CONCERT Translational Cancer Research Workshop - Friday 8 Sept 2017, Panorama House, Bulli Tops
Second annual networking Translational Cancer Research Workshop as held on September 8, 2017, at Panorama House, Bulli Tops.
This meeting carried on the success of last year’s meeting, providing networking and education opportunities for over 100 cancer clinicians, research academics and students, allied health professionals and community members from the Illawarra, Sydney, ACT and surrounds who attended.
After welcome and opening remarks from CONCERT Director Prof Paul De Souza and Workshop Chair Prof Marie Ranson (CONCERT CI/IHMRI) the plenary was given by Prof Steve Ackland (Hunter Cancer Research Alliance Director and Staff Specialist in Medical Oncology, Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital) on the importance of imbedding pharmacokinetic analyses in clinical trials to allow for therapeutic dose monitoring to deal with dose variability in patients. This was followed by a session showcasing the variety of research projects currently being undertaken by CONCERT affiliated scholars including four Top-Up scholarship awardees. The topics extended from the maxi- to nano-scale and ranged from radiotherapy quality assurance through to Chinese herbal medicine to new devices for treating cancer to circulating tumour cells. We then heard about the great tools available to us for clinical translational research from biobanks to gene analysis equipment to information systems and how to better access these resources. It became clear from talks and discussions based around Clinical trials that we need to better utilise our clinical trials units but that exciting investigator led trials are going on in the local area. From these we learnt how old drugs are new again and can be repurposed for new treatments, including potentially to de-enervate tumours! Insights into the processes of Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) of lung and colorectal cancer MDTs elucidated their powers for best patient treatment and identifying clinically relevant research questions. Finally we had an entertaining pros and cons debate for the use of robots in surgery leaving us wondering – do we or don’t we believe the hype?
To sum it up, another great CONCERT milestone for knowledge dissemination and providing networking opportunities, building on the success of last year’s inaugural workshop in Wollongong. But whereas last year’s meeting was trenched in rain & wind, this time the sun was smiling and the delegates were enchanted by panoramic views – a good prediction for making this meeting an annual fixture in the CONCERT calendar.