2020 Annual report

20 years of
improving life for women
through research

A message from

the Chair

2020 is definitely a year of review and reflection.  ANZGOG has achieved 20 years of conducting clinical trials in Australia and New Zealand and has also had to weather one of the most significant health crisis the world has had to deal with.

Our focus through the later part of the 2019-2020 financial year has been on how we best look after the patients on our clinical trials and ensure that we are able to deliver those trials safely and widely to women with a gynaecological cancer.

COVID-19 represents an unprecedented challenge to the health and research sectors. The safety and well-being of patients, research participants and their families, health care professionals, researchers, and other staff involved in patient care and research have been our priority. We would like to thank our research teams for their contribution to the effective management of all our trials to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the women participating. As a collective, ANZGOG’s response was swift and measured. The outstanding collaboration of our investigators, sites, and operating centres has meant that we were ready to move to re-opening for recruitment as sites came back on line and are confident about the management of our trials looking into 2021.

In 2020 we also passed a significant milestone with 1061 members registered with ANZGOG and the 18 clinical trials underway across our 59 clinical trial hospital sites.

Along with the many members who have been involved in ANZGOG since the beginning in 2000, we are very pleased to see such a large number of trainees, registrars and fellows participating in the organisation. It is also very important to note the role that cancer consumers play in ANZGOG’s research both as patients but also as advisers to our research through our Consumer Research Panel led by Wanda Lawson.

2020 overall has been a good year for ANZGOG’s research portfolio. We have more trials underway than at any prior time. During the year we opened two new trials – STICs and STONEs and IGNITE – and completed recruitment in the MOCCA study. We were delighted with the news that three ANZGOG-led studies were awarded $4.3m in grants by the Medical Research Future Fund - HyNOVA, ADELE and PARAGON-II.

In the last 20 years ANZGOG has enabled 60 studies, including 37 clinical trials, treating close to 4,000 patients. We are very positive about the contribution that ANZGOG and its members can make to the future of gynaecological cancer research both here in Australia and New Zealand and internationally.

Associate Professor Philip Beale
Chair | ANZGOG

The story so far...

