Nominations for Distinguished Advocacy Award

The Award

The Annual IGCS Distinguished Advocacy Award recognizes advocates and/or advocacy organizations that provide active, dedicated service to patients-survivors, families, caregivers, and communities—at a local, regional, or international level. The Award, reserved for those most persistently engaged in the fight against gynecologic and other cancers,

  • recognizes those currently engaged in activities and projects that tangibly provide benefit to patient-survivor communities
  • highlights best practices and outstanding individuals and organizations in various settings throughout the world
  • inspires others to engage so generously

Annually, IGCS honors up to three individuals and organizations from different regions of the world, and special consideration is given to those who collaborate beyond their community or country of residence. Award recipients will

  • attend the 2020 IGCS Annual Global Meeting in Rome (September 10-12), with support from IGCS
  • be recognized at the Global Meeting during a Plenary session and during the Survivor-Caregiver Symposium
  • receive a plaque in recognition of the Award
  • be highlighted on the Advocacy pages of the IGCS website

Accepting Nominations for 2020

IGCS is currently accepting nominations for its 2020 Distinguished Advocacy Award. The deadline for receipt of nominations for the 2020 Award is April 15, 2020, at 11:59 pm EST. Award recipients will be determined by a Selection Committee with IGCS Council consultation. In selecting award recipients, we will consider global distribution of the award and regional ableness; however, these will not be the primary considerations. We accept self-nominations.

Award recipients must be patients-survivors, family members, caregivers, or other individuals who make outstanding contribution(s) to the patient-survivor community and be engaged in one or more of the following areas:

  • advocating for enhanced cancer awareness and prevention
  • providing or advocating for the delivery of the highest-quality cancer care
  • supporting achievement of the highest quality of life possible (to include support or palliative care)
  • implementing program(s) that support and/or advance health equity
  • collaborating with other advocates and/or advocacy organizations to benefit patients-survivors across geographic boundaries and demographics

Nominees do not have to belong to an established organization but must be active in their own community and/or beyond. In each calendar year, only one person or organization from a region can receive the Award.

Click here to Download the Nomination Form.
Click here to Submit the Completed Nomination Form.

If you have questions or need assistance, please email the IGCS Director of Global Outreach and Engagement, Mary (Dicey) Jackson Scroggins at

IGCS & WOCC Join Forces


Announcing a Strategic Advocacy Partnership Between the International Gynecologic Cancer Society and the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition

It is my pleasure to announce a Strategic Advocacy Partnership between the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) and the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition (WOCC). This partnership maximizes the collective influence, membership, force, and reach of these two premiere organizations and establishes a framework through which they will provide tangible benefit to gynecologic cancer survivors-patients worldwide, with special emphasis on ovarian cancer.

Established in 2016, WOCC is a not-for-profit organization with 145 patient advocacy organization partners in 37 countries. WOCC works to ensure that every woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer has the best chance of survival and the best quality of life possible, wherever she may live. Its mission aligns perfectly with that of the IGCS of enhancing the care of women with gynecologic cancer worldwide. Uniting the globe in the fight against gynecologic cancers since 1985, IGCS currently has over 3,200 members in 115 countries. The membership of both organizations encompasses low-, middle-, and high-resource countries, consistent with their commitment to global health equity.

Elisabeth Baugh, Chair of the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition, explains, “As the largest global ovarian cancer patient advocacy network, the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition is committed to making a difference to the lives of all women affected by ovarian cancer. This strategic partnership creates a powerful global advocacy movement, uniting and strengthening patient and clinical voices to act as a force for urgent change. It is our firm belief that we will achieve much more together.”

With each organization retaining its independence, focus, and governance and with each committed to mobilizing outstanding global leadership, experts, and advocacy to reduce the burden of gynecologic cancers globally, this partnership does indeed represent a formidable force for change.

Emphasizing the importance of advocacy partnerships, IGCS President Roberto Angioli notes, “This partnership with the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition is representative of our commitment to working collaboratively with advocates worldwide to ensure best outcomes for all women and families affected by gynecologic cancers. We will continue to partner with local, regional, and global advocacy groups across all gynecologic cancer sites. These partnerships are essential to our mission.”

