During the past decades, the laparoscopic surgery has been emerging as a new surgical treatment modality leading a transition to the era of minimally invasive surgery. This big fundamental change served to solidify the relationship among young gastric surgeons, and it became the starting of the Korean Laparoendoscopic gAstrointestinal Surgery Study (KLASS) group.
The KLASS group was formally founded in March 2005, with the mission of ‘Devoting for the patients with gastrointestinal disease to improve quality of life after the laparoscopic or endoscopic surgeries’. For last 13 years, the KLASS group has endeavor to develop and standardize new surgical techniques, reported a lot of pivotal studies, and launched the 7th clinical trial of KLASS series so far. Therefore, there is no doubt that the KLASS group has played a key role in gastric cancer treatment for the past decade and that all of this was possible thanks to dedicated efforts of former presidents and board members.
Hippocrates defined the physician’s objectives as, ‘Declare the past, diagnose the present, foretell the future; practice these acts.’. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the foundation in 2015, we looked back at our footprints, revised the mission and vision for the next 10 years, and restructured the committees to enhance the future research activity. In addition, an educative hands-on workshop for the young surgeons is held annually by the KLASS group and regular researcher meetings for clinical trials are integrated and operated biannually from 3 years ago. As KLASS group expands its scope of studies based on the new mission and vision, our participation and leadership will expand steadily in the field of minimally invasive surgery for the gastrointestinal diseases.
I believe that the KLASS group is now at a crossroad for a new leap. Above all, the long-term outcomes of KLASS 01 and 02 are expected to be published within next 2 years. These will not only be a fruit of our research over the years, but will also enhance the international status of the KLASS group. However, on the other hand, we need to find novel and innovative research themes for the future. Facing the 4th industrial revolution such as big data and artificial intelligence, preparation and challenge might be necessary for the next generation.
With a collaboration of the highly esteemed members, we will continue to devote itself to the valuable research, improving patients’ quality of life, and excellence in minimally invasive surgery for gastrointestinal diseases. You are truly the owner of the KLASS group and look forward to active participation and support in your work.
President, The Korean Laparoendoscopic gAstrointestinal Surgery Study group