Chair, Medical Oncology Group of Australia.
Professor Geoffrey J. Lindeman was presented with the MOGA-Novartis Oncology Cancer Achievement Award 2014 at the Annual Scientific Meeting in Sydney in August. This Award recognises the unique role Australian oncologists play in providing outstanding leadership in clinical practice, research and academic achievement.
Professor Lindeman is Joint Head of the Stem Cells and Cancer Division at the Walter and Eliza Hall of Medical Research Institute and Director of the Familial Cancer Centre at The Royal Melbourne Hospital. He also leads the Centre for Translational Breast Cancer Research.
MOGA’s advocacy to ensure access to oncology drugs and treatments in Australia that matches developments overseas has continued apace. The 2014 Annual Horizon Scanning Report on New Developments in Medical Oncology, released in November, demonstrates the explosion of activity in oncology drug discovery and development over the last 12 months and the profession’s active participation in ensuring access to new therapies.
Through the Oncology Drugs Working Group, chaired by Associate Professor Gary Richardson, MOGA systematically pursues a diversity of oncology drugs and treatment matters, including: review and streamlining of authorities; updating and derestricting indications in keeping with current clinical practice and research advances; shortage, funding and supply issues; liaising with pharma; approval and access issues; and proactively addressing oncology drugs and treatment issues with regulatory bodies and government as they arise.
The Young Oncologists Group of Australia, launched at our ASM in August, aims to support young medical oncologists who have attained their fellowship within the last five years, with a networking framework and assistance to facilitate their transition from advanced trainee to consultant.
The inaugural program featured presentations from ACORD Alumnus, Dr Katrin Sjoquist on clinical trial development and research opportunities, a masterclass on ‘What drugs when in prostate cancer’ with Professor James Gulley from the US National Cancer Institute, and a session on career opportunities and options with Professor Bogda Koczwara.
The 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting ‘Pathways in Medical Oncology – The Path Less Travelled’ (Hobart, 5-7 August and Best of ASCO® Australia, 8 August), is being convened by Dr David Boadle, Staff Specialist in Medical Oncology at Royal Hobart Hospital.
An innovative scientific and academic program will explore contemporary challenges and advances in medical oncology research, discovery and clinical practice, including immuno-oncology. The program will also focus on less covered areas of medical oncology practice and research, such as rare tumours and haematological malignancies.
Professor Martin Stockler and the 2014 ACORD Faculty organised the largest and most successful ACORD Workshop to date. Seventy-two participants and 25 Faculty members attended the workshop on the NSW Central Coast in September. Attendees found the experience professionally and personally rewarding on all levels.
As it was the workshop’s 10th anniversary, founder of the program, Professor Bogda Koczwara, returned to share her enduring enthusiasm for the program, medical oncology and clinical research.
Associate Professor Rosemary Harrup
Chair, Medical Oncology Group of Australia