The four-day Annual World Congress of the PVRI in Singapore attracted almost 250 registrants and covered a variety of topics related to the pulmonary vascular system. These encompassed the entire range from high-end basic science through to novel therapeutic developments and patient-orientated perspectives. Speakers and discussants came from around the world to meet in a most interactive and open scientific atmosphere, benefiting from the translational spirit to which the PVRI consortium is dedicated.
As always, these meetings seek to engage our young scientists and give them the opportunity to expose their science to critical review in the scientific programme. In addition to traditional poster-sessions, delegates were given the opportunity to showcase their work in one-slide presentations at the end of each main session.
The opening session focused on recent advances in our understanding of the genetics of pulmonary hypertension. The discussions fed well into subsequent discussions of the need and opportunities for deep molecular phenotyping of patients and personalised medicine. The identification of relevant patient-subgroups based on their “omic” profiles for both understanding of disease related risks as well as assignment to specific treatments was very actively discussed.
The Annual World Congress also draws on insights from outside the field of pulmonary vascular biology. This year we heard from local scientists who had made exceptional observations on the molecular drivers of fibrosis and epigenetics. In recognition of our local hosts, Professors Ju Le Tan and James Yip, from Singapore, a session was dedicated to topics of particular interest and relevance to physicians and scientists from the Asia-Pacific region. These included pulmonary hypertension during pregnancy, congenital heart disease and pulmonary hypertension in critical care. New ties and connections were built up, which in future will result in stronger integration of Asian-Pacific countries into international research programmes.
Clinical case presentations drew on experience from all medical disciplines and ensured a lively and interactive discussion of best practice in the management of pulmonary hypertension in all its forms, including chronic thromboembolic disease, chronic obstructive airways disease and heart failure. PVRI brings together not only physicians and scientists but also members of regulatory bodies, representatives from the pharmaceutical industry and local patient associations. This ensured an active discussion of standardized clinical trial protocols, novel end-points, and approval processes. Discussions around these relevant topics will be continued during the upcoming PVRI Precision Medicine meeting in April 2018 and the PVRI 5th Annual Drug Discovery & Development Symposium in July 2018 (both in the US).
The feedback received suggests that the meeting was an enjoyable success. Participants rated highly the quality of the programme and the speakers and of course the venue and our hosts helped. PVRI was frequently mentioned as “the platform” for anybody interested in the entire field of pulmonary vascular disease! Could there be a better compliment?