The scientific programme for this year's ESC Congress, which will take place in Paris from 27-31 August, is now complete and promises to provide journalists with a rich source of front-page news stories and background for topical features.
The spotlight of ESC Congress 2011 will be "controversial issues in cardiology"; many sessions in the prearranged programme specifically reflect the dilemmas and difficulties in treating cardiovascular disease, and this, says ESC President Professor Michel Komajda, is at the heart of this year's programme. "We don't have consensus in many areas of treatment and prevention," he says, "and these issues will be explored in the scientific programme and in many of the press conferences."
ESC Congress 2011 will take place at the Parc des Expositions, Paris Nord Villepinte, Paris, and journalists planning to attend are invited to register via the congress press section of the ESC website (www.escardio.org/about/press/esc-congress-2011/Pages/registration-facilities.aspx).
This year's ESC Congress in Paris is expected to attract more than 30,000 registered participants (as well as 750 registered press), making it the largest medical meeting in the world. In cardiology, says Professor Komajda, the ESC Congress has indisputably become the number one international event, reflected in the high number of submissions from non-European countries and in participant registrations. Indeed, more abstract submissions for 2011 were received from Japan than from any other country, and, while early registrations are highest from France and Germany, both Brazil and Japan figure prominently.
Press support in Paris will be concentrated on three press conferences per day (from Sunday to Tuesday), which are led each morning by the late-breaking results of trials selected for Hot Line sessions. These are studies (many of which are reported simultaneously and under embargo in the leading medical journals) whose outcomes will shape the treatment of cardiovascular disease in the years to come, and which traditionally provide front-page news across the world. This year, Hot Line sessions will feature results from major trials in coronary intervention and device treatments, acute coronary syndromes, and cardiovascular risk. Among the many high-profile studies to be reported in full this year is the phase III ARISTOTLE trial in the prevention of stroke in atrial fibrillation. "We are all eager to hear these results," says Professor Komajda.
The year of the registry
Among the many study reports submitted for the Hot Line and Clinical Trial Update sessions were results from several registries, many deemed so important that two dedicated registry sessions have now been introduced into the late-breaking scientific programme. "Registry data has been a big trend this year," says Professor Komajda, "and the presentations bring a new insight into how we manage our cardiovascular patients."
The press conference programme will also feature developments derived from smaller studies submitted as abstracts collected under the headings of devices in heart failure, mood and CVD risk, lifestyle, gender differences (in treatment and risk), atrial fibrillation (described as the new "epidemic" in heart disease), interventional cardiology, and the future. This year, these press presentations have been selected with an eye on their public health appeal and public interest, and we are sure many of the smaller studies featured will provide attractive news angles. This year saw a record 10,881 abstracts submitted for the free communication sessions, of which 4300 have been selected.
Continuing from its new introduction in 2010 is a one-day programme on Saturday 27 August for primary care physicians and nurses. The programme is open to all but has been designed particularly with French participants in mind, and this too may provide much local press interest. The congress's opening press conference will also take place on this Saturday, at 11.00 am.
This is the first time that an ESC Congress has been held in Paris since 1980, when around 6000 took part. The City of Paris has committed its highest support to the congress in 2011, and the location has huge worldwide appeal. Professor Komajda, from the Pitié Salpetrière Hospital in Paris, says: "Although the location is attractive and should undoubtedly be a great hit with our delegates, what remains paramount is that cardiologists convene from all over the world to exchange experiences."
ESC Congress 2011 promises once again to be the world's major event in cardiovascular medicine. Press releases in support of the press conferences will be issued under embargo a few days in advance. And in the meantime, we encourage you to mark the dates in your diary, and to contact the ESC press office for further information.