Assoc Prof Philip Beale  ANZGOG Chair

As we meet the end of yet another challenging year, I feel that now is the perfect time to reflect on our achievements this year as an organisation. ANZGOG has made significant research achievements throughout 2021 and celebrated multiple recruitment milestones:

  • iPRIME reached 100% recruitment
  • TIPS reached 50% recruitment
  • ECHO reached 400/500 patient accrual
  • SOLACE2 reached 75% recruitment

ANZGOG’s IGNITE study received approval to expand one of its cohorts – the Cyclin E1 over-expressed without gene amplification cohort – doubling the total number of planned patients in that cohort (now 64 patients). This was the result of positive signalling from an interim analysis.

Following the launch of TR-ANZGOG in 2020, the translational research initiative is now being embedded in its first ANZGOG trial, ITTACc. The cervical cancer study will be the first of many clinical trials to integrate TR-ANZGOG in the future.

ANZGOG’s EnDomEtrial caNcer Research Initiative (EDEN) was established this year. The EDEN Steering Committee is currently finalising the strategic direction for the research direction and is working with over 60 members who volunteered to assist through the five focus groups looking at activities in prevention, early diagnosis, surgery, survivorship, adjuvant and recurrent disease, translational research, advocacy and funding. EDEN next steps will be presented at the 2022 Annual Scientific Meeting, 23-26 March 2022.

ANZGOG’s first ‘homegrown’ clinical trial – OUTBACK – and PI Linda Mileshkin, achieved a  significant achievement when the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) selected OUTBACK – a cervical cancer study – to be presented during the Plenary Session at the 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting. It was a great honour and a true reflection of the nature of the trial – the robustness of the question and how it has been answered within the trial. All credit to all senior groups involved in OUTBACK, including Principal Investigator Prof Linda Mileshkin and everyone else associated with the management of the study. ANZGOG’s PHAEDRA study was also accepted to be a part of the ASCO Poster Session – Gynecologic Cancer. This recognition at ASCO was a great example of ANZGOG’s gynaecological cancer research changing practice internationally.

This year also saw our first Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM). Despite not being face-to-face, our 2021 ASM was our most attended event to date, with a total of 340 registrations. Overall, the ASM was a successful, stimulating event made by the enormous efforts and contributions of many. We’d like to thank Dr Paul Cohen and the ASM Steering Committee for preparing a fantastic ASM program.

Through the hard work and dedication demonstrated by our members, we have more clinical trials in the pipeline than ever before. As of December 2021 these include 6 clinical trials in development, 4 studies in start-up – PARAGON-II, ADELE, PEACE, and ITTACc, and 9 studies currently recruiting – EmQUEST, IGNITE, ECHO, AtTEnd, TIPS, ICON9, SOLACE2, EMBRACE, STICs and STONEs, and HyNOVA.

Developing the Next Generation of Researchers

As part of ANZGOG’s Education Series and continued efforts towards education for early career clinicians, ANZGOG delivered the Ovarian Cancer Foundation Series and the Ovarian Cancer Preceptorship. These events proved to be beneficial and stimulating opportunities for fellows, trainees, and registrars, as they involve presentations from leading Australian and New Zealand researchers and encourage attendees to learn from and collaborate with specialists in the field.

By providing an outstanding array of education sessions for our early-career researchers, we can ensure that ANZGOG members continue to bring us pioneering research ideas, long into the future.

Our Thanks

We would like to acknowledge the Research Advisory Committee (RAC), the Tumour Working Groups, Steering Committees, and the Consumer Research Panel for their cooperation in driving and developing ANZGOG’s research this year. Also to our volunteer consumers in Survivors Teaching Students who continue to operate the program virtually.

My sincerest thanks on behalf of ANZGOG’s leadership to all members, patients, and staff who have contributed to the successful clinical research undertaken throughout 2021. With your support, ANZGOG can continue to improve life for women with gynaecological cancer through innovative, cutting-edge research.