IPVC2018 was held at the new Sydney International Convention Centre from October 2-6th, and we were delighted to welcome over 1,300 delegates from 79 countries to the meeting. The theme was “Global Control of HPV Disease” and a major focus was the recent World Health Organisation’s call-to-action for cervical cancer elimination, and its implications for cervical cancer control and for the long term control of other HPV related cancers.
A highlight of the IPVC2018 Opening Ceremony was an overview of the aims and work plan towards cervical cancer elimination, from WHO Assistant Director-General Dr Princess Nothemba Simelela, and this was followed by an opening plenary by Ian Frazer. Other highlights of the conference included the very successful parallel pre-conference workshops in the basic sciences, clinical and public health tracks, which were well attended, as well as early career researcher networking and training sessions – a new innovation for IPVC. We had a range of very topical plenary talks on issues ranging from the immunology of HPV by Margaret Stanley, to vaccine supply challenges from Peter Dull, to the prospects for global cervical cancer control and one dose vaccination from Doug Lowy. At the Closing Ceremony, Chris Wild, the outgoing Director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, gave an engaging perspective on the research needs to support the global push for elimination.
Despite the inauspicious early spring weather, we also had a lively and very successful social agenda at the conference – this included a welcome reception at the conference centre, a conference networking evening at the Luna Park amusement park on Sydney Harbour, and an Early Career Researcher Harbour Cruise.
The success of the conference was largely due to the very hard work by the Executive Scientific Committee (ESC), the local organising committee, and my ESC co-chair, Silvia De Sanjosé. I would like to thank all involved for their dedication and the work done over many years to prepare for the 2018 conference and to making this a great event. We look forward to IPVC in Barcelona in 2020!