And, specifically, in activating this partnership, we will

  • Launch the WOCC’s Global Ovarian Cancer Charter—a call-to-action to all involved in the care of ovarian cancer survivors-patients—during the 2020 IGCS Annual Global Meeting in Rome.
  • Convene cancer site-specific partnership meetings and other forums that support the IGCS-initiated Global Advocacy Network focused on gynecologic cancers.
  • Integrate into IGCS, WOCC, and other international meetings, our individual organization-specific, mission-driven programming that supports advocacy broadly.

Together, IGCS and WOCC will amplify the global voices of gynecologic cancer survivors-patients and will prompt and accelerate change that expands awareness and options, improving survival rates and survivorship. To manage joint initiatives, each organization has a dedicated partnership lead—Dicey Jackson Scroggins, IGCS Director of Global Outreach & Engagement, and Clara MacKay, WOCC Executive Director.

We are well positioned to take on the challenges and excited by the opportunities to benefit women and families—wherever and under whatever circumstance they might live.


Mary Eiken, MS
IGCS Chief-Executive Officer

Congratulations to IGCS Global Curriculum Graduates!

Congratulations to the first three fellows completing their two-year training and final examinations through the IGCS Gynecologic Oncology Global Curriculum & Mentorship Program!

Dr. Benjamin Elly Odongo
Moi University Hospital, Kenya
Dr. Jerome Katumba
Uganda Cancer Institute
Dr. Mariam Nabwire
Uganda Cancer Institute

The Global Curriculum was established in 2017 under the leadership of then-IGCS President, Michael Quinn. It is a comprehensive education, training, and mentorship program designed for regions around the world that do not currently have formal training in gynecologic oncology. There are now 12 training sites utilizing the IGCS program under the leadership and guidance of Drs. Tom Randall and Linus Chuang.

The program at Moi University in Kenya has been in place for about 10 years, producing a number of gynecologic cancer specialists practicing in Kenya and Uganda. Dr. Benjamin Elly Odongo is the first to complete the Moi University program with the IGCS Global Curriculum in place. The program at the Uganda Cancer Institute was initiated more recently in 2017, utilizing the IGCS Global Curriculum from the start. Notably, Drs. Mariam Nabwire and Jerome Katumba are the first gynecologic oncologists to be trained locally in Uganda.

Instrumental to the program’s success is the hard work of the fellows, local faculty and administrators at each facility who are committed to implementing the curriculum and working to ensure its sustainability over time. We also acknowledge the dedication and support of the international mentors from established institutions and faculty contributors who participate in monthly Project ECHO virtual tumor board video conferences. Finally, we’d like to thank Dr. Allan Covens for his efforts as Chair of the Final Examination Committee.

To learn more about the program, please download the 2019 Annual Report.

Those who would like to learn more about how to contribute to the mentorship and training aspects of this program, please email

Dr. Benjamin Elly Odongo
Moi University Hospital, Kenya
Fellowship Training Completed: 2019

“The IGCS Fellowship, especially the time spent to prepare for the ECHO tumor boards made me realize that no matter how busy I thought I was, I had to find time for reading, or surrender myself to self-chosen ignorance.

Having local mentors made me understand that there are abilities within us which have not yet been developed and can be developed further particularly the skills to manage patients with gynecological malignancies locally, the resource limitations notwithstanding.

The international mentors and the time spent at The University of Toronto led me to the discovery of the fundamental fact that we are continually learning new things and that the problems which perplex us in our part of the world can be solved through leadership, research and commitment. I am therefore proceeding to advocate for implementation of cancer prevention strategies, support efforts towards improving the capacity to make accurate cancer diagnosis, provision of treatment including palliative and end of life care.”

See more about the program in Kenya.

Dr. Jerome Katumba
Uganda Cancer Institute
Fellowship Training Completed: 2019

“I am extremely excited by the great achievement of completing the IGCS Fellowship and becoming one of the first gynecologic oncologists locally trained in Uganda. This fellowship has enriched my knowledge and skills in the field of gynecologic oncology and has completely changed my approach and practice in the management of patients.

