Chair, Medical 0ncology Group of Australia
The 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM), Implementation + Innovation in Immunotherapy (Surfers Paradise Marriott Hotel, Gold Coast, 3-5 August followed by Best of ASCO® Australia, 6 August) will present a challenging and far-reaching scientific program. The program will have a strong focus on immunotherapy and genomics, as well as innovations and implementations in research and clinical practice across major cancer streams. Over the last five years, the ASM has grown exponentially in scope and quality. It is very much our intention to continue to grow the meeting as the peak national gathering for our profession by incorporating a wide range of top-line, international and national speakers, focusing on current and emergent themes that have high relevance to oncology research and practice, as well as the introduction of new meeting partners to strengthen the Association’s positioning nationally, regionally and globally.
More than 120 MOGA consultants and trainee members participated in MOGA’s inaugural Immuno-Oncology Forum ‘Insights and Advances’ in Melbourne in late October. The planning committee, led by Convenor, Professor Michael P Brown, was able to bring together a group of international and Australian experts to provide insights on advances in the rapidly developing field of immuno-oncology. The scientific program featured presentations on: the cancer immunity cycle and cancer immuno-editing; infiltrating lymphocytes and PD1-PDL1 interactions; mutational load and tumour neoepitopes; good and bad actors in the immune system and immunogenomics. The program also included presentations on immuno-oncology advances in melanoma, breast, genitourinary, lung, head and neck, and other cancers. A highlight was the forum dinner with international immuno-oncology experts, Professor Kim A. Margolin and Professor Alan J. Korman, presenting on their ground-breaking research. The Future Treatment Landscape session allowed delegates to learn about the pipeline plans of the event platinum sponsors Bristol Myers Squibb and Merck Sharp and Dome. To round out the forum, a ‘Stump the Professors’ panel discussion provided an opportunity for presenters and delegates to engage each other in open case-based discussion. The program brought together an impressive group of thought-leaders and MOGA hopes to present this important program in future years to ensure that Australian clinicians can stay abreast of global developments in this rapidly expanding area of oncology. International presenters: Professor Alexander Eggermont, Institut Goustave-Roussy, France; Dr Matthew D. Hellman, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, US: Professor Alan J. Korman, Bristol-Myers Squibb Biologics Discovery, US; Professor Kim A. Margolin, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, US; and Assistant Professor Tanguy Seiwert, The University of Chicago Medicine, US. Australian presenters: Professor Stephen Clarke; Professor Ian Davis; Professor Jonathan Cebon; Dr Thomas John; Associate Professor Sherene Loi; Dr Alexander Menzies; Professor Mark Smyth; Associate Professor Ben Solomon; and Professor David Thomas.
It is planned that the next two-day Immuno-Oncology forum will be held in 2017 and a half day Forum will be organised as part of this year’s ASM.
The 2016 Australia and Asia Pacific Clinical Oncology Research Development Workshop (ACORD) is being convened by Professor Martin Stockler (http://acord.org.au/). The workshop, to be held at Magenta Shores on the New South Wales Central Coast, is a seven day residential educational program (11-17 September) in clinical trials design and development. Around 72 junior clinicians and early stage researchers from the Asia-Pacific and a world class faculty of international leaders in cancer research, will come together for this unique oncology training program to develop clinical trials expertise and build professional networks. A record number of applications have been received across all oncology and allied health disciplines in the Asia–Pacific region for a place on this career-enhanc¬ing education program in clinical trials design and development.
In early April, the Young Oncologists Group of Australia (YOGA) will present ‘Walking the Talk: Communication Skills for the Early Career Oncologist’, a 1.5 day educational and professional development program designed for young Australian medical oncologists (within five years of receipt of fellowship) developed in collaboration with the Pam McLean Centre, University of Sydney. Good communication is core to our profession as medical oncologists at all levels. This innovative educational initiative will provide young oncologists in Australia with a challenging and valuable learning opportunity that will enable them to build their professional communications skills. Dr George Au-Yeung, President, YOGA, and his team of Dr Deme Karikios and Dr Felicia Roncolato are to be congratulated for this valuable new addition to MOGA’s educational portfolio.