As President of the Japan Endovascular Treatment Conference (JET), I, Yoshiaki Yokoi of Kishiwada Tokushukai Hospital, will be honored to preside as Chair of the next JET2018.
First, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Dr. Naoto Inoue for his Chairmanship of the JET2017 held in Tokyo. The great success of the conference was due in no small measure to his excellent organizing efforts as well as the strong support of the participants.
The next JET2018 will mark the 10th anniversary of the Japan Endovascular Treatment Conference and it will also mark the 15th year since I was able to launch its forerunner, the Japan Peripheral Intervention Conference (JPIC). During this time, endovascular therapy (EVT) in Japan has made great advances and I believe JET has been the driving force behind its phenomenal growth and development. The young doctors who were trained and nurtured along with the growth of JET are now active on the international stage giving lectures and live demonstrations. Presently, JET has over 2000 members and provides Asia’s leading EVT live demonstration course. I believe that as a Society for endovascular research, JET will soon be the predominant force in Asia along with Vascular Interventional Advances (VIVA) in the USA and the Leipzig Interventional Course (LINC) in Europe.
In contrast to the past 10 years, EVT now faces a revolutionary shift in direction. In the past, compared to other countries, we had experienced a lag in the testing and use of new devices due to the delay in their introduction into Japan. Thus, in the early years of JET, our role was to make EVT more widespread by inviting faculty from abroad to introduce such new devices and instruct medical personnel on their use. However, I now feel that the strict restrictions of those early years have also led to great advantages. We were able to carry out the most efficient and practical treatment with whatever device was available at the time and, instead of trying out a mixed bag of good as well as mediocre devices, Japan’s cautious and strict clinical trial process could weed out the less effective devices and introduce only the most promising. Moreover, with an unparalleled high incidence of patients who are elderly, diabetic, suffer claudication or peripheral artery disease (PAD) and are on dialysis, the various EVT trials have been conducted for a wide range of patients with complex diseases so that Japan’s clinical trial outcome data are vast and has garnered much attention from abroad.
From 2018, starting with the long-awaited Drug-Coated Balloon (DCB), various innovative devices are expected to be clinically approved. These are original and unique devices that have been thoroughly tested and approved through Japan’s strict clinical trial process. Thus, JET members have been involved in these various clinical trials as well as equipment and facility development from the very beginning. The issue of a lag in the introduction of new devices from abroad has also gradually improved. Besides such issues regarding new medical devices, cost-effectiveness has also become an important requirement. Providing the safest and most effective outcomes through the collection and analyses of accurate trial data will be vital in actual clinical practice.
Instead of rushing to implement procedural treatments with short-term success, trials carried out through optimal patient selection, optimal treatment strategy selection, and the accumulation of long-term data will be essential to achieve long-term clinical success. Thus, for the next 10 years, JET will be tasked with a multitude of roles. However, such effective medical research would not be possible without the support and contribution of the JET members.
The great advances JET has made has not only attracted much attention in Japan but also across Asia and we are grateful for the participation of their medical personnel in order to expand EVT throughout Asia. We are also fortunate to have many participants from the West and hope that our frontline EVT techniques will be of interest and instruction to all who participate from abroad.
A distinctive feature of endovascular treatment is its multidisciplinary cross-gathering of experts in cardiovascular internal medicine, vascular surgery, radiology, plastic surgery and cerebrovascular treatment so that meaningful discussions and strong collaborations will be essential. Moreover, with the rise in severe critical limb ischemia (CLI), medical teams devoted to foot care and comprised of nursing staff, radiology technicians, medical engineers and medical clerks are also indispensable. I would also like to contribute to the smooth expansion of EVT throughout Japan by working to resolve the current issues regarding EVT through productive discussions with the Pharmaceuticals & Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) as well as relevant government agencies.
JET has developed with the live demonstrations as its focal point, however, we are planning a completely new way to present them. We also plan to hold debates, round table discussions, lectures of clinical studies from Japan, the now annual Presentation Awards for young doctors, education & training programs, hands-on sessions and many other programs which are only possible at the JET meetings. Discussions and debates will be broad-based, taking into account not only procedural success but also the importance of long term prognosis.
The conference site will be the same as in 2015, the Knowledge Capital Congrés Convention Center in the Grand Front Osaka building with direct links to both the JR Osaka and Umeda stations. It is a wonderful conference site with good traffic flow and easy access from the ports. We are looking forward to welcoming you to Osaka next February 23rd to 25th 2018.
Yoshiaki Yokoi, MD, PhD, FJCC, FACC, FSCAI
Director of the Cardiovascular Center
Department of Cardiology, Kishiwada Tokushukai Hospital