BMB Spine Meeting Basel 2016

4 – 5 November 2016 in Basel, Switzerland

The former BB-Spine Meeting has already taken place four times in alternation in Budapest and Bologna. This year, the Congress was held for the first time in Basel. And so the „BB“ mutated to the „BBB“ Spine Meeting. The two initiators Prof. Stefano Boriani (Bologna, Italy – Rizzoli Institute) and Dr. Peter Varga (Budapest, Hungary – Budapest Health Center) are internationally renowned experts in the field of spinal tumor surgery.

They had created the meeting at that time to provide a platform for discussion and dissemination of knowledge and, last but not least, to create a network to work out problem-oriented solutions for complex medical questions. Due to the specific national circumstances, centers have emerged both in Hungary and in Italy, where not only the outstanding competence of the two chief physicians Varga and Boriani, but also patients from all over the country and beyond, are advised and treated. This results in the exceptionally high number of cases with tumor patients, which in turn means the expertise of the Both centers. Basel complements these two established European spinal tumor centers of excellence.

Although Basel can not compete with the absolute numbers. But with more than 40 years of experience in tumor surgery, also in the spinal column. Already in 1973 there was a Sacroma Center at the University of Basel established. The incidence of spinal tumors associated with an increasing average age, the immense scientific study material and the continuously increasing survival chances through improved tumor treatment require an intensive transfer of knowledge and experience.

Qualified treatment of vertebral tumors according to international standards is now only possible through an established experienced interdisciplinary team at technically appropriate centers. This is due to the relative scarcity of the spinal tumors, their different dignity, the specific position of the tumor and the very special effect on stability and endangering the neural structures. The problem is increased with an osteoporotic component. The therapy requires a very individual and interdisciplinary strategic approach with elements from the chemotherapeutic, radiotherapeutic and operative repertoire. The development of the last few years is rapid and requires a steady adaptation of the therapy to the scientific data. The reorganization of Orthopedic Spine Surgery and Neurosurgery, which was successfully achieved a few years ago with the creation of a department for „Spinal Surgery“ under the direction of the head physician Prof. Stefan Schären at Unispital Basel, the high technical standard of the clinic and above all the since decades! already weill established interdisciplinary tumorboard of the university hospital creates ideal conditions for the location Basel as a vertebral tumor center.

The „5th Bologna-Budapest-Basel Spine Meeting on Tumors & Osteoporosis“ in Basel served as a professional shoulder-shoulder and transfer of knowledge. Dr. Cordula Netzer, Senior Physician for Spinal Surgery at Unispital Basel, was responsible for the scientific program design and organization. The leading representatives of international spinal tumor surgery were invited, who, without exception, agreed to the pleasure of the organizers and came to Basel. Thus on the 4th of November, 35 speakers from 14 different nations were welcomed. The first day of the meeting was devoted exclusively to the treatment of the spine. Starting with the rare primary tumors followed by metastases of the spine. The unquestionably very experienced speakers presented the results of their clinical activities and studies and gave an update of current surgical techniques. Another highlight was the integrated AO Spine Symposium. The most recent studies and their results were presented under the direction of Prof. Charles Fisher (Vancouver, Canada) and Prof. Arjun Sahgal (Toronto, Canada) and other participants in the „AO Spine: Knowledge Forum“. The travel of Prof. Fisher & Prof Sahgal was made possible by the support of the Zaeslin-Teaching Grant. Furthermore, evidence-based treatment algorithms were presented. The „AO Spine Knowledge Forum“ consists of an interdisciplinary and international group of spine experts (surgeons / radio-oncologists and oncologists) who cooperate globally through multicenter studies and thus create the best possible knowledge

The focus of the second day – above all the problems of surgical care for the aging person and osteoporotic spine. Among other things, Prof. Schären & Prof. Suhm presented an innovative concept from the Unispital for the treatment optimization of these patients. Numerous case examples of problematic courses from the various centers were discussed very enthusiastically.

The event met with great interest from all participants. The discussions were lively. The congress room at the Radisson Blu Hotel Basel was fully occupied. The feedback from the auditorium, the speakers and the sponsors were consistently positive. An excellent start for the ambitious cooperation Triple-B and a good basis for further international networking of the tumor center Basel in the interest of the population of the region and beyond.