I extend my sincere gratitude to my local and external mentors who toiled to impart us with the knowledge and skills during the training. I am also beholden by the hospitality and shadowing experience I enjoyed from the staff of the University of California San Francisco Hospital, North Carolina University Hospital and Duke University Hospital.

Bravo IGCS Fellowship Team! Keep the candle burning.”

Dr. Mariam Nabwire
Uganda Cancer Institute
Fellowship Training Completed: 2019

“The cogitation to initiate the gynecologic oncology fellowship training program in Uganda is a great turning point. The extensive support provided by the IGCS, our external mentors, and the local mentors has led to a successful fellowship program.

I am honored to be one of the first two gynecologic oncologists trained in Uganda. We plan to set up the Uganda gynecologic oncology association to ensure quality and sustainability of gynecologic oncology services in Uganda and Africa at large.”

See more about the program in Uganda.

Thoughts from Mentors & Leaders

“Congratulations to the first three international fellows to pass the final exam for the IGCS Gynecologic Oncology Global Curriculum and Mentorship Program. We are incredibly proud of our fellows and want to thank our local and international mentors for their dedication and support. Together they are changing the care and outcomes of women with gynecologic cancers around the globe.”

– Dr. Kathleen Schmeler (MD Anderson Cancer Center)
IGCS Mentorship & Training Committee Chair & International Mentor for the Mozambique Fellowship Program

“This is a really important day for IGCS. The implications for the care of women from disadvantaged backgrounds are enormous and truly reflect our mission to improve outcomes by teaching and training. Our challenge now is to get the resources to expand the program and to ensure that our new international specialists continue to be supported. Sincere congratulations to all concerned.”

-Dr. Michael Quinn
IGCS Past President and Founder of the Global Curriculum & Mentorship Program

“I am immensely proud of Mariam Nabwire and Jerome Katumba for their achievement in successfully completing their fellowship. They are the first two fellows to graduate from the Uganda program. Their success embodies all the efforts from the current local faculty including Drs. Anthony Okoth, Jane Namugga, Carolyn Nakisige, Judith Ajeani, Miriam Nakalembe; and from the administration including Drs. Jackson Orem, Annettee Nakimuli, and Nixon Niyonzima.

The initial vision for gynecologic oncology sub-specialization came from the prior Head of Department for Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Josaphat Byamugisha, almost 10 years ago. With his leadership combined with Dr. Jackson Orem, the Director of the Uganda Cancer Institute, and leadership from Makerere University, Mulago Hospital, and the Ministry of Health, the gynecologic oncology fellowship in Uganda began in October 2017.

The partnership with IGCS strengthened the curriculum and processes to achieve excellence in the quality of training. With IGCS funding support, Jerome and Mariam were able to complete an 8 week observership in the United States that they both found very meaningful for their training. In addition, the support from other passionate global educators from IGCS has been very rewarding to me.

I am very grateful for the commitment of all the external mentors, especially Dr. Stefanie Ueda. With her experience, I learned how to navigate mentorship and leadership in a challenging setting with many stakeholders involved. I owe many thanks to Duke, especially Dr. Andrew Berchuck, who supported and believed in me to make a difference. Finally, I am grateful to the women in Uganda to trust their care in us as we continue to do our best to improve their gynecologic oncology outcomes.”

-Dr. Paula Lee (Duke University Hospital)
International Mentor for the Uganda Fellowship Program

“On behalf of myself and Dr. Barry Rosen, and the local supervisors Drs. Omenge, Tonui, and Itsura, we congratulate Dr. Elly Benjamin on his successful completion of the IGCS Global Curriculum in Gynecologic Oncology. He is a special and unique individual. We are proud of both his accomplishments, and the tremendous success of our program at Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya.

Our program has been running for approximately 10 yrs, and has produced a number of gynecologic oncologists currently practicing in Kenya and Uganda. Dr. Benjamin’s accomplishment as one of the first to formally pass the IGCS training program in gynecologic oncology highlights his and our success, and is inspiring for all training programs and individuals working in low resource countries.

