Executive Officer, Medical Oncology Group of Australia
Associate Professor Chris Karapetis became the new Chairman of the Medical Oncology Group of Australia (MOGA) on 3 August 2016. He has been a member of the MOGA Executive since 2012 with the specific task of oversighting the Australia-Asia Pacific Clinical Oncology Research Development (ACORD) Workshop for the Association and as ACORD Deputy Convenor including participating in the 2012, 2014 and most recently the 2016 Workshops as a Faculty member. In October he cycled 360kms across Cambodia to fight gastro-intestinal cancer to raise funds to support the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group (AGITG) Innovation Fund, with a team of like-minded adventurers. In taking on this new challenge he said, “As a clinical researcher, I am grateful for the contribution patients make to research and the courage they show in joining trials.”
Associate Professor Karapetis is the Head of the Department of Medical Oncology at the Flinders Medical Centre and the Network Director for Cancer Services in the Southern Area Local Health Network of Adelaide, South Australia. He is also the Director of Clinical Research in Medical Oncology at the Flinders Medical Centre and the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer. He has been the principal investigator on over 120 clinical trials. His interest in clinical research developed following a research fellowship at Guy’s Hospital in London. He has established research interests in the areas of lung cancer, gastro-intestinal malignancy, molecular targeted therapies, predictive biomarkers, epidemiology and clinical research methodology.
Congratulations and plaudits go to Professor Martin Stockler based at the Cancer Trails Centre in Sydney on convening a stimulating but exhausting 2016 ACORD Workshop (11-16 September, Magenta Shores, NSW Central Coast) with 70 participants from across South-East Asia and 25 top-line international faculty supported by eight junior faculty who are successful program alumni. ACORD goes from strength to strength and has an important place in clinical trials training in Australia and our region, of which we can all be proud. The Association is grateful for the extensive support and assistance this project receives from all our collaborators above all those close to home, including the NSW Cancer Institute, Cancer Council Australia, The Facility of Radiation Oncology and the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia.
On Saturday 1 October The Federal Minister for Health, The Hon Sussan Ley MP Undertook a media stop at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre to provide details on the announcement that Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) had been added to the Public Benefits Schedule and was available as a preventative treatment for around 250,000 Australian women whose breast cancer risk is more than 1.5 times the average population. MOGA, the Breast Cancer Network of Australia, Peter MacCallum and patients collaborated to advocate for this access to tamoxifen as a preventative treatment over the last four years. MOGA’s campaign to seek an expansion of the extant listing was led by Professor Kelly-Anne Phillips with support from the Oncology Drugs Working Group with Chair, A/Prof Gary Richardson and A/Prof Rosemary Harrup as the MOGA Chair. AstraZeneca also worked closely with MOGA from the get-go and contributed a large amount of staff time and resources to put provide the requisite research information and data to support the MOGA submission. This landmark win for Australian breast cancer specialists and their patients was widely reported in the media nationally. Organizing this highly successful media event with the Minister on the day of the Grand Final in Melbourne proved to be a worthwhile challenge.