ANZSA Newsletter - July 2020
In this edition, we share with you exciting updates on our ANZSA ASM 2020 | Clinical Trials | Sarcoma Research Grant | Sarcoma Awareness Month | National Sarcoma Database
Message from the CEO of ANZSA
While COVID-19 is a challenging time for many, ANZSA continues to operate as usual with our research and clinical trials as our priority. We are thankful that all ANZSA clinical trials have managed to continue with little disruption. We thank all the clinicians and patients for being quick to adapt to the changes.
Although it was unfortunate that we won’t be able to go ahead with our 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) in person, we have decided that a virtual ASM is the best way forward for us to share updates and progress with the sarcoma community. More details of the virtual ASM below.
July is Sarcoma Awareness Month, and we have organised a series of webinars on topics that will resonate well to both consumers and health professionals. More details below and we hope you can join us.
Further to that, we have been actively looking to increase our engagement with consumers (sarcoma patients, survivors, families and carers) to help us with new research and clinical trial projects. I am delighted that we have received favourable responses and I look forward to updating you more on this in the near future.
We are thankful for our patients, collaborators, donors and members for their continued support, generosity and trust in us and the work we do despite the challenges. We are all in this together.
Dr Denise Caruso | CEO of ANZSA
Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting 2020
The ANZSA Board and the ANZSA Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) Organising Committee has decided to transition the ANZSA 2020 ASM scheduled for October in Melbourne to a virtual ASM (via video conferencing) that will allow the sarcoma community to share updates and progress. The virtual ASM theme is “Sarcoma: What’s New in 2020”.
Save the Dates: Thursday, 8 October (4-6pm AEST) and Friday, 9 October (2-4pm AEST).
We are delighted that we will have two VIP international speakers:
- Dr Kristy Weber (Chief of Orthopaedic Oncology at Penn Medicine and the Director of the Sarcoma Program at the Abramson Cancer Center. She is the first female president of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons).
- Dr Angelo Paolo Dei Tos (Professor of Pathology, University of Padua School of Medicine and Director, Department of Pathology, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria di Padova, Italy).
Dr Paolo will be speaking on Thursday while Dr Kristy will speak on Friday.
More details on registrations will be shared shortly.
Meanwhile, abstract submissions are now open. If you have a sarcoma related research project or case study that you would like to present at the ANZSA virtual ASM, we encourage you to submit an abstract now by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The ASM Organising Committee will then review your abstract. All accepted abstracts will be published on ANZSA’s website for members and registrants to view. A select few will be offered an oral presentation.
Submission deadline – Monday, 17 August 2020.
We are pleased to share some updates on our ongoing projects:
- SARC032 – A Phase II randomised controlled trial of neoadjuvant pembrolizumab with radiotherapy and adjuvant pembrolizumab in patients with high-risk, localised soft tissue sarcoma of the extremity. This is a collaboration with the Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration (SARC) and is now open for patient recruitment in three sites in Australia – Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (VIC), Chris O’Brien Lifehouse (NSW), Princess Alexandra Hospital (QLD).
- NORTH – A Phase II study of panobinostat in paediatric adolescent and young adult patients with solid tumours including osteosarcoma, malignant rhabdoid tumour and neuroblastoma. This clinical trial is funded by the NH&MRC and jointly run with ANZCHOG. It is now open for patient recruitment in 14 sites – Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (VIC), Chris O’Brien Lifehouse (NSW), Royal Adelaide Hospital (SA), Princess Alexandra Hospital (QLD), Monash Children’s Hospital (VIC), Starship Children’s Hospital (NZ), Sydney Children’s Hospital (NSW), Queensland Children’s Hospital (QLD), Christchurch Hospital (NZ), Royal Children’s Hospital (VIC), Perth Children’s Hospital (WA), Children’s Hospital Westmead (NSW), Royal Hobart Hospital (TAS), Women’s and Children’s Hospital (SA).
- rEECur – International randomised controlled trial of chemotherapy for the treatment of recurrent and primary refractory Ewing sarcoma. This clinical trial is funded by a grant from CanTeen and is now open for patient recruitment in both adult and paediatric sarcoma centres across ANZ. The participating sites are Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (VIC), Monash Children's Hospital (VIC), Prince of Wales Hospital (NSW), Sydney Children's Hospital (NSW), Starship Children's Hospital (Auckland, NZ), Perth Children’s Hospital (WA), Queensland Children’s Hospital (QLD), Christchurch Hospital (NZ), Princess Alexandra Hospital (QLD), Chris O’Brien Lifehouse (NSW), John Hunter Children’s Hospital (NSW).
For more details about the projects or want to be involved in the patient recruitment process, write to us email@example.com.
2020 ANZSA Sarcoma Research Grant
We are proud to announce the funding of two Australian researchers for our ANZSA 2020 Sarcoma Research Grants:
- The Johanna Sewell Sarcoma Research Grant was awarded to Dr James Blackburn from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Dr Blackburn’s research will look to improve fusion gene detection and immune response assessment in sarcoma patients.
- The Xavier Krikori Sarcoma Research Grant was awarded to Dr Rachael Terry from the Children’s Cancer Institute, Lowy Cancer Research Centre at the University of New South Wales and Prince of Wales Hospital. Dr Terry’s research will look into new immunotherapy strategies for paediatric rhabdomyosarcomas.
These grants are only possible through the ongoing and generous support of our donors. Thank you.
July is Sarcoma Awareness Month
As part of this year’s Sarcoma Awareness Month in July, ANZSA has developed a series of four webinars covering a range of topics for healthcare professionals and consumers. The four topics include:
- 6 July – Clinical Trial – Why I Should Participate in One
- 16 July – Managing the Practical Issues While Undergoing Sarcoma Treatment
- 23 July – Survivorship – Life After Treatment
- Sarcoma Patient Referral Pathway (TBC)
Further to that, you can participate in our “Go Yellow Anywhere for Sarcoma Awareness” campaign through simple activities throughout July to show your support for the sarcoma community. More information here: https://sarcoma.org.au/news/events/july-is-sarcoma-awareness-month
National Sarcoma Database – June 2020
ANZSA supports sarcoma data collection at major sarcoma treatment centres across Australia through the ACCORD sarcoma database. This allows collection of de-identified information such as diagnosis, treatment and outcomes on patients diagnosed with sarcoma and related tumours.
The primary goals of the sarcoma clinical data collection are:
- To ensure the maintenance of high-quality clinical data relevant to sarcoma diagnosis and management.
- To encourage collaborative research using sarcoma data to better understand the real-world practice of sarcoma management in Australian.
ANZSA members are eligible to utilise the information from the ACCORD sarcoma database. We have recently published a simplified guide of how to access sarcoma data as collected on ACCORD. Expression of interest in using the database for studies and research purposes are welcome and should be directed to ANZSA’s data manager, Jasmine Mar (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Site Contributions to Sarcoma Database - June 2020
To access all the data we have, please log in to our Members Portal. You must be an ANZSA member to be able to log in. If you’re interested in joining us, please apply as a member today - sarcoma.org.au/pages/membership
Thank You, Donors and Supporters
We want to thank all our generous donors for their significant contributions and donations towards sarcoma research. 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.
We hope you will continue to support us in the work we do. Should you wish to donate or partner with us, find out more here - sarcoma.org.au/donations