The collaborative efforts of the IGCS team, combined with the dedication of the international mentors, local supervisors, in addition to all the individuals participating on the monthly ECHO calls embodies the value and importance this initiative is to so many.

We hope Elly is just one of many such individuals to successfully complete this training program in the future.”

-Dr. Allan Covens (University of Toronto and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center)
International Mentor for the Moi University Fellowship Program

Renew your Membership for 2020

It’s that time of year! If your membership is set to expire on December 31st, please make sure to renew so that we may continue to serve you in 2020.

IGCS, being a member driven organization, relies on the members to support us in many ways – including renewing your membership. This past year, we’ve accomplished a lot thanks to your support and the contributions of our members. I hope you will renew your membership so you can continue receiving member benefits like these. Here are just a few examples of what we’ve accomplished in 2019:

In 2020, we hope to accomplish even more.

We plan to bring our members an enhanced online education experience, including a palliative care certificate program and dedicated resources for pathology and radiation oncology.

2020 is an election year for new Officers and Council Members, so make sure to renew your membership so you can vote in the upcoming election – or apply for a position on the council.

Please sign in to your member account and submit your membership dues for 2020 or pay in advance up to three years. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact the IGCS Membership Manager, Cathy Fearing at

As always, we thank you for your continued dedication. We look forward to serving you for another year!

Mary Eiken, MS

IGCS Growth in Latin America: Chile, Peru & Mexico

IGCS Members and Friends,

Over the past several years, IGCS has curated relationships with many Latin American regional groups, supporting a variety of educational courses over the years, leading up to the recent successful IGCS Meeting in Rio de Janeiro. IGCS is uniquely positioned to provide programs and resources to help strengthen local societies and connect the members in these regional societies to a global network of gynecologic oncologists to share experiences and knowledge.

Since the launch of our Strategic Alliance Partner program in 2017, IGCS Membership representation in Latin America has increased by over 400 percent, growing from 99 to 423 members.

The IGCS Council is grateful for the efforts of Dr. René Pareja (Colombia) who has been instrumental in helping IGCS identify the many diverse needs in the region.

I am pleased to announce that the Chilean Society of Gynecologic Oncology and the Peruvian Society of Gynecological Oncology recently joined our Strategic Alliance Partner Program. And earlier this year, the Mexican College of Gynecologic Oncology invited us to their congress to promote IGCS membership.

Chilean Society of Gynecologic Oncology

The Chilean Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SCHIGO) has joined the IGCS Strategic Alliance Partnership bringing a total of 44 Chilean members to our global community. SCHIGO was established in 2001 to promote the study of gynecologic cancer in Chile.

At the recent IGCS Meeting in Rio de Janeiro, IGCS President, Roberto Angioli met with the President of SCHIGO, Dr. Clemente Arab to discuss and finalize a partnership between our organizations.

This is not the first time that IGCS and SCHIGO have worked together to bring education and training to Chile; we collaborated in 2015 to host a regional meeting in Santiago.

Peruvian Society of Gynecologic Oncology

We are also pleased to announce that the Peruvian Society of Gynecological Oncology joined the Strategic Alliance Partner Program bringing the total of our Peruvian members up to 113. Gorky Bances Neyra, the current President of Society, was instrumental in securing this partnership.

The Peruvian Society of Gynecological Oncology was founded in 1995 to promote educational and training activities in the area of gynecology oncology for its members and interested health professionals. The membership is multi-disciplinary in nature and includes members specializing in gynecologic oncology, surgical oncology, pathology, nuclear medicine, medical oncology, radiotherapy, and genetics.

This is our second Strategic Alliance Partner group from Peru.

Mexican College of Gynecologic Oncology

Earlier this year, IGCS was invited to Querétaro, Mexico for the 1st Congress of the Mexican College of Gynecologic Oncology (CMOG) by the President, Dr. Victor Manuel Vargas Hernández and Vice President, Dr. Guillermo Sidney Herbert Nuñez.

