Clinic of Rheumatology, “S.M. Misericordia” University Hospital of Udine, Medical Area Department, Udine
The 15th International Symposium on Sjögren’s Syndrome is scheduled to take place in Rome from September 7 to 10, 2022, at the “Antonianum” Auditorium. This is the second time that Italy is hosting this Symposium, after the one held in Venice in December 1999.
It is a major recognition for Italy and provides a further incentive for the scientific community. The Symposium is the brainchild of the five founders of GRISS (Italian Research Group on Sjögren’s Syndrome: Universities of Udine, Pisa, Roma Sapienza and Perugia, and Professor Giacomelli, now in Rome) and is promoted by SIR (Società Italiana di Reumatologia – the Italian Society of Rheumatology). Specifically, by organizing this Congress, GRISS also hopes to encourage scientific research and interaction between younger colleagues in Italy. Four preparatory meetings took place (three of them in person during two SIR Congresses held in Rimini and in Udine), plus an online meeting, during which the first results of the scientific activities carried out by several Groups were planned and analyzed, and a spontaneous gathering of participants was scheduled for each one. Altogether, 19 projects were presented during the last meeting, which took place in Udine on July 3, 2019, including 15 clinical projects and 4 basic research projects.
The working team of the symposium consists of two past-presidents (S. Bombardieri and A. Tzioufas), four senior investigators (H. Bootsma, C. Baldini, E. Bartoloni and M. Bombardieri), and the chairperson of the Symposium (S. De Vita), along with an International Advisory Board, an International Scientific Committee, and a Local Scientific and Organizing Committee, the latter coordinated by the University of Udine.
Initially, the preliminary program covers recent developments in pathogenesis, stratification, lymphoproliferation, clinical evaluation, and personalized medicine for Sjögren’s syndrome. Another discussion will focus on what the new nomenclature for this disease might be and on the implications of COVID-19 infection. Additionally, a strong focus will be placed on evaluating and understanding the pathogenesis of Sjögren’s syndrome associated with other autoimmune diseases, and on how different medical specialists and primary care physicians can better coordinate with each other in dealing with patients and in the field of research. The needs and views of patients will be a key topic of discussion, with the participation of representatives of European and US Associations, including a presentation of recent research conducted as part of the HarmonicSS/Horizon 2020 European cooperative project, on the various health policies implemented in different countries. Naturally, the topics addressed will include recent developments in treatment and new drugs being tested, along with international cooperative research, which is also extremely important.