As an observer of this scientific “phenomenon”, I am glad, on the one hand, that it was done, but I find it sad that, although there are two weeks until the beginning of the works, I cannot say much because I don’t have the complete information.

I will summarize the part for which I have the necessary competence. The Institute is in the ESMO List of Centers for the Integration of Medical Oncology with Palliative Care, and I wanted to see what activity the Palliative Commission had in the institute and could be reported to the institute’s balance sheet. The Coordinator of the Integration Center was not asked by the Scientific Committee of the IOB or by the Conference Scientific Committee to contact ESMO for a possible participation of an international personality at this event that would have gained international valence. I could have said all these if there had been an organizing meeting with all the members implicated and displayed on the institute’s website. The cause of these shortcomings is in part the existence of objective bureaucratic factors that do not allow physicians to deal with what is essential in their position as doctors in an institute, but also regulations related to job description and mentality. Things for which we need more time to talk about, but it is not the appropriate occasion. For the moment, I am glad and I would like that the work of those who have been involved in a scientific activity, as long as they have allowed the existing conditions, to be appreciated properly. From the abstracts sent to us, I find that the topics to be discussed are of real inte­rest and, if they do not solve, at least they raise the fundamental and clinical research problem, and they will have to be solved.

Taking into account the number of staff employed for a large number of patients treated annually, the results in patient’s care are very good and I remember the visit made by Professor Heine Hansen to our institute (what a time!) informing about a nurse’s rule, saying that in Denmark a nurse makes 2-3 times less treatments a day compared to the number of treatments that a nurse is doing in IOB. We also have to salute the fact that after decades we have an MRI at our institute, and we can ask ourselves: when can we do PET-CT’s? 

Another sign of exclamation must be related to fundamental research that suffers greatly from lack of funding, the staf­fing dramatically decreasing over the last 20 years. We should not forget that clinical activity is successful when there is good research, and an institute is justified if there is a fundamental research compartment.

We must thank the IOB research department for having been involved in all the IOB conferences. 

Last but not least, I want to thank the guests outside the institute, and the medical personalities who have honored us with their presence and scientific exposures of real interest.

In closing, I join the message of the institute leadership, a message addressed to all those who diagnose or treat cancer, to participate in this important scientific event.