At the meeting, Dr. René Pareja presented the benefits of IGCS membership to congress attendees and encouraged them to join.. Our staff was received with enthusiasm, and nearly 50 new members joined our society during the 2-day congress bringing our total of members practicing in Mexico to 70.

Overall, the event was a huge success in beginning to develop a reciprocal relationship with the gynecologic oncology professionals in Mexico. This was a great opportunity and we hope to have the chance to visit many more regional groups to further accomplish the IGCS mission to improve the care of women worldwide.

Our conversations with regional leaders in Latin American have made us aware that issues of interest include pre-invasive cervical cancer management, new management approaches to breast cancer, enhanced laparoscopic surgery and updated tumor staging. These topics were incorporated into the IGCS Annual Global Meeting recently held in Brazil.

We are so grateful to our partners, members, and supporters who – along with us – live our mission every day. If you have any questions or comments about partnering with the IGCS please contact me directly at


Mary Eiken, MS

Welcome, Russia!

I am pleased to announce that Russia has joined the Strategic Alliance Partnership Program.

Over the past two years, myself and other IGCS leaders have met with representatives from the Russian Society of Oncologists in Cancer of Reproductive System at several international meetings that we both attended to discuss opportunities for collaboration and IGCS programs of interest them. We found that the IGCS Annual Global Meeting, among others, is an excellent opportunity for engagement – especially now that our Scientific Program Committee structure has become more regionally diverse. There is excitement around our virtual tumor boards and reaching a broader audience with Russia. We are glad to welcome representatives from Russia to ensure that IGCS meetings will meet the interests and needs of our international partners.

I’d like to thank Prof. Kirill Zhordania (President), Prof. Alexey Shevchuk, and Prof. Vsevolod Matveev (Council Members) of the Society of Oncologists in Cancer of Reproductive System for working with us to create this partnership.

We are also very grateful to Dr. Sophia Michaelson from the American Eurasia Cancer Alliance for her involvement in facilitating IGCS partnerships not only with Russia, but other Eurasian countries such as Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan. Sophia noted

As the International Gynecological Cancer Society continues successful outreach in Eurasia, this strategic partnership with the Russian Society of Oncologists in Cancer of Reproductive Systems will generate tremendous benefits in the areas of clinical practice, research and palliative care affecting millions of patients throughout Russia and neighboring counties.

Russia is the largest country in the world extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe made up of 83 federal areas. It is the ninth most populous country with 146.8 million people with about 77% of inhabitants living in the Western European part of the country.

After breast cancer, the second most frequent cancer in women is colorectal cancer, followed by endometrial and cervical cancer.

The main challenges that Russia is facing regarding the burden of gynecologic cancers is not unlike the challenges of many other countries. This includes the need for increased awareness and public access to information, strategies for increased prevention and early detection of cancer, palliative care programs, and the need for more skilled physicians trained in gynecologic oncology.

International collaboration and exchange of medical knowledge and research is extremely valuable in reducing the burden of cancer and enhancing care worldwide. It is this collaboration and exchange of ideas that IGCS is working towards in bringing our Strategic Alliance Partners together into a global community.

As we welcome our friends and colleagues from Russia, we look forward to working with them in achieving our common goals to improve outcomes for women affected by gynecologic cancers.


Mary Eiken, MS

Early Career Network

Announcing the New Early Career Research & Publications Network

IGCS Members & Friends,

As recently communicated by our President, Roberto Angioli, IGCS is forming an Early Career Research & Publications Network to provide our members, who are early in their careers with a support system consisting of peers and mentors to discuss research, publishing and writing. The network will also afford members the opportunity to develop and promote research projects either individually or with colleagues who share mutual interests.

I am excited to have three volunteer mentors to help me with the network. They are very experienced in career development, mentorship, publishing and scientific presentations. These individuals will regularly communicate with members of the network to stimulate research ideas, provoke and moderate discussions, and facilitate collaborations within the network via zoom (video) teleconferences.

