Gastrointestinal Cancers: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

May 5, 2023

Gastrointestinal cancer is a term used to describe a group of cancers that affect the digestive system, including the esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, small intestine, and colon. It is one of the most common types of cancer and can cause a wide range of symptoms that can be difficult to detect in its early stages. The mission of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is to end cancer for life. In order to spread this mission worldwide, six faculty members from the USA and one faculty member from Austria gathered at Schloss Arenberg this week to share their knowledge with 33 fellows from more than 20 countries.

The course was led by Dr. David G. Pfister, Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, Member and Attending Physician, Chief of Head and Neck Oncology Service at the Department of Medicine, Co-leader of the Head and Neck Cancer Disease Management Team, and Associate Deputy Physician-in-Chief for Strategic Partnerships at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Pfister is an OMI veteran and has been supporting the OMI since 2004.

Dr. Garrett M. Nash, Associate Attending of Colorectal Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, served as the co-course director for the week. Additional expert faculty included Dr. Nitya Raj, Dr. Marsha Reyngold, Dr. Moshe Shike, Dr. Kevin C. Soares, and Dr. Lukas Weiss, who works at the Paracelsus Medical University in Salzburg.

On Tuesday and Thursday, the group listened to fellow’s case presentations, which is always a great way to learn different approaches and receive valuable feedback. Six cases were chosen by the faculty to be published on the OMI Case Library.

Wednesday provided faculty and fellows with a free afternoon. While faculty decided to visit. St. Gilgen and take the ferry to St. Wolfgang to admire the picturesque scenery, a group of fellows went to Hallstatt.

On Thursday, a classical chamber music concert was held at Schloss Arenberg, inviting faculty and fellows to enjoy a beautiful evening full of music and networking.

On Friday after the seminar test, another free afternoon provided fellows with the opportunity to explore Salzburg before gathering again at Schloss Arenberg to celebrate the end of the seminar week together. During the graduation ceremony, the group enjoyed a three-course meal and fellows were officially awarded their certificates. The evening concluded with dessert, lots of laughter, and many memories to cherish!