ANZSA Newsletter - December 2021
In this edition, we share with you exciting updates on our ANZSA ASM 2021 | ANZSA Strategic Plan 2022-2024 | Sarcoma Guidelines Working Group | Database Manager Workshop
Message from the CEO of ANZSA
It has been another productive half of the year as we close off 2021 on a high note. While working from home due to COVID-19 is not ideal, the ANZSA team continues to focus on delivering high-quality sarcoma research and clinical trials by working closely with our clinicians, researchers and consumers.
Our ANZSA Annual Scientific Meeting 2021 was a success as we were joined by more than 150 delegates from Australia, New Zealand, Myanmar and Vietnam. We were pleased to once again offer complimentary registration to our colleagues in Myanmar and Vietnam. The quality of the talks was high, and the discussions were robust. We are grateful to all our international and local speakers, delegates and sponsors. We look forward to having a proper face to face meeting in 2022. More details below.
We are also pleased to see great progress with the Sarcoma Guidelines project. It is a huge undertaking by the working group to trawl through a high volume of literature to answer specific research questions on three main topics. Read more about this project below.
While COVID-19 continues to be challenging for many in our sarcoma community, we are thankful for our patients, collaborators, donors and members for their continued support, generosity and trust in us and the work we do.
We want to thank our donors in another difficult year for fundraising particularly. We continue to be generously supported by the philanthropic sarcoma community, namely: The GPA Andrew Ursini Charitable Fund will support the INTER-EWING1 international clinical trial, the Cooper Rice-Brading Foundation (CRBF) for their support in funding the transportation and handling cost for the SARC032 trial, and Kicking Goals for Xav Foundation, Stop Sarcoma and Stoney’s Steps have continued to donate significant sums to support our sarcoma research projects. We can’t thank you enough.
Lastly, we would like to thank and farewell to our Communications Manager, Jeffrey Goh, as he moves on to his next chapter. We sincerely thank him for all his hard work and warmth over the last three years.
We hope you will continue to support us in the work we do. Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a wonderful 2022!
Dr Denise Caruso | CEO of ANZSA
Annual Scientific Meeting 2021
While it was unfortunate that we were unable to organise a face-to-face Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) for the second year in a row due to COVID-19, we were grateful that over 180 local and international delegates were able to join us virtually via Zoom Webinar.
The ASM 2021 theme is “Coming together”, and we were honoured to have five esteemed international sarcoma specialists deliver their talks to our delegates.
The ASM kicked off with an excellent presentation by Dr Alda Tam, Professor in the Department of Interventional Radiology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Centre, who presented on interventional techniques for soft tissue and desmoid ablation.
Dr Sebastian Foersch from the Institute of Pathology, University Medical Centre Mainz, gave a very interesting talk on the use of artificial intelligence in pathology for diagnosis and survival prediction in soft tissue sarcoma.
This was followed by an engaging orthopaedic session which featured The Great Debate on “old school vs new technology in orthopaedic surgery” by orthopaedic surgeons, Dr Gerard Powell and Dr Richard Boyle.
Our keynote session for Day 1 was delivered by Prof Michiel van de Sande, Professor in Orthopaedic (paediatric) oncology in the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), who spoke about personalised care from an orthopaedic perspective.
Day 2 of our ASM started with “The Professor Martin Tattersall Lecture”, delivered by Dr Jeffrey Toretsky, chief of MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s Division of Paediatric, Adolescent, and Young Adult Haematology/Oncology. This plenary lecture was named in honour of the late Prof Martin Tattersall AO, whose work and leadership was crucial to ANZSA and the sarcoma community.
Dr Toretsky’s gave a wonderful talk on his lifelong work titled: “From design on a napkin to a clinical trial: a 20-year quest to improve survival for Ewing sarcoma patients”.
Throughout the two ASM days, we had local sarcoma specialists from various disciplines and researchers sharing case studies. We also had robust discussions on patient’s involvement and perspectives when it comes to treatment and life after treatment.
We thank all our ASM sponsors, organising committee, speakers and delegates (local and international) for making this year’s virtual ASM a success.
If you would like to watch the recording of the ASM sessions, please email us (email@example.com).
ANZSA Strategic Plan 2022-2024
We are pleased to announce that our ANZSA Strategic Plan 2022-2024 has been launched. You can download it here.
We are grateful for the involvement of various internal stakeholders such as ANZSA members, the scientific advisory committee (SAC), the consumer advisory panel (CAP) and the orthopaedic committee for their input.
New ANZSA Merchandise
We're delighted to introduce a range of ANZSA merchandise available for purchase. You can buy our merchandise for fundraising purposes or as a gift! 100% of proceeds go towards sarcoma research.
Since the festive holidays are coming, we're starting our sales with 20% off all items! Shop here: https://shop.sarcoma.org.au/. Free shipping if you spend over $50.
We hope you support us with our fundraising efforts by buying our merchandise.
List of merchandise available:
- ANZSA badge
- ANZSA coffee cup
- ANZSA candle
- ANZSA drink bottle
- ANZSA tote bag
- ANZSA bucket hat
- ANZSA face mask
Sarcoma Guidelines Working Group
The Sarcoma Guidelines project is well underway. We have over 40 members in the working group consisting of surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, general practitioners, pathologists and consumer representatives with ANZSA Director, Prof Angela Hong, as the working group chair.
The guidelines will cover three main topics: “Does Treatment at Specialised Sarcoma Centres Improve Outcomes”, “Retroperitoneal Sarcoma” and ‘Paediatric and AYA Sarcoma”.
We are currently conducting several systematic reviews of the literature to answer specific research questions within those mentioned topics. We aim to finalise the guidelines for submission to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in July 2022.
Database Manager Workshop
The annual ANZSA ACCORD sarcoma database workshop for data managers was held virtually in October 2021. This workshop covered site updates, current and upcoming data projects, site reporting and data quality as well as addressing specific data entry questions and project data cleaning. It was a productive meeting and we hope to be able to conduct this meeting in person next year.
Introducing CQUEST - the new Quality of Life Technical Service team from UTS
Researchers at UTS CHERE (Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation) and IMPACCT (Improving Palliative, Aged and Chronic Care) have won the tender from Cancer Australia to deliver the Quality of Life Technical Service (QoL-TS) to CTGs from September 2021 to August 2024.
CQUEST (Cancer Quality of Life Expert Service Team) is led by A/Prof Brendan Mulhern and Dr Tim Luckett in collaboration with key members from CREST (Cancer Research Economics Support Team), Cancer Symptoms Trials (CST), and the previous QoL-TS provider, The University of Sydney’s Quality of Life Office.
CQUEST includes expertise from across a wide range of disciplines relevant to the measurement of patient-reported outcomes (PRO) in cancer clinical trials (statistics, preference assessment, linguistics, data linkage, IT and qualitative methods), ensuring a comprehensive service to meet all CTG PRO-related needs.
CQUEST is available to support the inclusion of PROs in CTG trials through review of concepts/protocols and training, and will soon be launching a website with links and resources.
In the meantime, you are welcome to contact CQUEST via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank You, Donors and Supporters
We want to thank all our generous donors for their significant contributions and donations towards sarcoma research throughout the pandemic. The sarcoma community is made up of individuals, groups, organisations and philanthropic trusts that partner with us by donating your time, energy and funds, especially during COVID-19, and we cannot be more grateful for this support. Every dollar helps and is invested in high-quality sarcoma research to find a cure and improve outcomes.