Elena Ioana Braicu, MD, PhD
Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin – Germany
Network Mentor

Sean Dowdy, MD
Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN
United States
Network Mentor
Francesco Plotti, MD, PhD
Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma – Italy
Network Mentor

This network is open to IGCS members who are dedicated to the care of women with gynecologic cancers and are within the first five years of practice following completion of their training. It will convene via video conference, online discussion boards and in-person meetings at the IGCS Annual Global Meeting.

Eligible early career members may request to join the network by completing this brief online form. Nonmembers who are interested should first become a member of the IGCS, then request to join the network. Questions or comments regarding the network may be directed to the IGCS Membership Manager, Cathy Fearing at

On behalf of the IGCS leadership, we are thrilled to offer this networking opportunity to our early career members. I truly believe mentorship and collaboration among peers will aid in the development of our young members and facilitate new research to improve women’s cancer care worldwide. This is a true investment in our future.


I look forward to receiving the completed forms and kicking off our network in the coming months.

Robert Coleman, MD
IGCS President-Elect

Welcome Malaysia, Peru & the Caribbean!

IGCS welcomes three societies bringing a total of 127 new members to the Strategic Alliance Partnership Program:

The Caribbean
The Caribbean Gynecologic Cancer Society (CGCS) has joined the IGCS Strategic Alliance Partner bringing 43 Caribbean members to our international community. Dr. Raleigh Butler, the Program Director of the Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship at the University of the West Indies Bahamas led the charge in securing this partnership. CGCS was founded in 2015 and is made up of physicians specializing in gynecologic oncology from the University of the West Indies (UWI) campuses of Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados and Bahamas.
With different cultures, governments, political histories and populations, the standards of medical facilities can vary from island to island. Recent research revealed that the Bahamas has the highest occurrence of BRCA-positivity in the world. Cervical cancer incidence is 22.1 per 100,000 in the UWI campus countries combined.

Acknowledging that the region had a wealth of talented individuals who had trained at home and overseas, the UWI campuses initiated a collaborative approach to fighting gynecological malignancies across the region. The IGCS Global Curriculum and Mentorship Program has been implemented at the UWI campuses in Jamaica and the Bahamas.

Now through the Strategic Alliance, we look forward to working with CGCS on additional collaborative initiatives for the benefit of women’s cancer control in the Caribbean.

Please join us in welcoming 43 new members from the Malaysian Gynecological Cancer Society ( MGCS ) to the IGCS Strategic Alliance Partner Program. We would like to thank Dr. Vicknesh Visvalingam , Senior Consultant Gynecological Oncologist & MGCS President in securing our partnership.

Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia with a population of over 33 million. Cervical, ovarian and uterine cancers are among the top 10 most common cancers among Malaysian women. Much has been achieved in improving gynecological oncology services in Malaysia in the past 50 years. There is a structured program under the purview of the Ministry of Health Malaysia to increase the number of gynecological oncologists in order to cope with the burden of gynecological cancers in the country.
In 2001, the first gynecologic oncology training center was established in the northern region of Malaysia and today there are 12 recognized hospitals providing training. Most major Malaysian hospitals currently have one or two trained gynecologic oncologists to serve the public. With the support from the Ministry of Health Malaysia, academic Institutions and the Obstetrics and Gynecology Society of Malaysia, MGCS has been involved in various training programs, conferences, workshops, and in training and educating the public.

MGCS organizes the Biennial National Gynaecological Oncology Conference and is also involved in preparing the Malaysian Clinical Practice Guidelines on site specific gynecological cancers as well as research projects. We look forward to working with MGCS in furthering our joint goals to improve women’s cancer care in Malaysia.

Finally, Dr. Aldo López Blanco and nurse Ninoska Eugenia Macavilca Luyo were instrumental in securing a partnership with the Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Neoplasicas-Peru, bringing 44 gynecologic oncologists into the IGCS Strategic Alliance.

With a population of 32 million, Peru is located on the west coast of South America where one-third of the total population lives in Lima, the capital city. When it comes to cancer control, Peru has unique challenges because this concentration of population in only one city contributed to structural, infrastructural and procedural barriers for the Peruvian health system. Cervical and breast cancer are a leading cause of death among women in Peru.

