ANZGOG Committees Meeting Updates

A huge thank you goes out to our committee members for their ongoing commitment and efforts to enhance the ANZGOG research portfolio. Read below to find out what the busy month of ZOOM meetings for our committees entailed:

Research Advisory Committee

Alison Davis

Chair: Alison Davis

A lot has been happening over the past few months (other than, and despite, COVID-19!). ANZGOG researchers were successful in several large MRFF grants including ADELE (which was also successful in receiving BeiGene financial support), HYNOVA and PARAGON2. The respective study teams are now well into the protocol development phase. Unfortunately, OSBS2, EPOCH, ENDO3 and TIARA were not successful and so the search for funding continues, including planned submissions for NHMRC funding in November. The ALEGRO team were unfortunately unsuccessful in an earlier NHMRC grant but are still in discussions with BeiGene with hopes that funding might be secured this year.

GCIG was held as a series of virtual meetings in June this year. As usual, a large number of trials were presented and ANZGOG RAC/TTWG representatives subsequently met to consider our potential involvement. The Her2 endometrial cancer study (championed by Clare Scott and Mahesh Iddawela) is still being developed and will proceed under the direction of the US investigators with ANZGOG involvement, rather than under the RAINBO umbrella, as previously considered. RAINBO (under development by the PORTEC group) is intended as a multi-study international collaborative attempting to select adjuvant treatment for women with endometrial cancer depending on the molecular profile of their tumours. Although this continues to be of interest to ANZGOG, we will need to monitor the progress of ADELE and the Her2 study before determining our potential involvement. A number of other studies presented at GCIG were also of interest but are not yet at a stage ready for international involvement so we will keep monitoring their progress.

We also have homegrown concepts continually being brought to both the TTWGs and the RAC. Several were supported for further development at the last RAC meeting in April with the aim of approving these concepts by the next RAC meeting for each to proceed to identifying potential funding. We continue to encourage investigators to bring forward ideas to the TTWG for advice/development/consideration.

Uterine Tumour Type Working Group

Yoland Antill

Co Chairs: Yoland Antill, Rhonda Farrell

Massive congratulations to Uterine Tumour Type Working Group (UTTWG) members Assoc Prof Rhonda Farrell, Prof Linda Mileshkin, Dr Yeh Chen Lee and Assoc Prof Chee Lee for their successful MRFF grant initiatives in reproductive and gynaecological cancers!  In addition more successes were reported to the group with regards to secured funding for a collaborative trial between ANZGOG and the North American based NRG, for rare Her2 positive endometrial cancers (Principal Investigators Dr Mahesh Iddawalla and Prof Clare Scott) and partial funding for a future collaborative clinical trial for uterine sarcomas (Principal Investigator Prof Clare Scott).  This success, in short, translates to a greater opportunity for women with endometrial cancers including rare types of cancers, otherwise often not able to participate or benefit from open trials.

In addition to the evolving clinical trials, updates on previously presented and developed studies examining the microbiome and how this might impact cancer outcomes was presented- another study now open for recruitment in Victoria.

Translational Researcher, A/Prof Pam Pollock, presented her exciting pre-clinical data with a resulting clinical trial concept.  Congratulations to Pam for her Perpetual grant to further this pre-clinical work, which was announced just days after the meeting! She and other ANZGOG members are hoping to translate this early work into a trial in the future.

Medical Oncologist, Dr Ganessan Kichenadasse, proposed a concept for gynaecological carcinomsarcomas that was further discussed at the Ovarian Tumour Type Working Group; a great example of the collaboration between working groups.

With more than a dozen studies discussed, at various stages of completion or development, the enthusiasm of UTTWG members, combined with local and international support from collaborators, industry and funding bodies is producing a full and diverse uterine tumour research portfolio.  As UTTWG member, Radiation Oncologist, Dr Pearly Khaw enthused, “The trial expansion for endometrial cancers has been fantastic over a short period of time”.

