annual Meeting. Fresh bids would be invited for the same in due course of time. The decision to award the 2017 ISNO meeting was welcomed and approved by the GBM following proposal by Dr Chitra Sarkar and seconded by Dr Sridhar Epari.
The Next EC meeting would be held during the Annual NSI Meeting in December 2016, while the next GBM would be held during the Annual ISNO Meeting in Bangalore in March 2017.
The meeting concluded with a vote of thanks to the chair.
Dattatraya Muzumdar and Tejpal Gupta
General Secretary and Joint Secretary