J.R. Siewert,
President of OESO
C. J. Lightdale,
President of the congress

C. Scarpignato,
President of the congress
R. Giuli,
Scientific Director of OESO

J.R. Siewert,
President of OESO

The most impressive aspect of the OESO is its concentration on interdisciplinary continuing medical education in esophagology.

At this point, the OESO is the undisputed flagship, and this concentration gives OESO a unique position amongst all the other societies also devoted to the upper GI tract.

In this aspect, the conferences organized by OESO are of special importance: in the seven preceding ones, OESO has developed an unparalleled approach to the analysis of one, single subject through a logical sequence of questions and answers.

These questions and answers provide the attendees with current knowledge on the chosen topic, and the conservation of this knowledge in the aim of medical education is made possible: thus, a large stock of scientific information is accessible to everyone by the OESO Foundation - a unique library of interdisciplinary esophagology.

Now, OESO wants to increase this basis of scientific information with the topic

The Foregut, function - dysfunction

For this reason, OESO is organizing its 8th World Congress in 2006, again in the now well established format of "Questions and Answers on a Single Subject"/

This conference, by itself, will be a highlight in esophagology for 2006, and will make this event especially attractive for everyone interested or involved in the diseases of the esophagus.

But this cannot be the only reason for attending this Congress: the town of Avignon and its surroundings of wonderful Provence are two more convincing arguments.

As President of the OESO, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Scientific Director of the OESO - Professor Robert Giuli - for his great effort and for the impressive manner in which he has prepared this Congress.

Don't miss this highlight of the congress-season 2006.

I promise you a unique experience.

Univ.-Prof.Dr.h.c. Jörg Rüdiger SIEWERT

C. J. Lightdale,
President of the congress

As Co-President, I am delighted to announce that the 8th Congress of the World Organization for Specialized Studies on Diseases of the Esophagus (OESO) will be held in Avignon, France, from Sunday, September 3 to Wednesday, September 6, 2006.  If you work in the area of esophageal disease--whether in gastroenterology, surgery, nutrition, pathology, biochemistry, or physiology—you must come to Avignon for this meeting.

OESO Congresses are awaited with great anticipation by specialists in the field.
The meetings are scheduled every 3 years, and represent the only international multidisciplinary meetings focused on the esophagus. Experts from around the world gather in a unique setting that allows the exchange of significant new insights and ideas.

This 8th OESO Congress will be especially exciting. The topic is “The Foregut: Function-Dysfunction,” in recognition of the complex interaction of esophagus, stomach, and duodenum in normal digestion and in the genesis of esophageal disease.  Within this broad area, featured topics will include progress in the diagnosis and management of gastro-esophageal reflux disease, Barrett’s esophagus, early cancer, and the role of diet and the medical and surgical management of obesity.

Youth will be emphasized in the 8th OESO Congress. For the first time, trainees supported by their mentors will be integrated into the morning scientific sessions unique to the OESO with brief questions and answers on a specific topic.  Keynote and Summary speakers will be featured to provide authoritative “state-of-the-art” synopses.

The afternoon sessions will offer symposiums on specific subjects, and topic forums designed to elicit maximum audience participation. Everyone who attends the 8th OESO Congress will have the opportunity to meet international specialists and address questions at the highest level. All attendees are encouraged to submit abstracts to share their research in oral and poster sessions. All submitted abstracts will be published, and prizes will be awarded for those judged most worthy.

I am particularly grateful to the OESO Board of Trustees and Scientific Director, Robert Giuli, for giving me the opportunity to help lead the 8th OESO Congress.  Easily accessible by frequent fast train from Charles de Gaulle Airport, Avignon in late summer will be a spectacular site for the meeting. The social activities available to those attending the meeting will make the memories of a lifetime.

The 8th OESO Congress, a comprehensive and unique world-class event for everyone with an interest in the esophagus, plus Avignon, the Palais des Papes, Provence, the Camargue, a fast train from Paris. It can’t get much better. I look forward to seeing you there.  


