The 5th Congress of Oriental Thoracic Surgery was held in Shanghai from 8th to 9th September 2018. For the first time, the Shanghai Medical Association co-hosted the congress with the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS), and the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS). There were more than 30 representatives of thoracic surgeons from Europe and the United States and nearly 1,000 experts and scholars from China participating in the congress. The experts shared and discussed the hot topics of thoracic surgery, which promoted the international exchange and enhanced further development of Chinese thoracic surgery.
As a distinguished invited speaker, Prof. Xavier Benoit D’Journo, from the Department of Thoracic and Esophageal Surgery, Aix-Marseille University in France, gave an excellent presentation on the topic “Stage III esophageal cancer: salvage resection after recurrence of definitive chemoradiation”, which was well received by the audience (Figure 1).
During the conference, the Editorial Office of Shanghai Chest had the great honor to do a brief interview with Prof. D’Journo (Figure 2).
As a thoracic surgeon, Prof. D’Journo research work covers many aspects such as the oncological disease, lung cancer, and esophageal cancer and so on. More specifically, Prof. D’Journo focuses on esophageal disease and on the management of surgical treatment for esophageal cancer.
Therefore, when talking about the highlight of Prof. D’Journo’s presentation, for one of the topics he shared is management of Stage III, Prof. D’Journo addressed that resectable stage III locally advanced esophageal cancer deals with T3–T4a or documented positive lymph node (LN). Nowadays, locally advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and adenocarcinoma are treated with multimodal strategy. Both chemotherapy and radiotherapy have the potential to improve local control of the tumor with a significant downstaging, to sustain the possibility of resection and to gain the potential to treat micrometastatic disease. At present, the best neoadjuvant treatment regimen has not been regulated. But it is accepted globally that a standardized radical surgery keeps up the best option to achieve the best local control of the disease, to improve the symptom of dysphagia and to obtain definitive pathological staging on a pathological report.
Surgeons are always caring about what the best treatment is for patients. Many oncologists believe that the best treatment remains curative and definitive. The problem is which strategy is suitable for the patient after the completion of definitive therapy. The surgery remains the curative option. This is one of Prof. D’Journo’s topic, to give the result of salvage in stage III tumors. It’s very challenging for surgeons and it has a poor short-term outcome and an expected excellent long-term outcome.
As for the training of young medical professionals, Prof. D’Journo thinks for the young surgeons, thoracic surgery is more like a commitment to patients and to their hospitals and department. The best advice is to get themselves well prepared mentally in this difficult job. Prof. D’Journo also mentioned that having an academic position is significant. Young medical professionals should learn to figure out the best treatment for patients and should know the technical devices to follow up the development of science and technology. More importantly, they should also participate actively in the research activities and in the teaching activities.
All in all, just like the four masters in the book Journey to the West who have to go through many challenges and difficulties to complete their journey, the doctors who can persist must know that the road of learning is long, and they need to seek the truth all the time and never give up.
For more details, please check the following interview video (Figure 3).
Expert’s brief introduction
Prof. Xavier Benoit D’Journo (Figure 4), MD, PhD, is a University Lecturer and Hospital Physician in the thoracic surgery department of North Hospital - Marseille Hospital (Aix-Marseille University). Prof. D’Journo’s fundamental research work and clinical research are based on improving the overall survival of patients with a thoracic oncology disease, either through reducing morbi-mortality of the surgery or by improving surgical techniques proposed as a treatment.
Q1: Could you please give us a general picture of your research work?
Q2: Yesterday one of the topics you shared is Management of stage III. Would you share the highlight of your topic to our readers?
Q3: Could you talk about the big difficulty you’ve encountered in your research? How did you overcome it?
Q4: What’s your view on the training of young medical professionals? Can you talk about your experience?
Q5: Would you like to give some advice to young surgeons or those still in college so that they could better develop their career?
Conflicts of Interest: The author has no conflicts of interest to declare.
- Lian H. Professor Xavier Benoit D’Journo: thoracic surgery is more than a job; it’s more a real commitment with patients, hospital and the department of surgery. Asvide 2018;5:828. Available online: http://www.asvide.com/article/view/27963
(Science Editor: Hailing Lian, SHC, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cite this article as: Lian H. Interview with Prof. Xavier Benoit D’Journo: thoracic surgery is more than a job; it’s more a real commitment with patients, hospital and the department of surgery. Shanghai Chest 2018;2:82.