RCR18 highlights

Thursday 20 September 2018

Following a whirlwind three days in Liverpool last week, here are a few of our highlights from RCR18. 2018 saw the annual meeting hosted in Liverpool for a second year, and we were delighted to welcome nearly 600 delegates to the city’s state-of-the-art Arena and Convention Centre.  

Responding to popular demand, RCR18 included our first dedicated workshop stream for radiology trainees, covering breast imaging, interpreting emergency abdominal CTs and interventional radiology. Another new feature was the oral presentation of e-posters, where delegates presented quick-fire reviews of their novel research.

Hot topic sessions honed in on key issues affecting clinicians and the future of UK clinical practice, including the threats and opportunities of artificial intelligence (AI), the provision of stroke thrombectomy services, nuclear medicine and the supply of radioisotopes, and team-working and bullying within practice.

The event’s most sought-after radiology sessions included the ‘what to do next’ series on dealing with a broad range of imaging abnormalities, and the ever-popular CT quiz, as well as Monday afternoon’s medico-legal stream covering complaints and litigation.

The dedicated oncology lecture stream focused on prostate and rectal cancer treatment, as well as re-irradiation best practice for those sites and considerations for new and emerging radiotherapy technology such as proton beam therapy and MR-LINACs. The practical contouring workshops were a key highlight, with great audience participation and lively discussions.

RCR18’s social events, which included a packed drinks reception and a relaxed conference dinner, provided a great opportunity for delegates to network and catch up. Following its popular introduction at RCR17, we once again hosted a conference run, which saw the President and energetic delegates brave wind, rain and an early start to run 5 km round the city’s docks.    

Our plenary lectures proved hugely entertaining and thought-provoking. On Monday, we heard from US proton beam therapy expert Dr Stephen Hahn, who detailed the changing attitudes to, and research focus on, the technology in the US. He appealed to UK clinicians to enhance the evidence base for the treatment through more randomised control trials.

Tuesday’s fascinating plenary session was given by Oxford-based circadian rhythms specialist, Professor Russell Foster. Professor Foster detailed how the various elements of our biological clocks dictate our alertness and emotional and hormonal responses, and discussed emerging work around the optimal timing of drug administration and studies bolstering the important influence of sleep on learning and memory.

The final keynote plenary was delivered by another leading Oxford-based academic, biomedical engineering expert, Professor Alison Noble. Professor Noble explained how various AI systems are designed, before talking the audience through her career developing AI-enhanced fetal ultrasound scanning, which has moved on from employing AI to improve growth monitoring via the staging of fetal brainwaves, to now using technology to check acquired images against clinical standards.    

Congratulations to Dr Ashley Poon-King, winner of the Wormald abstract competition, and Dr Hannah Tharmalingam, winner of our Wormald proffered paper competition. Congratulations to Dr Fraser Hendry, winner of the clinical radiology audit ePoster competition, to Dr Samer Alabed, winner of the George and Vera Ansell abstract competition, and to Dr Kieran Foley, winner of the George and Vera Ansell proffered paper competition.

A huge amount of work and months of planning go into the conference each year and we are extremely thankful to our programme organisers, clinical radiologist Dr Stephen Harden and clinical oncologist Dr Di Gilson, along with the members of the RCR’s Professional Learning and Development Committees, for producing such a practical and varied line-up.

We were bowled over by all of our fantastic speakers and session chairs, all of whom brought immense clinical insight, passion and though-provoking content to the event. We are extremely thankful to all of those whose expertise was crucial in developing and delivering the programme. 

The RCR team is also hugely grateful to our 2018 sponsors – this year we had more than 20 sponsors, ranging from global computing giants to teleradiology providers, hospital trusts, charities and publishers.

Finally, we want to say a massive thank you to all our delegates, many of whom travelled from all over the UK and further afield to make RCR18 such an exciting three days. We were really pleased to see so many attendees actively sharing their experiences on social media using the event hashtag #RCR18conf, and were delighted with the colourful illustrations by our brilliant conference sketchnote artist, radiologist Dr Lisa Shannon.   

The majority of RCR18 lectures were filmed and we will alert members once sessions are available to watch online.

A selection of speakers were also interviewed by our RCR Newsletter editor Dr Rowena Johnson, and these recordings will also be made available via the RCR website and e-learning hub over the coming weeks. Our ‘case of the day’ cases are also available for those who did not have a chance to complete them during RCR18.

We hope you enjoyed the event as much as we did and we can’t wait to do it all again next year, with a new October timetable.

You can also take a look at our photographs from the conference and see below for highlights from social media: