The British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) meeting was held at the Arena and Convention Centre in Liverpool between 20th and 23rd June 2016. This conference is an annual opportunity for physicians, surgeons, nurses, allied healthcare practitioners and scientists who are involved in managing patients with diseases of the gut, liver and pancreas to meet to learn about new advances in the specialty and present their research findings. Highlights of the conference included a day of ‘live endoscopy’ from University Hospital Aintree (Liverpool) during which delegates could observe experts from around the UK conducting camera tests of the stomach and bowel ‘live’. Other highlights included lectures by the President of the American Gastroenterology Association, Prof Michael Camilleri and the President of the Royal College of Physicians, Prof Jane Dacre. There were also lots of talks and poster presentations describing new research from more junior researchers and students.
Some gastroenterologists specialise in treating patients with NETs, but many do not. The NET Patient Foundation therefore had a stand at the meeting, with the particular aim of publicising the charity to conference delegates who do not see NET patients regularly. The Thursday also featured a whole day Scientific Translational Masterclass on the ‘Gut Neuroendocrine System’. This included talks from a number of eminent scientists about the normal role of the gut neuroendocrine system in regulating appetite, as well as a series of three talks from Martyn Caplin, Chrissie Thirlwell and myself about the genetic and other reasons why some patients develop neuroendocrine tumours.
In my personal view this was a great conference and I learnt lots of new things. It was well attended, the sun shone throughout and my home city of Liverpool showed itself off well! Next year’s BSG conference will be held in Manchester and then it will return to Liverpool again in 2018. Hopefully there will be more opportunities to educate our colleagues who are not NET specialists about these tumours, so that they will be able to diagnose patients who have NETs promptly and refer them appropriately to their regional specialist teams.
Prof Mark Pritchard
University of Liverpool and Liverpool ENETS Centre of Excellence