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APGC 2024 Day 1 Round-up: The Thrilla in Manila is All about Glaucoma! 

Amidst the heat, traffic and dust, all roads lead to Manila (Philippines) this weekend as the world’s brightest minds in glaucoma convene at the 7th Congress of the Asia-Pacific Glaucoma Society (APGC 2024) at the famous SMX Convention Center. Having just arrived from Media MICE Satellite HQ in Da Nang, Vietnam, the excitement is palpable for my first in-person post-pandemic Congress. We editors often work silently at the back end, and are rarely at the frontlines—but this time I got to be front and center for the opportunity to meet in person all the ophthalmology rock stars Media MICE has been collaborating with in the past decade. 

APGC 2024 Day 1 Round-up: The Thrilla in Manila is All about Glaucoma! 

As is the first line of treatment in glaucoma, Day 1 at the Congress kicked off with a symposium on optimizing medical therapy. The good old ‘medical glaucoma’ route of treatment, in this day and age of MIGS, shouldn’t be as ‘boring’ as you think it might be, noted Dr. Prin Rojanapongpun (Thailand), past president of the Asia Pacific Glaucoma Society (APGS), during the session. After all, there’s more to medical glaucoma that meets the eye! 

The panel of experts on hand emphasized the importance of personalized treatment, fixed combination therapies and novel drug delivery systems that would ensure safety and better patient outcomes. Be sure to read our full coverage of that enlightening session here.

On the sidelines, Media MICE needed to video interview a few KOLs, and a fangirl moment couldn’t be helped when I met the Dr. I. Paul Singh (USA) in the flesh! I’ve reviewed and edited countless video interviews we do with him, but there’s nothing like seeing (and hearing!) that level of expertise in person. Much like how I was greeted warmly by Dr. Robert Ang (Philippines) whom I’ve never met in person before today. Like Dr. Singh, we have collaborated with him innumerable times around the world, hence the familiarity. 

APGC 2024 Day 1 Round-up: The Thrilla in Manila is All about Glaucoma! 
APGC 2024 Day 1 Round-up: The Thrilla in Manila is All about Glaucoma! 

The glaucoma subspecialty, from the familiar to the novel, has evolved tremendously since the last APGC. Today glaucoma patients at every stage of the condition have more options than ever. Interventional glaucoma is the new buzz word (it’s definitely a whole lot noisier than the sounds of Manila!) and it is changing the way glaucoma experts are making decisions in their clinical practice— from PGAs (prostaglandin analogues) to sustained glaucoma medication delivery systems, novel cost-effective glaucoma implant with drug eluting properties and MIGS procedures. The armamentarium has expanded tremendously indeed. 

This new wave of glaucoma treatments is the topic of our second highlight symposium for Day 1. With glaucoma, there is no one treatment that fits all, including with monotherapy and combination treatment. The best treatment regimen, according to Dr. Tina Wong (Singapore) is an individualized treatment that would best cater to the patients’ needs. This session was packed full of these pearls from more top doctors like Dr. Wong, so definitely check out the full details here.

As is customary, awards abounded at APGC’s first plenary session and opening ceremony. From inspiring words about building bridges in life and practice to an earthshaking inaugural Anthony Molteno Lecture delivered by Prof. Xiulan Zhang (China) on MIGS in primary angle closure glaucoma, there were heaps of top-level science and clinical philosophy on display. Before going to read out our writeup, here’s a list of the deserving honorees from this year’s Congress.  

  1. APGS international award and lecture: Prof. Paul Palmberg (USA)
    On building—and being—a bridge in life and eye care
  1. APGS Asia Pacific award and lecture: Dr. Ki ho Park (South Korea)
    The effect of IOP and IOP fluctuations on NTG
  1. APGS Young Investigator Award: Dr. Dewang Angmo (India)
  1. Anthony Molteno Lecture: Dr. Xiulan Zhang (China)
    The possibility of MIGS in advanced POAG
  1. Manuel Agulto Lecture: Dr. Paul Healey (Australia)
    The future of glaucoma with personalized care.

What’s new and what’s on the horizon is a favorite headline, of course, and especially in the glaucoma subspecialty. But the new generation of glaucoma experts are at APGC not just to hone their skills, but also to collaborate with the best in the field. Instructional courses in automated perimetry, rescuing failing blebs, use of lasers in glaucoma, glaucoma drainage devices, gonioscopy, anterior segment OCT and ultrasound biomicroscopy, have already begun in earnest as well—but they are closed to the press, so you have to be here to get in on the action!

The sun is now well below the horizon line here in Manila (as of writing this piece), but there’s more to come tomorrow (May 25) … it is just the first day of three and there are lots more in the pipeline, so stay tuned!

Editor’s Note: Reporting for this event took place during the 7th Congress of the Asia-Pacific Glaucoma Society (APGC 2024), held from May 24-26, 2024 in Manila, Philippines.

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