The National Institute of Neoplastic Diseases, better known as INEN, is a Peruvian public hospital managed by the Ministry of Health of Peru that has a national responsibility for cancer prevention, detection, treatment, education, and research. The INEN has organized satellite treatment centers and cancer prevention offices in many parts of the country in an effort to decentralize cancer control services and reduce gaps in geographic and economic access.

In the past decade alone, much work has been done to mobilize policies and actions for the prevention and control of cancer in Peru though the commitment of INEN, the National Government of Peru’s Ministries of Health and Finance and through international collaborations with the global health community. IGCS looks forward to assisting our colleagues in Peru with their tireless efforts to reduce the incidence of gynecologic cancers in the region.

We are glad to welcome our most recent partners into the IGCS global community and look forward to collaborating and developing strategies to utilize our strengths to achieve our common goals.

CEO Update March 2019

Society News & Updates from Mary Eiken, IGCS CEO

March 2019

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Grants $12 million for the Prevention of Cervical Cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa

It has recently been announced that USAID, in partnership with the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, will provide $12 million to fund two large projects to reduce cervical cancer in Malawi and Mozambique from March 2019 – September 2021.

One of the projects receiving $5.1 million is a consortium between The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo (Mozambique) to integrate existing screening and treatment technologies with voluntary family planning programs, while testing the feasibility and efficacy of innovative diagnostic tests for HPV. Kathleen Schmeler, MD is the PI for the grant.

While the project is multifaceted, IGCS is a partner organization as Maputo Central Hospital in Mozambique is one of the first training sites enrolled in the IGCS Global Curriculum and Mentorship Program. Currently with three fellows in their second year of training, Kathleen serves as one of the IGCS international mentors for the program along with five gynecologic oncologists from Brazil (Georgia Fontes-Cintra, André Lopes, Renato Moretti, Mila Salcedo, Marcelo Viera). The international mentors travel to Mozambique multiple times per year to provide hands-on surgical training. Patients diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer as part of this grant will be able to access gynecologic oncology care thanks to the IGCS program in Mozambique.

We are thrilled for the IGCS to serve as a partner in this USAID/NASEM funded work to reduce the global burden of cervical cancer.

Revised FIGO Staging for Carcinoma of the Cervix Uteri

FIGO has recently published revised staging of carcinoma of the cervix uteri, allowing incorporation of imaging and/or pathological findings, and clinical assessment of tumor size and disease. Care was taken to ensure staging is applicable to all resource areas. You will recall, IGCS reached out to many of our members and strategic alliance partners for feedback and input. Subsequently, IGCS was represented at a meeting hosted by FIGO. We are pleased with the updated guidelines and glad for the opportunity to represent our global membership. We look forward to providing feedback in upcoming FIGO projects including revisions to vulvar and endometrial cancer staging guidelines.

World Health Organization Initiative for the Elimination of Cervical Cancer

IGCS continues to work with the World Health Organization to collaborate in response to a call to action made by the Director-General, Dr. Tedros, in May 2018 for the Elimination of Cervical Cancer. Seven Working Groups have been formed under the WHO-led Secretariat to accelerate work on the various elements of this initiative with IGCS remaining very involved.  Please see the IGCS statement committing our support of the WHO Initiative for the Elimination of Cervical Cancer, which has been endorsed by IGCS’s Strategic Alliance Partner organizations.

2019 Shingo Fujii Young Doctors Summit Travel Grant

Following the legacy of Dr. Shingo Fujii, IGCS will again provide funding to IGCS Members from low and lower-middle income countries to offset travel costs to attend the IGCS Global Meeting in Rio de Janeiro. Applications are currently being accepted through March 27, 2019.

At the Annual Global Meeting in Rio 2019, early career professionals and those selected to be Shingo Fujii Young Doctors Summit Grant Recipients are invited to attend one of two sessions listed below on Thursday, September 19th. A special reception for young doctors will be held that evening to allow early career professionals an opportunity to network and socialize.

