IOS 2016 Report

In the picturesque setting of Lough Eske, County Donegal, the 57th meeting of the Irish Otolaryngology Society was held in memoriam of a well respected and admired colleague, Professor Aongus Curran, who passed away tragically while fishing in his beloved hometown of Oughterard, Co Galway. The meeting was well attended by ENT surgeons of all stages, from both north and south of the border, and we had the privilege of welcoming Professor Jatin Shah to the IOS meeting as our Wilde discourser. Professor Shah is a world renowned leading head and neck surgeon based in Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, New York where he holds the Elliott W. Strong Chair in Head and Neck Oncology. He is a much sought-after speaker and has been the recipient of numerous international awards and honorary fellowships. He was joined by guest faculty members Professor Guy Andre, of Institut Jules Bordet and Université Libre de Bruxelles, and Miss Lisa Pitkin, of Royal Surrey County Hospital and Frimley Park Hospital, UK. We started by observing a minutes silence in Professor Curran’s honour, then proceeded with the first session - Head and Neck. This session encompassed a wide range of subjects from lip malignancies (St. James Hospital) to the management of esthesioneuroblastoma (Beaumont) to prognosticators in oropharyngeal SCC (Cork). A quick refreshment break preceded a touching eulogy for Professor Curran, delivered by his close friend Mr Nash Patil. Professor Shah then delivered a fascinating insight into the ‘myths’ surrounding thyroid cancer, shedding light on controversial issues such as the use of radioactive iodine and the issues surrounding the staging of this often indolent disease. A discussion panel of more complex thyroid cancer cases followed, led by Professor Paul O’Neill of Beaumont Hospital, Dublin. This included our guest speakers, along with leading Irish experts in the field Professor Conrad Timon, Mr John Kinsella, Mr Tom Moran and Mr Tadgh O’Dwyer. There was plenty of food for thought as we moved on to lunch to catch up with old friends and reflect on the topics already presented. The afternoon session opened with an update on quality of surgery in oral cavity cancer given by Professor Guy Andre. The next free paper session delivered a breadth of topics including vestibular function in children with cochlear implants (Belfast City Hospital) and a 20 year review of experience with schniederian papilloma (Cork). The former was awarded one of the Best Paper Prizes, and was presented by Dr A Kelly on behalf on Mr Toner. The poster adjudication ensued and this gave contenders of all levels, from medical students to specialist registrar, an opportunity to impress judges Mr Martin Donnelly (Waterford) and Ms Cate Scally (Antrim Area Hospital) with their research. The winning poster was Mr Ross O’Shea’s 3 year experience of Radiologically Inserted Gastrostomy Tubes (Cork). The last session of the day focused on otology, and new insights into the aetiology and treatment of tinnitus were proffered (St James), and experiences with both spontaneous involution of vestibular schwannoma (Beaumont) followed by facial nerve schwannoma were discussed.

A well-deserved night of good food and craic awaited, and the evenings events began with the Wilde discourse. We were fortunate to have such a highly acclaimed speaker, and Professor Shah did not disappoint with a scintillating overview of ‘A Century of Progress in Head and Neck Cancer’. The surroundings provided a perfect backdrop for what was a wonderful evening of fun and contemplation.

The following day’s free paper session concentrated on thyroid surgery, for example a review of thyroid lymphoma, and general head and neck surgery, such as a case report of Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease following on from from and RTA. After a short break, consultant updates from Dr Ranbir Kaulsay (Dublin) and Dr Heitham Gheriani (Vancouver) particularly concerning allergic rhinitis and inverting papilloma. The last panel of the meeting was chaired by Professor Shah and reminded us all of contemporary issues surrounding the management of head and neck malignancy. A well - merited prize for Best Paper was awarded to Ms. Karen Davies, who presented non-invasive and label-free detection of oral squamous cell carcinoma using saliva surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy and multivariate analysis on behalf of Professor Ivan Keogh (Galway). A clinical skills session run by Ms. Camilla Carroll, Ms. Helena Rowley and Mr. Robin Adair for all trainees closed the meeting. We were left inspired by the new outlooks that had been shared throughout the previous few days and looking forward to next year’s meeting, which is planned to be held in the west of Ireland, and will feature some exciting new features!

Emma Keane, ENT SpR,
Mr. Nash Patil, IOS Southern Secretary