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European Lupus Meeting 2014

This year’s European Lupus Meetings took place in Athens. Kirsten, Foula and Bernadette presented at the Patients forum and attended the scientific program.
Here is Bernadette’s impressions, and below, you can find some more detailed reports:

"As a member of the LUPUS EUROPE board, I was given the opportunity to participate in the 9th « European lupus meeting », which was held in Athens this year.
• Up to 400 people (mainly doctors) gave three days of their time to talk about lupus.
• The proportion of young researchers and young doctors was impressive. It is reassuring to know that the next generation is there to pick up where the others leave off. As the congress’ goal was to be of a modest size (nothing like the Eular congress with 12,000 attendees), it was very easy to talk to everyone there.
• Alongside the new doctors, were the “old hands” whose names come up at each congress: David Isenberg, Dimitri Boumpas, Nicolas Ruperto, Ronald Van Vollenhoven…
• Contrary to other congresses, this congress touches on all aspects of lupus. As a non-scientist, I therefore found it particularly interesting. Alongside presentations with excessively complex names that I wouldn’t even have understood in French (EFFECT OF SINGLE-NUCLEOTIDE POLYMORPHISMS ON TYPE I INTERFERON PRODUCTION BY PLASMACYTOID DENDRITIC CELLS STIMULATED WITH SLE-ASSOCIATED IMMUNE COMPLEXES), there were others such as: “Skin Lupus: Diagnosis and Treatment”, “Drugs in Pregnancy”, “Steroid free regimens: What are the data?”… As a result, any doctor looking to better care for his Lupus patients could find the means to perfect knowledge.
• For doctors unable to attend this congress, I learned of another interesting option: every two years, EULAR organises a week of intensive courses in Italy on Lupus.
• Right from the start, patients were actively involved in the congress. Kirsten Lerstrom’s participation started at the opening ceremony.

Attending a congress such as this is a real eye-opener and I am amazed at the progress made over the last ten years. We are now so far removed from that time where people sighed and said, “No-one is interested in Lupus”, “Doctors don’t listen to us”, “In any case, there’s never anything new in terms of treatment”… Now, everyone, including patients, doctors and pharmaceutical companies, is moving forwards towards a better future.

Bernadette Van Leeuw
Lupus Europe trustee

(Translation - Katharine Wheeler)