Report from Lisbon 2009

Prof Fernando Schmitt Dear Colleagues and Friends,

It was an honour for me to be the President of the 35th European Congress of Cytology.

After 5 years of hard work, me and the team that collaborate with the organization of the congress feel rewarded with the several messages from different participants telling us good things about our congress.
This congress was planned and made for the participants. All contributions, from speakers, organizers, sponsors and participants, were fundamental in achieving the outstanding success of the congress.
We feel confident that the event met your expectations and hope that you share our enthusiasm for the results.


We had 974 participants coming from 60 countries through the 5 continents.

It was very interesting to have among the top ten countries with more attendees, two non-European countries such as Brazil and USA. This demonstrates that, with a good scientific program, European congresses are able to attract our colleagues from America.
The scientific program was divided in workshops (16), symposium (13), slide seminar (6), interactive sessions (6), plenary sessions (4), poster sessions and free paper communications.
We received the impressive number of 354 abstracts, being 338 accepted and published in a special issue of Cytopathology.
Main SessionThe scientific committee made an excellent job selecting the abstracts and choosing the best for a prize. One of the goals of this congress was to stimulate the participation of young people. We had an interactive slide seminar just for residents. The cases were pre-selected by a committee and then presented at the congress. The best case choose by the audience received a special prize. We hope that this kind of session becomes a tradition in our European Congress.
It is difficult to highlight the scientific achievements of the congress but some deserve mention.
In a pre-congress meeting, different methodologies for screening cervical cancer among the Mediterranean countries were presented and commented by experts from Nordic Countries. The results of this session will be published soon. In different sessions, the Bethesda Nomenclature for Thyroid FNA was extensively discussed together with our American colleagues and again, the results of this discussion will be published. They will stimulate the European cytopathologists to debate and maybe propose the adoption of a standard nomenclature in Europe.

Cytology is one of the specialities of the future and renowned specialists extensively discussed adoption of molecular techniques in the routine of cytology along the congress. Some special sessions were very appreciated by the participants as the Port Wine session showing the value and taste of experience in cytopathology. But, I am sure that nobody will forget the contest between man and woman. This session with scientific and cultural questions showed the superiority of women in both fields! Learn with fun was one of the goals of the congress and we are confident that it was achieved. We closed the congress with a great conference by Yosef Yarden that brought to us the example how high top research can be used in favour of patients.
Science and Cytology are walking together again.

This entire scientific environment took place inside the beautiful Lisbon.
The concert and the dinner at Mercado da Ribeira also will stay in mind of all participants as excellent moments of friendship and fun. In the dictionary distributed to the participants, we said we would be rewarded if after this congress you could understand that the word “saudades” means much more than what it is write in a dictionary… Now, we are sure that you can feel it.

Thank you very much for believing in us and come to Lisbon. It was a privilege to have you here in these days.

Fernando Schmitt
President of the Congress
On behalf of the Organizing Committee