• Next SCOPE Meeting: Amsterdam / Leiden Oct 22 – Oct 25 2025

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    Read More: Next SCOPE Meeting: Amsterdam / Leiden Oct 22 – Oct 25 2025

    Dear Friends,

    One of the greatest achievements in medicine has been the facility of organ transplantation. Since the first successful kidney transplant in 1954, the field of transplantation has made tremendous progress. During the past decades, organ transplantation has become a frequently performed routine procedure offered to patients with end-stage organ failure. Long-term immunosuppressive therapy is required for the maintenance of the transplanted organ, which inevitably results in a significant inhibition of immune defenses; this leads to frequent skin infections and malignancies, which represent an important cause of morbidity and mortality for these patients.
    Transplant recipients live longer, have a good quality of life, and represent therefore a rapidly growing population.

    Post-transplant aftercare must handle all types of problems occurring in organ graft recipients, including malignancies and infections. Organ transplant recipients are at a significantly increased risk of multiple cancers. The overall risk for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, the most common skin cancer in transplant patients, is up to more than 100-fold greater than the general population and by greater than 50% of the patients are affected. These malignancies are often more aggressive compared with the general population and require multidisciplinary care.

    Although the follow-up, and especially the immunosuppressive therapy, are maintained by specialized transplant centers, such patients increasingly appear in dermatological offices or hospitals. Thus, there is need for an educational network for physicians and health care workers and for guidelines how to care best for this cohort of patients. Therefore, the SCOPE network (Skin care in Organ Transplant Patients Europe) was founded in Berlin in 2000 to meet the need for proper dermatological aftercare in this growing group of patients. 

    SCOPE was initiated by Prof. Eggert Stockfleth of the Berlin Charité, now Head of the Dermatology Department in Bochum, Germany. Over the next few years SCOPE grew into a pan-European organisation. It is an interdisciplinary network of dermatologists, transplant physicians, patient support groups and basic researchers; it is the kind of network that leads to new discoveries and helps advance medicine. 

    Close cooperation at an intercontinental level with our sister organisation, the North-American and Australian ITSCC (International Skin Cancer in Organ Transplant Patients Collaborative Group), represents an integral part of our work. Outside transplantation increasing numbers of patients are also long-term immunosuppressive therapy due to other reasons, or are immunosuppressed because of underlying conditions such as chronic lymphatic leukemia; these patient groups will also be the focus of SCOPE.

    The annual SCOPE meetings offer a major forum for scientific exchange among clinicians and basic scientists working in these challenging fields. the SCOPE meeting has since been held annually in a different European city, namely in Lyon 2001, London 2004, Stockholm 2005, Barcelona 2006, Dublin 2007, Venice 2008, Thessaloniki 2009, Oslo 2010, Dundee 2011, Istanbul 2012, Gdansk 2013, Leiden 2014, Vienna 2015, Tel Aviv 2016, Prague 2017 and in Zurich 2018. The 19th Annual SCOPE meeting took place in Barcelona, Spain, from 26-29 September 2019 and proved extremely successful. The 20th meeting, originally scheduled for Nov. 12-14, 2020, in Bochum, Germany, had to be postponed by one year due to the COVID 19 pandemic and was held Nov. 11-13, 2021. We have recently decided to hold our meetings only biannually, therefore the next meeting will take place in autumn 2023, in Brussels, Belgium.

    The SCOPE network would like to strengthen the organisation by calling new members – dermatologists and scientists – from all over Europe working in the field of transplant dermatology, to share their work and best practices: new members are welcomed! 

    Our fruitful cooperation is reflected in several multicentre studies, and in a number of ground-breaking publications and books. Thank you for your interest in transplant dermatology and SCOPE!

    Univ. Prof. Dr. Alexandra Geusau
    President European SCOPE Network



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