Clinical Oncology Society of Australia


Marie Malica
Executive Officer, COSA

COSA Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM)

In 2016, COSA is partnering with the ANZ Breast Cancer Trials Group to host a joint breast cancer focused conference, 15-17 November 2016 at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Organising Committee has made excellent progress with the program, with a draft available on the conference website

The invited international speakers confirmed to date are:

  • Dr Laura Esserman – Professor of Surgery and Radiology at the University of California. Internationally recognised as one of the leading experts in breast cancer research and treatment, Dr Esserman work in breast cancer spans the spectrum from basic science to public policy issues and the impact of both on the delivery of clinical care.
  • Dr Deborah Fenlon – Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health of Sciences, at the University of Southampton. With a background in nursing women with breast cancer, Dr Fenlon’s interest is in researching and promoting health and wellbeing in people who have had cancer.
  • Dr Jay Harris – Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston. Dr Harris’ principal research interest is the use of radiation therapy in the multidisciplinary management of breast cancer. In particular, the development and optimisation of breast-conserving therapy for patients with invasive breast cancer and ductal carcinoma in situ.
  • Dr Melinda Irwin – Professor of Epidemiology at Yale University. Dr Irwin is a prominent leader in the field of behavioural lifestyle factors and cancer risk and mortality.

Among the many local Australian experts, we have also secured the participation of Dr Ranjana Srivastava – an eminent oncologist from Melbourne. Dr Srivastava is a regular columnist for The Guardian newspaper, and presenter of a monthly health segment on ABC television and Radio National. Her writing has been published worldwide, including in Time Magazine and The Week, and The New England Journal of MedicineLancetJournal of the American Medical Association and Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care Management. In 2008, her story ‘Ode to a Patient’, won the Cancer Council Victoria Arts Award for outstanding writing.

Venues and dates for future COSA ASMs are as follows; themes are yet to be determined:

  • 2017, 13-15 November, Sydney International Convention Centre
  • 2018, 13-15 November, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
  • 2019, 12-14 November, Adelaide Convention Centre.

Other educational opportunities

In addition to the ASM, COSA is hosting a number of other educational events for members in 2016.

  • ATOM – the Advanced Trainees Oncology Meeting is a unique annual educational symposium for medical oncology trainees with a program developed by the trainees. Held in March and attended by over 50 delegates, this program provides a comprehensive review of current oncology practices and incudes presentations not covered in traditional meetings.
  • ACTNOW – the ACT and NSW oncology weekend is a biennial educational opportunity for training and practising oncologists across ACT and NSW. This meeting is intended to enhance delegate professional development and workshop local issues which are not discussed at traditional oncology conferences. This popular event held in May saw registration oversubscribed before the closing date.
  • Pharmacology of cancer chemotherapy workshops – following the success of these workshops in 2015, COSA will once again host them throughout June and July in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. The workshops are designed to provide education on the pharmacology of cancer chemotherapy and targeted therapies specifically for advanced trainees in oncology and haematology.
  • COSA advanced trainees weekend“Everything you need to know about breast cancer” is an intensive two day course for advanced trainees in surgery, medical and radiation oncology, junior medical staff and allied health professionals, including nurses. This event will be held on 12-13 November 2016 at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre prior to the COSA ASM.

Cancer care coordinator position statement

COSA’s position statement on the role of the cancer care coordinator was approved by COSA Council and published in November 2015. The paper outlines COSA’s position on the role of cancer care coordinators and provides guidance for consumers, health professionals, health service managers and funders on the effective integration of these roles into cancer care delivery. COSA is also pleased to have recently received the endorsement of the Cancer Nurses Society of Australia for the position statement. It is available to download at

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