C. Scarpignato,
President of Congress

Knowledge concerning esophageal pathophysiology has until recently lagged far behind that of the pathophysiology of other portions of the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract for reasons that still remain unclear. Yet, it is the fact that, at least until the last few decades, interest in the esophagus was primarily based on pathologic anatomy.

The recent development of methods of studying both morphology and function of the esophagus has resulted in a better understanding of normal and abnormal esophageal patterns with a corresponding improvement in treatment which is now physiologically, rather than anatomically based. As customary, the World O.E.S.O Congresses are planned to provide each time a thorough analysis of a specific topic in esophageal disease. This 8th World Congress of O.E.S.O. is devoted to the Foregut: Function and Dysfunction to emphasize the complex interaction between the esophagus and the other portions of the upper GI tract either in maintaining physiological function or in triggering esophageal disease. The choice is a timely one because recent
investigations have allowed new insights into the pathophysiology
of these complex interactions to be gained. Within this framework specific sessions will be devoted to disorders of secretion, of motility as well as of nutrition.

Enclosed you will find the scientific program of the Congress which will take place for the first time in Avignon, a city ranked high on UNESCO's prestigious list of places which form the world heritage sites. Its core is represented by the successful formula, with questions and answers, originally developed by Robert Giuli but exciting symposia, workshops and topic forum will complete the scientific information that will be disseminated during these four days. World renown experts in different disciplines will answer the specific questions and leading scientists will present you an in depth review of the different topics.

Because of its major impact and its high educational formula this Congress represents a unique opportunity to update your knowledge in the rapidly evolving field of esophagology. We hope to have the chance of gathering established and young investigators from all over the world in what we feel will be a stimulating experience. We also hope it may encourage friendship, mutual knowledge and cooperation going beyond the limits of the meeting itself.

The weather in Provence is at its best in September and you will have also the opportunity to visit Avignon and its beautiful environs. We are deeply convinced that this 8th World Congress will meet your expectations from both a scientific as well as social points of view.
Therefore make your way to Avignon next September.
We are waiting for you!.

Carmelo SCARPIGNATO, MD, DSc, PharmD

R. Giuli,
Scientific Director of OESO

It is the special support of those who enthusiastically joined us in the completion of our first action plan,
then  of those who continue to join us regularly,
which keeps the initial momentum going, and allows OESO to continue to multiply its initiatives.
OESO, an international organization represented in 85 countries, now has an official branch in the United States and is presently in the process of setting up another arm in Japan.
OESO has created its own Foundation in order to implement a program of multi-disciplinary Continuous Medical Education on a worldwide inter-university network.

OESO has the prestigious support of UNESCO in the creation of a Chair of Distance Learning in the field of gastroenterology.

This is the 8th Conference organized by OESO, which will again uphold its original initiative to provide, as it has for over 20 years, a triennial benchmark synthesis on a particular aspect of esophagology.
It is its unique approach to the analysis of a single subject in a logical sequence of brief questions, with contributions by specialists from all fields, which has, Conference after Conference, built up OESO's reputation.

This 8th Conference is obviously continuing this initiative but is also introducing, as in each of the previous ones, important innovations:
1/ The original format of questions and answers on a single subject remains the essential - and eagerly anticipated - basis for scientific sessions, each reply being taken by a highly qualified speaker.
The theme remains esophageal and multi-disciplinary, but it has been extended this time, like the physiology of this organ, to the whole upper digestive tract and we have chosen as the topic for this Congress:
The Foregut, function - dysfunction
in order to take into account the  problems linked to motivity, secretion...and nutrition, while paying special attention to the detection of early cancer.
6 plenary Sessions of 20 questions-and-answers are planned for the 3 days of the Congress. Each one will constitute an entity to consider a part of the subject, and will take place under the direction of two experts:

One will introduce the subject with a 10 minute "keynote presentation".
The other will close the session by summarizing, also in 10 minutes, the 20 replies and outstanding points arising from the discussions.
9 Topic Forums, and 9 Symposiums on more general subjects, will complete the examination of the topic, and will give those attending the opportunity to take part in lively discussions during substantial time slots scheduled after a deliberately limited number of presentations.
However, so that those present will not have to make difficult choices, the question-and-answer sessions are only programmed for the mornings, whilst Symposiums and Topic Forums will take place at the same time in the afternoons, on subjects chosen as to not concern  the same disciplines.
Finally, as in the preceding OESO conferences, "traditional" sessions of oral communication and posters will be organized to allow everyone to present his/her work which can, this time, cover any topic pertaining to the pathology of the upper digestive tract.
They will be put forward in the usual form of abstracts to be selected by the members of the Steering Committee, and will be published in an international, referenced journal of gastroenterology with an impact factor.
The authors of the best abstracts in the fields of gastroenterology, surgery and basic  sciences will have their expenses covered for their stay in Avignon.
2/ This 8th OESO congress will be the stage of an initiative which is likely to remain as an innovative procedure for the OESO congresses to come:
Staying true to its vocation as a flagship organization of multi-disciplinary Continuous Medical Education, OESO is now asking Fellows and "Young Investigators" from different countries to be involved at every stage of this event to reply, with their Mentors, to questions during the Plenary Sessions, or to conduct discussions and organize a session, a symposium, or a topic forum.

Bearers of the most up-to-date scientific knowledge and invested, by their youth, with the capability to be able to program very long term projects, they will be given the opportunity to participate  with their Mentors  in the scientific organization of the Conference, bringing to it their ideas, their knowledge and their enthusiasm.
They shall be given the rare occasion to speak before an international assembly, and to have their work published in the OESO book to come out after the Conference.

Three of them have been chosen to sit on the Steering Committee and take part with the other members in the establishment of the definitive scientific program, then in the selection of abstracts.

The Presidents and Secretaries with internationally recognized skills, this time Ch. LIGHTDALE, C. SCARPIGNATO, R.E. CLOUSE, H.S. GAREWAL and H. STEIN, as well as the members of the Steering Committee chaired by R.K. MITTAL, will as usual represent the original multi-disciplinarity of OESO and will guarantee the scientific quality of this event.

The Fellows and the young Investigators are those who represent the future of our profession.

It is with them, also, that we shall make this Conference a marked success.

Some details to be noted on the location chosen for the staging of this high level, intense scientific debate.

For the first time since its first congress, OESO is leaving Paris, but remains loyal to UNESCO:
The 8th Congress will be held in one of the most visited tourist areas in France, PROVENCE, land of the light captured by the impressionists, and of the colors of History.
The 8th Congress will be held in AVIGNON, designated "European City of Culture" in the year 2000, and high on UNESCO's prestigious list of places which form the world heritage sites.
In the town surrounded by its 14th century ramparts the Conference will take place in an edifice whose architecture is unique in the world: that of the PALAIS DES PAPES, (Palace of the Popes) built to house, from 1305 to 1409, the Popes who succeeded each other over a unique period  in the history of Christianity.
The scientific sessions (in the morning) and the symposiums (in the afternoon) will be held in the place where 600 cardinals, seated on imposing pale blue velvet chairs, met in conclave in the 14th century to elect the Pope.
The pharmaceutical exhibition, then the Gala Evening, will be set in the immense "Salle de la grande Audience" ("Great Audience Room"), dating from 1345, under vaults which appear to support the walls of a cathedral...
- Meals will be served above the Palace, on parklands overlooking the Rhône river, facing the 15th century St André Fortress with a view of the snow-capped summit of Mont Ventoux...
And the Avignon Opera House, with its luxurious 19th century architecture, will welcome us for the inaugural session of the Congress.

Everything is already planned to complement our intense scientific program with an extra-scientific one which is as exceptional. Among the varied choices proposed, a very special evening in the open air is planned on Monday, September 4, in the wild Camargue among the birds, horses and bulls, so that you can get a feel of this region of France, meet each other, and share in the general enjoyment.
Full speed ahead! 21 daily connections will take you directly from Roissy-Charles de Gaulle to Avignon, and numerous others, by Eurostar, directly from the centre of London.
And for what promises to be the "event" of 2006 in the field of pathology of the upper digestive tract,
Destination AVIGNON !!

Robert GIULI