  • ANZGOG is formed by a network of dedicated volunteer gynaecological cancer specialists and researchers to ensure clinical trials are available for Australian and New Zealand women. Michael Friedlander AM (pictured) is elected the inaugural Chair. International trial discussions held with Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) in the USA about possible trials to bring to ANZ.
  • “The aim was to ensure that everyone interested in the care of women with gynaecological cancer had the opportunity to join. Our vision was simple; have every State represented and become relevant nationally and internationally.” ANZGOG Co-Founder, Prof Michael Quinn AM
  • “In 1999, a small group of gynaecologic, medical and radiation oncologists unanimously agreed that we needed to establish a gynaecologic trials group in Australia and New Zealand. There was no funding available for collaborative trial groups and despite a lot of effort to secure funds in Australia it was clear that this would not be forthcoming. There was little appreciation of the importance of clinical trials within the health bureaucracy or funding bodies and we recognised we needed to obtain funding from outside Australia if we were to have any chance of success.” ANZGOG Co-Founder & Inaugural Chair, Prof Michael Friedlander AM
  • ANZGOG’s first gynaecological cancer clinical trial opens to recruitment. GOG 182, a US-led study led by ANZGOG’s Chair Prof Michael Friedlander AM in Australia and New Zealand. GOG 182 is a phase III ovarian cancer trial that recruited 183 patients in Australia and New Zealand, and 4312 patients worldwide.
  • “Our first trial was GOG 182, a complex 5 arm randomised trial which we performed very well and this gave us confidence to move forward and expand. We received a lot of help from the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre and too many people to mention individually by name have worked very hard to make ANZGOG the success that it has become.” ANZGOG Co-Founder & Inaugural Chair, Prof Michael Friedlander AM
karen livingstone
  • Michael Friedlander AM continues as Chair, with Michael Quinn AM as Treasurer.
  • Inaugural member Danny Rischin is Chair of the Research Advisory Committee and Alison Brand Chair of Audit Committee.
  • Our growing membership reaches 231, 6 trials in operation: CALYPSO, SCOTROC-4, ICON6, ICON7, TARCEVA, TRIPOD, HOSTT.
  • Karen Livingstone AM (pictured) establishes the inaugural Consumer and Community Committee. Karen later becomes the first consumer Director at ANZGOG, joining the Board of Directors in 2008.
  • Michael Quinn AM (pictured) is appointed as the ANZGOG Chair, succeeding Michael Friedlander AM.
  • 3 trials in start-up and 6 recruiting, including the significant Symptom Benefit and PORTEC-3 studies.
  • The Symptom Benefit study led to a number of publications and a greater recognition of the importance of including patient reported outcomes in clinical trials in recurrent ovarian cancer
  • PORTEC-3 was a multicentre trial with strong international collaboration among six participating groups, recruiting over 600 patients. Its findings provided insights into better treatments worldwide.
  • Assoc Prof Alison Brand (pictured) is Chair. International speakers are now a feature of the ASM, which has moved to the Gold Coast (with over 150 delegates attending) as it is too big for Noosa, and ANZGOG’s membership has grown to 418. Since 2000, ANZGOG has participated in 16 trials involving 1500 patients.
  • The PARAGON study opens to recruitment, the first trial to be internationally led by ANZGOG, which proved to be a practice-changing study in the gynaecological cancer research space. The study pioneered a unique and novel clinical trial design – the “basket trial” – to facilitate the recruitment of patients with rare tumours, within a single trial. PARAGON recruited over 330 patients which was recorded as the largest rare tumour cohort in the world.
  • New fundraising campaign is introduced – ‘GO for Gynae’ – with the aim of fostering a new community of fundraisers to help fund ANZGOG’s research.
  • “ANZGOG is a great organisation; we have come so far in just over 10 years. We now have a great foundation on which to build and move forward. This has been possible because of the energy, commitment, enthusiasm of all its members.” 2012 - Assoc Prof Alison Brand, ANZGOG Chair
  • Membership of ANZGOG reaches 700, represented by people from clinical, pure research, consumer and allied therapy areas.
  • ANZGOG takes part in International Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month and launches ‘Save the Box’ to help break the silence around gynaecological cancer, its symptoms and the need for research into new treatments.
  • The OASIS (Ovarian cancer Alliance for SIgnal-Seeking clinical trials) Initiative is launched, a collaborative research program between ANZGOG and the Australian Ovarian Cancer Study to undertake small signal seeking trials that show sufficient evidence of clinical activity to allow larger randomised trials.
  • ANZGOG’s Fund for New Research Grant is initiated, gaining seed-funding from John T Reid Family which supports pilot and pre-clinical studies that are identified as providing data that may lead to a clinical trial.
  • Women’s Cancer Foundation merges with ANZGOG – a significant milestone which increased ANZGOG’s fundraising capacity. This includes Team Teal, an annual harness racing ovarian cancer awareness and fundraising campaign for cancer research, created by Duncan McPherson OAM (pictured with his family).
  • Survivors Teaching Students is launched in Australia under licence from OCRA in the USA, a volunteer program that brings the faces and voices of ovarian cancer survivors and caregivers into the classrooms of health professional students to teach them about women’s experiences with the disease.
  • 10 trials are open to recruitment, including PHAEDRA, another significant trial to change standard practice. OUTBACK closes to recruitment after successfully enrolling 926 patients worldwide.
  • Assoc Prof Philip Beale (pictured) is now Chair. Over 1,000 members, 59 sites, and 18 trials underway – including PARAGON-II, originating from Michael Friedlander’s PARAGON study in 2012.
  • In 20 years, ANZGOG has enabled 60 studies, with 37 of these being clinical trials, treating close to 4,000 women. o Fund for New Research Grant program has funded 14 projects since inception.
  • Survivors Teaching Students program has been established in 5 states, reaching over 3,000 students in cancer consumer delivered sessions.
  • ANZGOG’s logo is updated, and a new fundraising brand, WomenCan is launched. The colours are symbolic of inspiration, heart and passion, as well as being linked to all gynaecological cancers. Women are intrinsic to our mission and are represented through the feminine venus symbol.
philip beale

Summary of Achievements

2019 - 2020

MembersAnzgog researchFundraising

ANZGOG Research Receives Government Funding

It’s congratulations all round to a number of ANZGOG members for their successful MRFF grant initiatives in reproductive and gynaecological cancers to be conducted under the ANZGOG banner. Prof Linda Mileshkin, Assoc Prof Rhonda Farrell, and Assoc Prof Chee Lee achieved a total of $4.3 million in funding, allocated to projects in the recent MRFF grant announcement via Health Minister Greg Hunt MP.

