Brisbane is set to host 2,000 of the world’s leading cancer experts in a first time event for Australia, described as the ‘Olympics’ for head and neck cancer.
The World Congress of the International Federation of Head and Neck Oncologic Societies (IFHNOS) will take place at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) in 2026, with the aim of raising the global benchmark for the care and treatment of patients with head and neck cancer.
The Australian and New Zealand Head and Neck Cancer Society (ANZHNCS) supported by Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC), Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) and Brisbane Marketing delivered the bid for the much sought after conference for Australia, expected to generate $4.8 million for the Queensland economy.
BCEC Advocate Professor Sandro Porceddu, Director, Radiation Oncology Research, at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital, led the winning bid against a highly competitive field of international destinations from Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Professor Porceddu said the Congress, expected to attract some of the world’s most eminent surgeons, oncologists, scientists, researchers and allied health workers in the field of head and neck cancer, will be a game changer for Brisbane and Australia. “It will cement Brisbane and Queensland as a major cancer research hub.”
“Key factors in selecting Brisbane as the host city are its world leading institutions and great minds in cancer research, including being home of the Gardasil vaccine for cervical cancer.”
“In the head and neck space globally, our strengths lie in the development of immunotherapy and vaccines and having a world class health system providing the very best cancer care.”
Conference Chair for the event, the Professor believes the Congress will raise the profile of head and neck cancer within the local community while forging strong links between clinicians and researchers in Australia and those overseas.
The Congress will deliver a major legacy to the local community with visiting world leaders expected to spend time in rural, remote and indigenous communities in northern Australia, gaining insight into issues in areas with high rates of cancer and examining the role tele-oncology might play in these communities.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said securing the Congress furthered the city’s reputation as a global conventions city. “The city’s economic development board Brisbane Marketing works strategically with partners to attract major conferences that bring the world’s leading minds to our city,” Cr Quirk said.
“Every convention that flows into Brisbane builds on our appeal as a business and research destination, and delivers economic benefits for tourism and hospitality businesses.”
Professor Porceddu said the decision to choose Brisbane as the host city at the recent 2018 IFHNOS World Congress in Buenos Aires in September was unanimous, with Brisbane viewed as a safe and friendly city combined with the unique appeal of the South Bank Cultural Precinct and its easy access to the Congress venue.
Pivotal to the decision, he said, was the strong support of the city’s key convention partners together with the world class facilities of the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre and its successful hosting of the 2014 G20 Summit.
BCEC General Manager, Bob O’Keeffe said the Centre was honoured to host the world’s preeminent congress for head and neck specialists for the very first time ever in Australia.
“The Centre’s long term partnerships and close collaboration with Brisbane’s research and scientific communities, through its highly successful Convention Advocates Partnership, play a significant role in attracting these peak international scientific meetings to Australia.
“Securing events of this calibre attracts the worlds brightest and best, sharing knowledge, stimulating research and fostering international collaboration.”
The Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland, is proud to support the event in Queensland, where business events can combine with the most incredible destinations.