The recent AORTIC (The African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer) Meeting held in Durban at the ICC (International Conference Center) on 21-24th November has been a relevant scientific event gathering more than 1000 scientists from 66 Countries (including 32 of the 52 countries in Africa).
The well organized meeting has been articulated in plenary and workshop sessions with up to 5 concurrent parallel sessions, spanning from epidemiological analyses to pathogenic mechanisms, biomolecular pathways, clinical data, innovative therapeutic strategies. The Meeting besides focusing on specific African oncologic issues, which needs to be properly addressed, plays a major role in the formation of a young generation of African oncologists. They will need to be ready to tackle the new clinical and therapeutic frontiers as well as the cancer burden changes, which are currently ongoing in the Africa Continent. To the historical pathogen-related cancers, cancers associated to new lifestyles and the increasing age of the population show an incidence rise including breast and prostate cancers.
The currently most relevant cancers in males are: Kaposi’s sarcoma (constituting 12·9% of all cancers in males) and cancer of the liver (14·8%), prostate (9·5%), bladder (6·1%), and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (5·7%); in females: cancer of the cervix (constituting 23·3% of all cancers in females) and breast (19·2%), Kaposi’s sarcoma (5·1%), cancer of the liver (5·0%), and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (3·7%).
The meeting, whose organization has been excellent for the scientific as well as the social component [it would be sufficient to mention the gala dinner with the perfomance of the four Afro-tenors (The Gugulethu tenors)], is reaching in few years the scientific level and the relevance achieved by the ICASA Meeting for AIDS in Afica since the first editions organized in Napoli-IT (1987)*, Arusha-Tanzania (1988), and Marseille-FR (1989).
AORTIC, in the coming years, is going to play a relevant role for the oncology of the whole African continent and to represent a reference point for the entire, global oncological community.