Attendees heading to this year’s annual meeting of the American Thyroid Association can expect to learn about the latest advances in thyroidology while taking part in educational, networking and professional development opportunities that foster collaboration and discussion of the latest cutting-edge research.
The 86th annual meeting, taking place from Sept. 21-25, will bring together more than 1,200 physicians, researchers and health care professionals in Denver to hear from experts on topics ranging from iodine in thyroid disorders, clinical management of low-risk thyroid cancer and challenges of thyroid imaging.
“In putting together the program this year, we focused on the fact that treatment of thyroid disease is multidisciplinary,” Stephanie Fish, MD, an endocrinologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and a program committee co-chair, told Endocrine Today. “The ATA is growing and now includes endocrinologists, surgeons, nuclear medicine physicians and pathologists. We wanted the program to incorporate this multidisciplinary approach.”
To accomplish that goal, meeting organizers worked closely with the surgical affairs committee to develop several sessions focusing on important issues in thyroid surgery, such as the need for central neck dissection and the appropriate extent of surgery, Fish said. Organizers also worked with the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging to develop sessions focusing on the use of pretreatment scans before radioactive iodine ablation and the use of radioactive iodine to treat distant metastasis.
Smaller debate sessions also give participants a chance to discuss controversies or new recommendations in a smaller environment and to ask questions, Fish said.
“Clinicians learn the current standards of care for selected thyroid diseases, and they get to review current controversies in clinical management of disease,” Peter Arvan, MD, PhD, division chief of metabolism, endocrinology and diabetes at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and program co-chair for the meeting committee, told Endocrine Today. “Researchers learn about mechanisms of thyroid disease, genes affecting thyroid diseases, and research into the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid diseases.”
This year’s meeting will include more major sessions designed for the combined audience of both clinicians and researchers, including the opening session, titled “Thyroid Breaking News,” and plenary lectures on circadian rhythms and the use of gene-editing technology.
“This unified design was a conscious choice in the programming,” Arvan said.
This year, the organization will pay tribute to colleague Peter Laurberg, MD, past president of the European Thyroid Association and an expert in the field of iodine and the thyroid, with a symposium developed in his honor, along with a lecture focusing on his contributions to the field, Fish said.
In addition, several sessions will focus on understanding the molecular basis of thyroid cancer, including the Paul Starr Award lecture by Michael Mingzhao Xing, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, on BRAF in prognostication of thyroid cancer, Fish said.
The E. Chester Ridgway Trainee conference, beginning Wednesday, Sept. 21, will provide lectures, workshops and case discussions for clinical, basic science and surgical trainees.
“Concurrent with the program, there are exceptional conferences going on with the Ridgway Trainee sessions, with presentations and moderators who are true experts in the field,” Arvan said. “For me, a highlight will be the Memorial Symposium to honor the passing of Peter Laurberg, including a featured talk by Stig Andersen [PhD, of the department of clinical medicine at Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark] highlighting the lifetime of exceptional work by Dr. Laurberg.”
The Endocrine Today and Healio.com will provide coverage from ATA 2016, including reports on the sessions, onsite video interviews and much more. For more information on the ATA agenda and registration, visit www.thyroid.org/86th-annual-meeting-ata/. – by Regina Schaffer
Disclosure: Arvan and Fish report no relevant financial disclosures.