  • Learning from the Experts: IGCS 2019 Surgical Course
  • Clinical Application of Molecular Genetics to the Classification and Staging of Endometrial Cancer: A Multidisciplinary and Interactive Course

New Content in the IGCS Education Portal

Over 80 recorded presentations from IGCS Kyoto 2018 are currently being added to the online Education Library. Members have continual access to presentations going back as far as 2014 sorted by topic.

Recently added is access to over 1,200 surgical videos now available to IGCS members through our partnership with AAGL in their online platform, SurgeryU. Our education team will be adding videos to SurgeryU on a special IGCS channel over the course of the coming weeks.

Submit your Abstract for IGCS 2019 by April 1st

Original abstracts are an important part of the IGCS program and a significant contribution to the success of our meeting. When you share your work at the IGCS Annual Global Meeting, your research is exposed to the largest gathered international audience of specialists dedicated to women’s cancer care.

Please review the abstract topics and submit your work by April 1st for consideration by the Scientific Program Committee. They have added many new additional oral opportunities for presentation at the meeting this year.

SurgeryU Available to IGCS Members

New Surgical Resources for IGCS Members through AAGL Partnership

We are pleased to announce a that over 1200 surgical resources are now available to IGCS members through our new partnership with the AAGL. Formerly known as the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, AAGL has a membership extending over 110 countries with over 7,000 members across the globe. The mission of AAGL is to focus on the ultimate goal of improving patient care in gynecologic medicine, AAGL recognizes that surgical gynecologists and other clinicians require lifelong learning.

A partnership with AAGL is a natural fit, as they seek to broaden their exposure and reach more global parts of the world and we at IGCS seek to provide all our members globally with a wide spectrum of surgical content. We are confident that our partnership will continue to grow and evolve to other important areas within both organizations.

About SurgeryU
The function of SurgeryU is to deliver high-quality, high-definition surgical video to members of the AAGL and our partner societies through our live and on-demand video library.

Member Access to SurgeryU

  • Visit  
  • Within the login window, select IGCS Member from the Society drop-down menu.
  • Members will be redirected to the IGCS website for authentication.
  • Successful authentication will redirect Members to SugeryU with full access.

Watch this quick tutorial video to learn how to use the SurgeryU platform to search for content, create playlists, save favorites and more!

Key Statistics about SurgeryU

  • Primary focus is to educate gynecologic surgeons of all levels on minimally invasive surgical techniques.
  • The library consists of over 1,200 Surgical videos.
  • Since 2009, SurgeryU live events have accrued over 1.5 million minutes of viewing time.
  • SurgeryU has been viewed by AAGL members in over 110 countries.
  • Content is peer-reviewed.
  • Partner societies now have SSO access through their respective membership portals.

New features incorporated in SurgeryU, developed with trainee education in mind:

  • An upgraded search engine to allow for finding videos faster and easier. Videos can now be searched by author, keywords, or type of content.
  • Mobile friendly.
  • Full length, narrated videos that appeal to learners of all levels.
  • Ability to share links which allows the user to send and share specific videos with other surgeons.
  • Ability to create playlists and save favorites.

Acknowledgements and Future Plans
Under the direction of our education leadership Drs. Ritu Salani, Ane Gerda Eriksson and Vance Broach, we are reviewing and creating special channels of content that they feel will be of great interest to our members. They are also creating new content for the SurgeryU platform that will be shared with both our membership and the AAGL when appropriate. This will allow us to utilize the innovative and specialized technology that the SurgeryU platform provides. For now, please take the time to become familiar with the platform and we will alert you when new education is launched.

We are extremely grateful for the leadership of Drs. Gary Frishman AAGL Immediate Past President, Jubilee Brown AAGL Vice President and IGCS Volunteer Leader and the entire AAGL Executive Board. Dr. Suketu Mansuria who is the AAGL Surgical Video Editor has been instrumental in delivering these valuable resources to you our members.

We hope that you find value in SurgeryU and become acquainted with the new educational content that is now available to you through your IGCS Membership. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Mandy Hansen at


Roberto Angioli, MD
IGCS President

Mary Eiken, MS