Clinical Oncology Society of Australia, COSA

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Executive Officer, COSA


Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM)

The theme for COSA’s 41st ASM will highlight cancer survivorship, supportive care and palliative care – all important areas of interest for COSA members and delegates. Our disease themes will focus on lung cancer and metastases, particularly oligometastases.
 
Building on the strength of previous meetings and to appeal to COSA’s multidisciplinary membership, the Local Organising Committee led by our expert convenor, Mei Krishnasamy, is keen to ensure the inclusion of broad content in every session. Many international experts have confirmed their participation in the program. 
  • Director of the Cancer Survivorship Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Mary McCabe, has kindly agreed to present on her expertise in standards of survivorship care and the ethics of access to care.
  • Professor Harvey Pass from the NYU Langone Medical Center is a surgeon scientist whose work focuses on the early detection, surgical management, and adjuvant therapy of thoracic malignancies. Professor Pass will present on new techniques in the surgical management of lung cancer. 
  • Dr Sumitra Thongpreasert, a medical oncologist from Chiang Mai in Thailand, will discuss the challenges of treating lung cancer patients in the Asian region. 
  • Professor Jim Bishop AO will present an Australian perspective on comprehensive cancer centres during his Presidential Lecture on Thursday 4 December. 

A full list of confirmed speakers and the draft program are available at www.cosa2014.org 

As previously reported, the COSA ASM will be held in conjunction with the Union for International Cancer Control World Cancer Congress in the first week of December at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. The COSA ASM will run Tuesday 2nd to Thursday 4th December, and World Cancer Congress 4th to 6th December, with Thursday 4th being a joint day. Discounts are available for delegates attending both events. 

Collaboration in cancer control and research 

COSA attended two important national meetings in March – the Cancer Drugs Alliance Forum and the Australia Clinical Trials Alliance. 

The newly formed Cancer Drugs Alliance held a forum in Canberra on 26-27 March. Delegates at the forum included consumers, clinicians and industry, with COSA represented by its Executive Officer. This is the first time this breadth of stakeholders across our cancer community has come together. The forum reinforced the seriousness of the cancer challenge and the need for a more collaborative, proactive approach going forward. The key issues explored were: how we ensure the consumer voice truly gets heard; how we help inform evidentiary requirements; and how we shape a fit-for-purpose Australian system – one that is equitable, affordable and sustainable. The alliance has committed to tapping into the expertise and passion of those involved and will support this collaboration by forming working groups to explore the priorities identified:

  • ensuring a meaningful and impactful public and consumer voice
  • system improvement 
  • innovative access models 
  • reducing red tape. 

A national summit of investigator-initiated clinical trials networks was hosted by the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance in Melbourne in March. Many COSA members and representatives of the COSA Affiliated Cancer Cooperative Trials Groups were in attendance. The meeting objectives included providing an opportunity to discuss innovative opportunities for increasing the impact of investigator-initiated clinical trials and the capacity of collaborative networks to answer important clinical questions and provide better evidence to support the delivery of high-quality health care. It is evident that cancer has a long history in running investigator initiated trials through the Cancer Cooperative Trials Groups, yet there are always opportunities to learn from other disease areas and share knowledge. 

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