Clinical Oncological Society of Australia

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Executive Officer Clinical Oncological Society of Australia


COSA’s Annual Scientific Meeting was held in November, in Brisbane, and was attended by nearly 1300 delegates. The partnership between COSA and the International Psycho-Oncology Society was appreciated by members of both societies, in particular COSA’s psycho-oncology and other allied health members.

Planning for the 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting in Adelaide is well underway. The theme – ‘Cancer Care Coming of Age’ – will cover geriatric oncology. Disease themes will feature all gastro-intestinal cancer, encompassing gastric, oesophagus and hepatobiliary tumours, often neglected at major meetings.

The 2013 ASM marks the 40th conference for COSA, as does this issue of Cancer Forum.

Leadership in improving cancer research

In 2011, COSA was funded by Cancer Australia for a project to enhance consumer engagement in clinical cancer research. The aims were to develop a strategy for increased consumer involvement at all levels of clinical cancer research through increased training, mentoring and collaboration across the 14 cancer cooperative trial groups, in order to enhance knowledge, skills and confidence of consumers involved in clinical trial development and oversight.

The end result and most tangible outcome is the Consumer Learning website, which contains short online learning modules and video presentations to guide consumers who are seeking to participate in clinical trials and research. The website was launched by Cancer Australia on World Cancer Day (4 Feb) and can be accessed at consumerlearning.canceraustralia.gov.au

Geriatric oncology

COSA activities in geriatric oncology continue to expand to meet the membership’s interests. Last year, our Geriatric Oncology Interest Group had just over 100 members, which was anecdotally the largest interest group within a cancer society worldwide. By December 2012, membership of the group had grown to 135.

The group will host a concept development workshop in March 2013, while the 2013 ASM in Adelaide will feature a geriatric theme under the guidance of convenor Nimit Singhal. Cancer Forum will also feature a geriatric oncology theme in its November issue.

Cancer survivorship

Cancer survivorship re-emerged as a growing area of interest for COSA members in late 2012. At their November 2012 meeting, Council approved the formation of a COSA Survivorship Group. Members met at the ASM in Brisbane to commence discussions about activities for the group, which will include:

  • collating the available systematic reviews related to cancer survivorship
  • considering the need for specialist referrals to allied health outside the public hospital system
  • exploration of what cancer survivorship is and how this differs from life
  • integration of community-based organisations, particularly Cancer Councils, into the delivery of post-treatment cancer care
  • models of care and survivorship planning.

The inaugural Australian Cancer Survivorship Conference in February, hosted by the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, was supported by COSA as gold sponsor. The conference is reported on separately in this issue of Cancer Forum.

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