History of Japan Society for Neuro-Oncology

On behalf of the members of the Japan Society for Neuro-Oncology (JSNO), it is my great pleasure to introduce its brief history and my current activity as the President of the Society.

First of all, I would like to cite a document by Professor Emeritus Masakatsu Nagai, M.D., who was one of the founder members of the Society and passed away in 2020 at the age of 90, describing how it was organized in Japan more than 40 years ago.

“The Japan Society for Neuro-Oncology (JSNO) was inaugurated in 1980 by the advocacy of Dr. Takao Hoshino, who was a staff member in the Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California San Francisco (UCSF) at that time. In the United States, the ‘U.S. Conference on Brain Tumor Research and Therapy’ had been held since 1975, under the leadership of Dr. Charles Wilson and Dr. Victor Levin of UCSF, at the famous resort Asilomar in California. This so-called ‘Asilomar Conference’ was organized as a semi-closed system in which relatively few participants (about 50) stayed overnight at the same lodging for two to three days. Dr. Hoshino and Dr. Nagai planned the Japanese Conference in a similar style as the Asilomar conference.

The first Meeting of the Japanese Conference was held in 1980 with chairperson Dr. Masakatsu Nagai, at Nikko city, one of the most famous sight-seeing places in Japan, and it was named the ‘Nikko Conference on Brain Tumor Research and Therapy’. A total of 37 papers were presented and 68 participants attended the two-day meeting. The Conference was held every two years until the third Meeting, but due to increasing enthusiasm for yearly meetings, it came to be held every year, after the fourth Meeting. Resorts throughout the country were chosen as Conference sites. The number of participants at the Conference was initially limited, but with the increasing numbers of young brain tumor researchers and increasing applications for participation, an open system was initiated from the 10th Meeting in 1992. The name of the Conference was also changed to the ‘Japanese Conference on Brain Tumor Research and Therapy’. Because the number of papers and participants continued to increase, the Conference gradually reached the scale of a Society. The Society structure was fixed in 2002, and it was named the ‘Japan Society for Neuro-Oncology (JSNO)’ which continues up to now.” (cited and modified from JSNO homepage)

JSNO was then certified as a non-profit organization (NPO) in 2008 to serve widely as the central platform for scientific and clinical activities related to neuro-oncology in Japan. Dr. Masao Matsutani was elected as the first President of the Society, succeeded by Dr. Soichiro Shibui in 2010, Dr. Ryo Nishikawa in 2014, and Dr. Motoo Nagane in 2020 (Fig. 1).

The main aims of JSNO as an NPO include deepening exchanges and cooperation between basic and clinical brain tumor researchers, promotion of domestic and international investigational research on neuro-oncology in conjunction increased communication and collaboration between associated organizations. This would eventually lead to accelerated progress and spread of medical science and contribute to the improvement of international social welfare.

Accordingly, one of the major responsibilities of the Society is to select the winner of the ‘Hoshino Award’. Dr. Takao Hoshino, the founder of JSNO, passed away in 1993, but he left a legacy of encouragement to the foundation in the form of an annual award for the most excellent article on brain tumor research in that year. The prize was named as the ‘Hoshino Award’ after his great achievements, and there have been a lot of nominations for it every year. In total, 30 young researchers have won it since 1993. Most of the awardees have continued research activity on brain tumors thereafter, and as a result, have become leaders in the field, contributing to further development of a variety of aspects in neuro-oncology in Japan and on the international stage.

Since 2021, we have also launched the ‘JSNO Webinar Series’ of educational Web-based lectures incorporating basic knowledge and evidence as well as cutting edge scientific data focused on particular. The first Webinar topic was ‘Adult Glioma’, followed by the second Webinar on ‘Radiation Biology’. The 3rd JSNO Webinar on ‘Primary CNS Lymphoma’ was just broadcasted as a live session on Jan 28th, 2022.

Another important mission of JSNO is to publish official guidelines for the treatment of brain tumors, aiming at providing evidence-based recommendations that serve as a platform to discuss and determine therapeutic options for physicians, other medical staff, patients and care givers. Since 2016, guidelines for 8 tumor types (adult brain tumors: glioblastoma, metastatic brain tumors, primary CNS lymphoma; pediatric brain tumors; subependymal giant cell astrocytoma, CNS germ cell tumors, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, optic pathway/hypothalamic glioma, and ependymoma; written in Japanese) have been serially published on the JSNO home page ( http://www.jsn-o.com/guideline/index.html ). Notably, the guideline on the diagnosis and treatment of CNS germ cell tumors, written in English, was published in “Neuro-Oncology” in 2021, for the first time (Fig. 2).

