The 60th RCOG Study Group focused on gynaecological cancers, a spectrum of cancers affecting over 16000 women each year in the UK alone. There is a lack of real understanding of these conditions compared with other malignancies, possibly owing to their relative rarity when viewed as individual diseases, which can influence the desire to invest in research.
The objective of the Study Group was to try to examine as many biological aspects of these cancers as possible, including therapies, both surgical and non-surgical. A wide remit, without doubt, and inevitably not all aspects could be covered in the desired detail.
While a great deal of research is still needed, it is also clear that progress in therapy is occurring, with new agents such as PARP inhibitors targeting specific defects found only in the cancer cell. This is an approach that is opening a new route to therapy besides the normal direct approach to cell destruction. The knowledge that some pathologies previously considered as a primary ovarian disease are in fact of primary fallopian tube origin may not immediately have an effect on patient care but does have implications for research and clinical trials that will ultimately result in better directed therapies.
Advances in multimodal therapies, imaging and targeted and individualised treatments, as well as the role of surgical approaches, are all also covered in this book.
Experts from the UK and abroad have dedicated their time to discuss the varied aspects of these malignancies and I am grateful to all involved.