My Meeting Experience: A Surgical Oncologist’s Perspective

My Meeting Experience: A Surgical Oncologist’s Perspective

Dr. Clement A. Adebamowo
Clement A. Adebamowo, BM, ChB, ScD, FWACS, FACS, practiced as a surgical oncologist for decades in Nigeria and is now associate director with the University of Maryland, Baltimore. He is an ASCO Annual Meeting veteran, having attended more than 10 times. In the following interview, Dr. Adebamowo discusses tips for first-time attendees and why the Annual Meeting is an important conference for surgical oncologists, particularly those coming from low- and middle-income countries. 

ASCO Daily News: How has research presented during the ASCO Annual Meeting in the past affected how you practice?

Dr. Adebamowo: During the 1999 Annual Meeting, papers were presented on high-dose chemotherapy with bone marrow transplantation for the treatment of breast cancer. These papers affected my practice because the majority of my patients present with advanced breast cancer. I hoped that the presentations would open the door to new treatments for this disease.

My research interests have evolved over time, and the areas of the Annual Meeting that have affected my work have followed suit. What I found remarkable is, even as this transition occurred, I was able to find cutting-edge science in those areas presented during the Meeting.

ASCO Daily News: How do you plan out your time during the Annual Meeting? What sessions do you prioritize?

Dr. Adebamowo: I attend sessions on breast and cervical cancer treatment and prevention,  global health, capacity development, and bioethics. I always attend the Poster Sessions because I like learning about cutting-edge research and meeting and exchanging ideas with early-career researchers. I pay particular attention to posters from scientists working in Africa and in the diaspora.

To plan my days, I review the Meeting Program before the conference and select the topics and speakers that align with my research and educational interests.

ASCO Daily News: Why is it important for surgeons to attend the ASCO Annual Meeting?

Dr. Adebamowo: Cancer treatment and prevention is a multidisciplinary effort. The ASCO Annual Meeting is a great platform to learn about the multidisciplinary science of oncology. Surgeon–scientists conduct cross-cutting research, and there is hardly a better forum to present such work and learn about what others are doing. There is no better multidisciplinary oncology meeting in the world.

ASCO Daily News: What advice do you have for first-time attendees to get the most out of their Meeting experience?

Dr. Adebamowo: Plan what you intend to take away from the Meeting before leaving home, then structure your attendance to ensure that you accomplish your objectives. Make sure to meet new people and make friends. Make new research contacts. Wear walking shoes. Don’t overextend yourself, and try to have a little fun.

About Dr. Adebamowo: Dr. Adebamowo is the associate director of the Population Science Program at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center. Before coming to the University of Maryland, Dr. Adebamowo worked as a professor of surgery, lecturer in nutrition epidemiology and bioethics, and director of the Institute for Advanced Medical Research and Training at the University of Ibadan, in Nigeria, and as the director of the West African Bioethics Training Program, also in Nigeria. Dr. Adebamowo is presently the principal investigator on several research and training grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.