Dear Colleagues,

It is our great pleasure to invite you to attend the upcoming third edition of the Utrecht Spine Course. For the 2020 edition of this course we have chosen ‘Paradigm Shifts in Metastatic Spinal Disease’ as the overarching theme. Please allow us to explain the rationale for this choice.

The oncological treatment for patients with malignant disease has made tremendous progress in the last few years and patients with advanced cancer have a much better outlook for survival as a result. Living with metastasized disease, however, is all about quality of life and one of the bigger threats to this quality is the occurrence of metastatic spinal disease. Recent innovations in spine surgery and radiotherapy combined with great insights gained from data from epidemiology, prospective multicenter studies, and health economics have led to new ways of approaching patients with metastatic spinal disease. For years, the Spine Unit of the UMC Utrecht has been a frontrunner developing new concepts, techniques, and pathways needed to improve the clinical care for our patients.

During the course you will be provided with the insights we, as a truly multidisciplinary group of surgeons, radiation oncologists, oncologists, pain- and rehabilitation specialists, have learned in the last few years. It is our strong belief that the collaborative effort we have put into our practice has led (and will continuously lead) to relevant improvements in the care for patients with metastatic spinal disease and we look forward sharing our experience with you. Specialists from various disciplines will present and discuss their expertise with you through lectures, practical workshops, case-discussions, and, of course, the cadaveric lab on the second day. Lastly, and staying true to the concept of shifting paradigms, this course was developed with participants from all relevant specialties in mind.

We sincerely hope to welcome you in Utrecht!

Jorrit-Jan Verlaan
Nicolien Kasperts