Clinical Trials

Open to recruitment

Trial Name
Study Chair
Study Milestones
Prof Sandi Hayes

Patient Recruitment: 268/500
Sites Open: 8/9

Prof Linda Mileshkin

Patient Recruitment: 46/110
Sites Open: 18/19

Prof Clare Scott,
Assoc Prof Chee Lee (Co-Chair),
Prof Michael Friedlander AM (Co-Chair)
Prof Magdalena Plebanski (Translational Chair)

Patient Recruitment: 44/114
Sites Open: 15/15

Dr Katrin Sjoquist

Patient Recruitment: 10/60
Sites Open: 10/11

Assoc Prof Tarek Meniawy

Patient Recruitment: 63/75
Sites Open: 10/10

Prof Linda Mileshkin

Patient Recruitment: 0/15
Sites Open: 4/7

Prof Kelly-Anne Phillips

Patient Recruitment: 1/70
Sites Open: 4/6

Assoc Prof Alison Brand

Patient Recruitment: 1/60
Sites Open: 4/6

Dr Ali Freimund

Patient Recruitment: 0/40
Sites Open: 5/7

Dr George Au-Yeung

Patient Recruitment: 7/64
Sites Open: 3/10

Trial Name
Study Chair
Study Milestones
Prof Linda Mileshkin
Planned Sample Size: 200-500


The Fund for New Research promotes the development of investigator-led studies from initial concept to full study. In 2019 grant applications were requested for both pre-clinical and pilot or small clinical trials that may lead to a larger and significant clinical trial.

Individual grants are awarded to researchers for amounts of $50,000, $30,000 and $20,000. The Fund for New Research is made possible by public donations, bequests and philanthropic grants from charities with shared interests in ANZGOG’s research work. With this support we have been able to support 14 studies from 2015 to 2019 inclusive.

The following studies were awarded grants for the 2019 round:

Total members: 423
Total members: 434
Total members: 534
Total members: 703
Total members: 857
Total members: 1061

Capacity Building

ANZGOG has a diverse membership working at hospitals from every state in Australia and the country of New Zealand. Our members come from a wide range of research, clinical and allied health specialties, demonstrating our collaborative culture and the strength of our outreach into treatment centres for women with a gynaecological cancer.

Capacity building

ANZGOG has more than 1060 members representing clinical, allied health, pure research specialities and women affected by a gynaecological cancer. ANZGOG prides itself on how it operates, with the strength of its collegial and multidisciplinary approach viewed as its core purpose.

Our stakeholders

Women and
families affected by a gynaecological cancer
Collaborative research groups/centres/
Members working in clinical research
Philanthropic organisations
Pharma companies

ANZGOG’s clinical trials are conducted at 59 hospital sites in Australia and New Zealand. These trials include both local and global collaborations to ensure the leading research is available for women. We work with metropolitan, regional and remote hospital networks to support their capacity to conduct gynaecological cancer trials.

Board of Directors:
ANZGOG Directors during the year and up to the date
of this report were:
Assoc Prof Philip Beale (ANZGOG Chair)
Assoc Prof Alison Brand
Dr Alison Davis
Prof Clare Scott
Mr David Rogers
Prof Linda Mileshkin
Dr Michelle Wilson (Appointed 21 November 2019)
Dr Paul Cohen
Dr Pearly Khaw
Assoc Prof Peter Sykes (Resigned 17 October 2019)
Ms Rachael Sutton
Ms Sue Brew (Retired 17 October 2019)
Assoc Prof Tarek Meniawy (Elected 17 October 2019)
Ms Wanda Lawson (Appointed 25 March 2020)
More information on our current Board of Directors can be found on our webpage.
Our Committees:
ANZGOG is grateful to our 93 members who volunteer their time to contribute to gynaecological cancer research via our committees.
Our Staff :
ANZGOG has offices in Sydney and Melbourne with a total of 14 staff members, equating to 11.8 FTE. Staff work across research, communications, education, fundraising, finance and administration.