The highlight of the JSNO activity is reflected in its Annual Meetings. The characteristic style of the JSNO Annual Meeting has not changed since the inception of the ‘Conference’ even after having become a ‘Society’. Namely, most, if not all, of the participants stay at the same lodging/hotel, continue heated discussions until or sometimes over midnight in front of poster presentations, often holding a wine-glass in one hand (Poster & Wine session!). The 39th Annual Meeting of JSNO featuring ‘One Team for Brain Tumor Moonshot’ was held with chairperson Dr. Yoshihiro Muragaki in Arima-onsen, Kobe in December 2021. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, there were 271 presentations including 110 oral and 161 poster abstracts, and the participant number was 443 people attending-- mostly in-person by virtue of an extensive infection protection system (Fig. 3). The abstracts of the Meeting have been officially published in the ‘Neuro-Oncology Advances (NOA)’ Journal thanks to Dr. Gelareh Zadeh, the Editor-in-Chief, since the 37th Annual Meeting that was held in Wakura-onsen, Ishikawa in 2019 with chairperson Dr. Motoo Nagane (468 participants, 311 presentations, Fig. 4), followed by the 38th (in Hiroshima with chairperson Dr. Kazuhiko Sugiyama in 2020, using a hybrid format that included both in-person and virtual presentations; 349 participants, 232 presentations, Fig. 5). This year, the 40th Annual Meeting of JSNO is planned to be held on December 4 – 6 in Kamogawa, Chiba, with chairperson Dr. Yoshitaka Narita, and we welcome very much all ASNO members to join.

JSNO is linked into the ‘International Conference on Brain Tumor Research and Therapy’ (ICBTRT) which developed from the ‘U.S. Conference’: the 4th ICBTRT (1981), with Dr. Keiji Sano as chairperson, the 7th (1987), with Dr. Masakatsu Nagai as chairperson, the 13th (1999), with Dr. Hiroshi Abe as chairperson, the 17th (2008), with Dr. Masao Matsutani as chairperson, and 21st with Dr. Ryo Nishikawa held in Okinawa in 2016.

The inauguration of the World Federation of Neuro-oncology (WFNO) in 2001 prompted us to propose the formation of the Asian Society for Neuro-Oncology (ASNO) to represent the different Asian countries as a block, so that we could strengthen our position in the WFNO, allowing us to support the WFNO and to attend its meetings as delegates from Asia instead of individual Asian countries. Accordingly, the first Meeting of ASNO was held on November 17 – 19 in 2002, at Kumamoto, Japan with chairperson Dr. Yukitaka Ushio, as an important milestone in the development and advancement of the field of neuro-oncology in Asia, which afterwards has been organized every year in each country in Asia. There were 142 papers presented from Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, and Turkey (Fig. 6, 7).

Following this first memorial ASNO Meeting, the 6th ASNO Meeting was held in Yokohama, Japan on May 11-14, 2009, by Dr. Masao Matsutani who was the President of JSNO at that time, as the second occasion for JSNO to host the ASNO Annual Meeting in Japan. In addition, this meeting was held as a joint meeting with the 3rd Quadrennial Meeting of the WFNO for the first time. Researchers from all over the world got together at Yokohama and presented 538 abstracts including 17 lectures, 203 oral presentations, and 318 posters (Fig. 8 left). The 14th ASNO Annual Meeting was the third opportunity for JSNO to host, and was held by Dr. Yuichi Hirose in Osaka, Japan on October 29 – 31, 2017. There were approximately 300 participants from 12 Asian countries and region as well as 2 countries from Europe and U.S., and 236 presentations including 129 oral ones and 107 posters (Fig. 8 right).

Lastly, on behalf of our Society, I would like to gratefully thank Dr. Julette Batara and the committee members for this opportunity to introduce the history and activities of JSNO in the ASNO Newsletter. We hope that this article will open a door to JSNO and for all members of ASNO and provide an avenue of open communication among members and Societies in our areas of common interest that are so vital to the patients we serve.

Acknowledgments.
I would like to express sincere thanks to Professors Hideyuki Saya and Hideo Nakamura, and Ms. Hiroko Yoshida for providing the precious materials of the 1st Meeting of ASNO for the preparation of this column.

The Japan Society for Neuro-Oncology (JSNO) was inaugurated in 1980 by the advocacy of Dr. Takao Hoshino, who was a staff member in the Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California San Francisco (UCSF) at that time. In the United States, the `U.S.Conference on Brain Tumor Research and Therapy' had been held since 1975, under the leadership of Dr. Charles Wilson and Dr. Victor Levin of UCSF, at the famous resort Asilomar in California. This so-called 'Asilomar Conference' was organized as a semi-closed system in which relatively few participants (about 50) stayed overnight at the same lodging for two to three days. Dr.Hoshino and the author planned the Japanese Conference in a similar style as the Asilomar conference.

