Binaytara Foundation: Advocate, Educate, Innovate to Improve Healthcare

Preparing a Great Abstract for a Conference: The Why and the How.

The following post is written by Bishal Gyawali, MD, Department of Clinical Oncology and Chemotherapy, Nagoya University, Japan


It’s my pleasure today to share some of my experiences with upcoming young researchers, oncologists or other doctors about preparing abstracts for presentation at medical conferences. But let me begin by saying that participating in conferences or medical meetings is a must for early career oncologists like us. I participate in around 3 international and 3 national cancer conferences every year. This is primarily for education and update, of course, but there are many other benefits I derive from conference participation. Besides the talks and educational events, a medical conference is a great way to get new ideas for research projects, meet other colleagues, build networks and feel inspired. All these provide you returns in the long-run.

Now that we have decided participating in conferences is a good idea, let me tell you presenting an abstract at a conference is a much better idea! If you are participating in a conference, you might as well present an abstract! This again has manifold benefits: you will receive feedback on your work, you will get a nice recognition among colleagues, people will notice your work, it can open up avenues for collaboration with colleagues working in other institutions or other countries, the abstract might win some awards, you can add conference paper to your abstract and most important of all, these abstracts can later turn to good papers. There are many examples where I did research and made abstracts with an intent to only present at a conference, but they were so well received I thought I should make them into papers. These two papers have come out of my presentations at conferences.

Now coming to the main agenda: how to prepare a good abstract that can win merit awards or plaudits. The first step, as with pretty much every accomplishment in life, is to come up with a nice idea. Research ideas come from inspiration. Inspiration comes from mentors, colleagues, reading research papers, looking at abstracts of other people, and also from social media where many experts discuss their opinions. I frequently get new ideas for research from reading Twitter conversations. It is important to understand that unlike journal publications, it doesn’t have to be great research or a big study. You can present your interim findings, your next research project, or even just research ideas at conferences. That way, you’ll receive feedback from other participants on your ongoing work or future idea, and will have opportunities for improving or correcting any overlooked issues before it’s too late.

A very vital component of having your abstract accepted at conferences is presenting it well. You are trying to convince the organizers that your abstract is important to the participants. So, first, your topic should be of good interest to the participants of the conferences. Then, you should properly follow the abstract guidelines including not only the structure of abstract but also the word counts, tables or figures count, acronyms policy, authors COI policy etc. In the introduction, write just a couple of sentences that garner interest in the topic. In methods, just mention the major methods pertinent to the findings you have written in the results. It’s not possible to present everything you have done in an abstract-so focus on your major take home results. Conclude effectively and within the data. The abstract should be good enough to allow the readers understand your main message but also make them interested to know the full data.

Good luck, and I hope to have a great discussion at the ICAHO 2017 conference.

Register for the Northwest Cancer Summit!

Picture of summit info

Talk around the office lately seems to be all about our Northwest Cancer Summit. This event will be happening on February 26th, 2017 at the Bellingham Golf and Country Club. We’ve been sharing flyers and spreading the word around Whatcom County. Here are some of the things you can expect from the February summit:

Dr. Binay Shah will be speaking to us about immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is a treatment option which uses a person’s own immune system to help combat cancer.

David Rasbach will be helping us by providing information about finding credible news sources about cancer. We’ll be able to better tell what in the news is based on fact and what may not be completely credible.

Health insurance, appointment scheduling and preparation, and many other factors can make finding and receiving care complicated. Kim Moses, a nurse navigator, will be sharing tips about navigating cancer care.

This is a free event (with light refreshments provided)! To register, go to

On the right hand side of the page you will see an option to select either February or March. If you want to attend the summit in Bellingham, you’ll want to select February. If you would rather attend the summit in Mt. Vernon, select March.  Hit the button “register now” in orange.

Register box

You will be taken to the registration checkout page. You will need to include your first and last name with an email. You can only register one person at a time, but you can use the same email.

Bryli Registration

Once you have typed in all three fields, you will need to click “I’m not a robot” on the reCAPTCHA box. Then you can click “Proceed to Finalize Registration”. This will take you to the confirmation page.

On this page you will see a box that says “Congratulations”. You can hit the blue button to see your confirmation receipt. Please bring a copy of the confirmation receipt if you can. This event is free and open to the public, so you will not be turned away if you forget it!


Any questions? You can call Bryli at BTF by dialing (360) 707-7593 or email her at [email protected]


BTF Today: Cancer Patient Support and Nepal Home Hospice

Have you ever wondered what working for an international non-profit is like? We know you follow us, but today I’m going to share how our projects are going at BTF!

I just completed my first full month of working here at BTF. I have really enjoyed it; I feel quite busy each day, but that’s a good thing! I’ve learned a lot about cancer patient support, hospice care, and the nonprofit world in general. I can’t wait to learn more!

The project I’m most focused on right now is our cancer patient summit coming up on February 26th. The Northwest Cancer Patient Summit is just one of the ways we help to provide cancer patient support. We will be hosting three presenters and two interactive panels for the people of Whatcom County. Our board president, Dr. Binay Shah, will be presenting information about harnessing your immune system for cancer treatment. David Rasbach is the Health Editor for the Bellingham Herald. He’ll be speaking about finding credible news sources about cancer. Our last speaker is Nurse Navigator, Kim Moses. She’ll be speaking to us about navigating cancer care. We’re excited for the opportunity to meet community members at this event! We’re sending out advertisements this week. What are some ways you like to learn about local events?

This event is free and open to the local community. To find out more specific information, click here.

For me, working to make a global impact is very new, really exciting, and a little daunting! I’m a recent university graduate; I didn’t imagine I would be working for an organization with such a great impact this soon! I’ve been given the opportunity to start spreading awareness about some of our global projects. I’ll be making a type of video called a photovoice; this is a video created from still pictures and key messages in order to spread awareness and promote action. The first photovoice will highlight our Nepal Home Hospice Program. For the past year, we have been providing home hospice services in the district of Patan Lalitpur. The providers help terminally ill patients by providing patient support and care, as well as educating patients and their families, in order to improve the quality of life in the last few months or weeks. I hope to have this photovoice done in the next week or two! Until then, tell me what sort of messages you find powerful. What calls you to find ways to support a program? What do you want to know about our programs in general? Contact us!

Thank you for your support!

Bryli Blankenship, Assistant to the Executive Director, BTF

The official blog of the Binaytara Foundation (BTF)