On the final day of the ESCP conference it was a packed programme with sessions covering everything from coloproctology around the globe to controversies in Crohns' disease. Delegates heard brilliant keynotes from Soren Laurberg on LARS and from Harry Sokol on faecal transplantation for UC. There was a lively symposium on management of T2 rectal cancer chaired by Simon Bach and Eric Rullier, and for the first time at an ESCP meeting we had a patient involvement session looking at how best to involve patients in colorectal research.

The winners of the best free paper and best new trial were announced in the morning. Laurent Abramowitz took the prize for the best free paper for the EPIC trial on effect of mode of delivery on anal incontinence. This paper found that among women with sphincter disruption after a first delivery, caesarean section reduced the incidence of transient anal incontinence following the second delivery. The prize for best new trial went to Alexei Petrov for the COLD trial. This was a study of oncological outcomes of D3 lymph node dissection in colon cancer.

Soren Laurberg used his keynote lecture to outline the LARS Score and his dream for the future of LARS - that this condition must be better recognised, prevented and managed. When dealing with rectal cancer it is vital that the risk of LARS is well understood by both the surgeon and the patient before a decision is made to do low anterior resections. Quality of life for patients after surgery must be taken into consideration. After the session Prof Laurberg was presented with an ESCP Honorary Member Award to celebrate his contribution to coloproctology. You can read more about Prof Laurberg's session here.

The Patient and Public Involvement session was co-chaired by patient Azamina Verjee and Prof Dion Morton, and saw very thought-provoking contributions from both patients and surgeons on how PPI can be improved in colorectal research. Particularly interesting was the discussion on the potential for technology and photos to enable patients to provide more qualitative data which can be built into patient reported outcome models. The key takeaway point of this session was that PPI improves the quality of research and more needs to be done to make sure patients are more involved in research across Europe.

At the symposium on what to do with T2 rectal cancer we had an excellent discussion of the merits of the options, from surgery alone to chemo radiotherapy followed by a watch and wait approach. The speaker presented different models of treatment but all agreed the most important thing before choosing a course of action is to ask the patient about their goals for treatment and explain how treatment will affect their life. If you missed this session you can find out more by reading our interview from before conference with Simon Bach.

Finally the conference drew to a close with the light-hearted Consultants Corner session where Des Winter and Jared Torkington put our experts to the test with discussion of interesting real life cases.

We hope you enjoyed ESCP Berlin and we hope to see you in Nice next year!

ESCP Affiliates