We actively engage with our members in the Australian and New Zealand clinical research community and our international partners to ensure the relevance, vibrancy and impact of our research agenda. This includes encouraging active participation from the next generation of gynaecological cancer researchers and continuing to foster effective two-way communication with cancer consumers.


Our collaborations

International collaborations

ANZGOG’s international collaborations are fostered through its individual members and organisational membership of the GCIG.

Local collaborations

Strong local collaborations are fostered with organisations around Australia to develop new trials.

United for Change

ANZGOG has united with OCA and ASGO to launch the Ovarian Cancer National Action Plan 2020 – 2025.

During COVID-19, ANZGOG’s clinical trials were maintained and recruitment targets were revised in some instances and ANZGOG is on track with the majority of its studies targets despite facing the pandemic challenges. We are grateful to the hard work and support of committees, sites, operating centres, allied health professionals and staff which made this possible.

The 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting was cancelled due to safety concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, ANZGOG has a number of studies in development and negotiation for funding which is ensuring a strong pipeline for 2021 and 2022.


Wanda Lawson

Chair, Consumer Research Panel

Consumer input into research during the 2019-2020 financial year has been wide and varied. We were consumer Associate Investigators on all of ANZGOG’s grant applications during November and December 2019. During the same time period we provided input into TR-ANZGOG - an ANZGOG research initiative that will support the collection of samples from women recruited to ANZGOG trials.

Our input has been both in strategic planning and at the operational level through membership of the patient consent workgroup. We are also well represented on ANZGOG’s Endometrial Cancer Research Initiative through our membership of the QOL/Survivorship working party.

Throughout the year, we have continued our focus on the improvement of lay summaries, participating in a fact-finding workshop on how consumers access health information and working with the team at ANZGOG to improve our lay summaries published in support of ANZGOG trials. Additionally in early 2020, I was appointed as our Consumer Board Member, further demonstrating ANZGOG’s commitment to including its consumers at all levels.

What is the Consumer
Research Panel?


We have an outstanding array of WomenCan, Team Teal and Save the Box community supporters helping us fundraise for research and the conduct of clinical trials at hospitals. These include individual fundraisers, women sharing their stories in the media, on social media and our websites, companies and organisations that run events and fundraisers, thank you all.


Funding Bodies

ANZGOG acknowledges the pharmaceutical support for ANZGOG’s clinical trials:

We’d also like to thank each of the Harness Racing state bodies, Harness Racing New Zealand, Harness Racing Australia and Tabcorp for their ongoing contributions to the WomenCan Team Teal campaign.

ANZGOG acknowledges the following trusts for their funding support; The Derham Green Fund and William G Maxwell Trust/ Percy Baxter Charitable Trust, the Ladybird Foundation, and also Cancer Australia for supporting our Survivors Teaching Students program.

Survivors Teaching Students (STS) is a ground-breaking volunteer program that brings the faces and voices of ovarian cancer survivors and caregivers into the classrooms of health professional students to teach them about women’s experiences with the disease.

What is Survivors
Teaching Students?

ANZGOG’s Survivors Teaching Students teams around Australia have continued sharing their stories virtually (via Zoom), uninterrupted throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and promote the importance of good health communication. The universities we work with hold ANZGOG’s STS program in high regard and did not want the students to miss out on the opportunity to participate in the program.

ANZGOG also held an STS Webinar - My Story Our Journey – in June 2020. In this webinar, we showcased ANZGOG’s STS Program and the value of STS across Australia for students and survivors, educators and clinicians including ANZGOG Director Dr Paul Cohen.

Financial Summaries

ANZGOG continues to generate funding for clinical trials through grants and pharma support, engage with our many and valued supporters to raise funds through donations and philanthropy, and grow the organisation in a balanced and thoughtful way to support our research agenda.

Increased spend on Research & Education

research and education
Committed to current and planned Research and Education projects

Income & Expenses


Total Equity Including Project Reserves

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