The first Meeting of Conference in Japan was held in 1980 with chairperson Dr.Masakatsu Nagai, at Nikko, one of the most famous sight-seeing places in Japan, so that, Conference was named as the 'Nikko Conference on Brain Tumor Research and Therapy'. 37 papers were presented and 68 participants attended the two-day meeting. It was not certain whether such a meeting could continue in the future at this point in time. The Conference was held every two years until the third Meeting, but due to a stronger voices calling for yearly meetings, it came to be held, after the fourth Meeting, every year. Resorts throughout the whole country were chosen as Conference sites. As for the participants at the Conference, the number was initially limited, but with the increasing numbers of young brain tumor researchers and the increasing numbers of applications for participation, an open system was initiated from the 10th Meeting. The name of the Conference was also changed to the 'Japanese Conference on Brain Tumor Research and Therapy`. Because the number of papers and participants continued to increase, the Conference gradually reached the scale of a Society. The Society structure was fixed in 2002, and it was named the 'Japan Society of Neuro-Oncology` which continues up to now.

Consistently from the start, the main subject matter of JSNO has been basic research on malignant brain tumors, especially malignant gliomas and the development of therapeutic measures against them. Many research results have been presented by JSNO participants, and superior achievements have been brought forth regarding molecular genetics of glioma pathogenesis, tumor biology focused on cell-kinetics, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, gene therapy and combination therapies of these on malignant glioma.

The Annual Meeting of JSNO (25 in total) was held with chairperson Dr. Soichiro Shibui in Tokyo in December 2007. There were 188 written applications, and the participant number was a record-high of 280 people. Compared to the First Meeting in 1980, the number of subjects covered has increased five hold and the number of participants is four times as many. There is an immeasurable deep emotion for such a surprising development as the Meeting. The characteristic style of Meeting, however, has not changed compared to the time of the 'Conference' even after having now become a 'Society'. Namely, all the participants still stay at the same lodging, continue heated discussions till midnight in front of poster presentations, holding a wine-glass in one hand (Poster & Wine session! ).

The founder of JSNO Dr. Takao Hoshino died in 1993, but he left a legacy of encouragement to the foundation in the form of and award for the most excellent article on brain tumor research. The prize was named the 'Hoshino Award`, and there are a lot of nominations for it every year. 15 young researchers have won it since 1993. JSNO linked into the 'International Conference on Brain Tumor Research and Therapy' (ICBTRT) which developed from the 'U.S.Conference'. The 4th ICBTRT (1981), with Dr. Keiji Sano as chairperson, the 7th (1987), with Dr.Masakatsu Nagai as chairperson, and the 13th (1999), with Dr. Hiroshi Abe as chairperson were held in Japan and the 17th ICBTRT will be held in this year (2008) at Hakodate, Hokkaido, with chairperson Dr. Masao Matsutani. Moreover, the Asian Society for Neuro-Oncology was inaugurated in 2002, at Kumamoto, Japan with chairperson Dr. Yukitaka Ushio, which afterwards has been organized every year in each country in Asia.

The activity of JSNO is expected to be aimed at further development of cooperation with these international societies and to help bring about remarkable results on brain tumor research throughout the world.


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Honorary Member & Executive Committee

Honorary Members
the late Masakatsu Nagai, the late Keiji Sano, the late Takao Hoshino,
the late Kintomo Takakura, Tohru Hayakawa, Hiroshi Abe, the late Masashi Fukui,
Yukitaka Ushio, Kazuo Tabuchi, the late Ryuichi Tanaka, Kazuhiro Nomura, Masao Matsutani,
Junko Yamashita, Jun Yoshida, Norio Arita, Soichiro Shibui, Takamasa Kayama, Junichi Kuratsu,
Toshiki Yoshimine, Takanori Ohnishi, Yutaka Sawamura, Satoshi Nakasu, Yoko Nakasu,
Hiroki Namba, Shin-ichi Miyatake, Toshihiko Wakabayashi, Kaoru Kurisu, Ryo Nishikawa,
Takashi Tamiya

Executive Committee
Hidefumi Aoyama, Akio Asai, Tatsuya Abe, Yoshiki Arakawa, Yuichi Ando, Koichi Ichimura,
Keisuke Ueki, Tetsuya Ueba, Chifumi Kitanaka, Toshihiro Kumabe, Kazuhiko Kurozumi,
Takashi Komori, Hikaru Sasaki, Kazuhiko Sugiyama, Yukihiko Sonoda, Shota Tanaka,
Keita Terashima, Tomoki Todo, Mitsutoshi Nakada, Motoo Nagane (President), Hideo Nakamura,
Atsushi Natsume, Yoshitaka Narita (Vice President), Naoya Hashimoto, Yuichi Hirose,
Takamitsu Fujimaki, Kazuhiko Mishima, Akitake Mukasa, Yoshihiro Muragaki, Koji Yoshimoto

Auditors
Toshihiko Wakabayashi, Ryo Nishikawa

Our Office

Postal code:181-8611
Address:Department of Neurosurgery,
Kyorin University Faculty of Medicine
6-20-2 Shinkawa, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8611, Japan
President:Motoo Nagane
Secretary General:Kazuhiko Mishima
Secretary:Ms. Chisato Egashira, Ms. Akemi Iwatani
Phone:+81-422-47-5511(ext : 4546)
Fax:If you could not reach us, please send an e-mail as follows;
E-mail:jsno@jsn-o.com
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