Publication / Gender medicine & oncology
The relevance of sex and gender with regard to disease biology and outcomes and response to treatment is now a well-studied and increasingly documented phenomenon in many areas of medicine.The European Society for Medical Oncology elected to address this issue, with specific regard to oncology, during a multidisciplinary workshop last year-end at the CHUV.
The event was organised in collaboration with Dr Dorothea Wagner of the Service of medical oncology and several other entities, notably the CHUV's radiology and pharmacology services and the University of Lausanne's Department of biochemistry and several international key opinion leaders in oncology and related disciplines; Pr Michel Ducreux from Insititut Gustave Roussy, Paris, Pr Valery Lemmens from the Netherlands Cancer Registry and PrJohn Haaanen from the Netherlands Cancer Institute. (Full report and consensus statement in the October 2018 issue of the Annals of Oncology. See link.)
The key conclusion emanating from the event was that sex and gender as modulators of disease biology and treatment outcomes are currently largely unexplored in oncology. However, taking into account the increasing evidence for sex differences in cancer biology and drug effects, especially in diseases with significant differences in outcomes or epidemiology, men and women with non-sex-related cancers should no longer be considered as subgroups, but as biologically distinct groups of patients for whom specific treatment approaches warrant consideration.
In recognition of the overall importance of sex- and gender specific medicine, the Universities of Zürich and Berne are now offering a "Certificate for advanced studies" (CAS) on Sex- and gender-specific medicine. Drs Wagner and Oezdemir of the CHUV will be part of the teaching staff of this new syllabus.
Image (c) CAS in Sex and Gender Specific medicine website/UniBe & UZH