Welcome Message

Message from the Mayor

It is my pleasure to extend greetings and a warm welcome to everyone attending the XX World Congress of Gestational Trophoblastic Diseases (ISSTD 2019) hosted by the International Society for the Study for Trophoblastic Diseases, University of Toronto Department of Ob/Gyn and the Division of Gyn Oncology.

This event provides a wonderful forum to help improve the knowledge of doctors, nurses, clinical chemists, pathologists and others involved in caring for women with a rare disease, gestational trophoblastic disease.

As Canada’s largest city and the fourth largest in North America, Toronto is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is dedicated to being a model of sustainable development. I welcome everyone to our city and encourage you to enjoy Toronto and learn about our vibrant neighbourhoods.

On behalf of Toronto City Council, please accept my best wishes for an informative and enjoyable event.

Yours truly,

John Tory
Mayor of Toronto

From the Canadian Congress Organizers

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the International Society for the Study of Trophoblastic Diseases (I.S.S.T.D.) and the Canadian Congress Planning Committee, welcome to the XXth biennial World Congress of our Society. This meeting is hosted by the University of Toronto Department of Ob/Gyn and the Division of Gyn Oncology, October 20-23, 2019.   We are excited to have been chosen as the venue for this, the XXth World Congress.

In Canada, trophoblastic disease has been treated by small groups of dedicated clinicians for over 50 years, among them Drs. Alon Dembo and Alan Gerulath. In Toronto, two units manage GTN, one at University Health Network (including Princess Margaret) and the other at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.  In addition to longstanding participation in the GOG/NCI, and latterly NRG, Canadian oncologists have long advocated within our Society for multi-centred, randomized trials as the best method to study (low-risk) trophoblastic disease. Canadian investigators have authored many of the Gynecologic Oncology Group phase 2 and 3 trials over the last 20 years, including studies #174, 176, 242 and the original concept for 275, an international, multi-armed, prospective study of primary management options for low-risk disease.  And Canadian investigators have attended, and actively participated in, every Congress of this Society save the first in Nairobi (1982).

This Congress will commence with an entire day devoted to learners and junior staff; the Sunday Education Day program staffed by world experts speaking on their own areas of expertise.  The 3-day plenary meeting (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) that follows will be augmented by a field trip to the Niagara Falls region on Tuesday afternoon and evening, culminating in a cocktail reception and gala dinner in a Niagara vineyard.  From among several themes, the plenary meeting will highlight Nursing’s evolving role within our Society and their major contribution to the care of trophoblastic patients.  Professor Ernest Kohorn has kindly offered to review the previous 19 Congresses and speak about the formalization of the Society at the Tbilisi meeting in 2000. And finally, a pre-existing U. of T. mentorship program with Kenya oncologists and this Societies outreach to nurture and support a GTN program there will be presented.

The Canadian oncology community looks forward to greeting our many Society friends and spouses and to welcoming many new learners, nurses and oncologists to the city of Toronto and to Canada. 

Please come and enjoy cosmopolitan, multi-cultural Toronto and all it has to offer.


Ray Osborne, MD   
Congress Chair
Jason Dodge, MD
Program Co-chair
Rima Slim, PhD
  Geneviève Bouchard-Fortier, MD   
Program Co-chair
Cathy Popadiuk, MD


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