Ovarian Tumour Type Working Group

Tarek Meniawy

Chair: Tarek Meniawy

The Ovarian Tumour Type Working Group held the first meeting in 2020 on 23rd June 2020, a delayed meeting from the ANGOG ASM. We welcomed our newest members Sally Baron-Hay, Sophia Frentzas and Nicola Bowden, and look forward to their contribution to the group. At the meeting we discussed ongoing ovarian studies and the current trial matrix and pipeline, to consider research gaps and new ideas. We congratulated Chee Lee, Rhonda Farrell, and Nicola Bowden and their colleagues on their successful ovarian cancer grants from the recent MRFF funding round, and look forward to supporting these studies.

We discussed concepts presented at the GCIG virtual meeting, namely an ENGOT study evaluating a neoepitope vaccine (TEDOPI) in combination with PD-1/PD-L1 inhibition in ovarian cancer. We also reviewed a new proposal being considered to examine immunotherapy +/- PARPi in gynaecological carcinosarcomas. We also reviewed ongoing and ‘in-development’ ovarian studies including, iPRIME, ALLEGRO (low grade serous) and OSBS2.

Lastly, the group considered initiatives to enhance our interaction and support of ANZGOG members in developing and reviewing new ovarian cancer concepts. This included a proposal to establish 3-5ovarian ‘focus’ subgroups of the ovarian TTWG, to allow a discussion and brainstorm of the latest research efforts and unmet needs in areas of ovarian cancer research, such as targeted therapies, immunotherapy, rare histologies, and homologous repair-deficient ovarian cancer.

Cervical Tumour Type Working Group

dr jeff goh

Jeff Goh

Chair: Jeff Goh

At the last meeting, a concept Jeff Goh had previously proposed and which was recently supported by the ANZGOG Research Advisory Committee (RAC) for further development was discussed.  The trial concept involves a combination targeted & immunotherapy phase 2 trial in women with recurrent advanced cervical cancers after standard chemotherapy +/- bevacizumab. Funding and investigational products are currently being pursued from a potential sponsor. The group is also eagerly awaiting the results of the ANZGOG OUTBACK trial in the adjuvant setting after definitive concurrent chemo-RT for locally advanced cervical cancer. Finally, there has been some interest in setting up a cervical cancer Registry within Australia & NZ that the Cervix TTWG will continue to explore & nurture. The Group welcomes new concepts for further discussion at the upcoming ANZGOG research development day in October.

Study Coordinator Committee

Donna Long

Chair: Donna Long

The Study Coordinator Committee is currently made up of nine members from across Australia and New Zealand and includes CTC representation as well. The committee had a productive meeting discussing and outlining their focus/goals for the rest of the year. These include providing support to ANZGOG in their development of a site assessment tool for a Specialist Nurse Project which aims to build capability and capacity at sites.  Watch this space for more information on this initiative coming out soon! The SCC is also currently developing a study coordinators trial review form to assist with review of new protocols coming through ANZGOG, focusing on areas where the study coordinators can provide insights and learnings to improve protocol development.  Finally, the committee also discussed opportunities to assist ANZGOG in performing user acceptance testing on new trial databases.

Consumer Research Panel

Wanda Lawson

Chair: Wanda Lawson

Outcomes from the Research Advisory Committee meeting were provided, and update on the progress of the Ovarian Cancer National Action Plan was detailed. In addition, Wanda presented feedback on her recent participation in a focus group, conducted by the Institute of Musculoskeletal Health. The focus group was on Health Research Lay Summaries.  Issues covered during the workshop included quality of information contained within the summary, how consumers access lay summaries, common naming and terminology used within lay summaries and the value of using graphics or other media to present this information. As part of the resulting discussion Alison Evans CEO requested that the Consumer Research Panel (CRP) review usability of lay summaries posted on the ANZGOG website, with regards to improvement opportunities and guideline development.

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