The Australian and New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate (ANZUP) Cancer Trials Group held its 7th standalone Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) at the Hyatt Regency Sydney from 8–10 July.
This year ANZUP wanted to shake things up a little and I think we did just that! It was a high quality educational program that was innovative and inclusive of the patient, carer and all members of multidisciplinary team.
Staying true to the theme ‘Putting People First’ the ASM focused on the management of GU cancers from a holistic, people-centric perspective. We introduced some new sessions, modified others, whilst some were pure experimentation – all with the intention of celebrating our coming of age over the past 10 years for #ANZUP18.
We kicked off the scientific program on Sunday, prior to the evening symposium, with the inaugural ANZUPx session. Renowned national and international speakers took to the mic to deliver engaging, dynamic and thought-provoking talks. The first – ‘We have all come to tell our stories’ – set the scene for everything that followed as Fran Boyle shared her knowledge and experience, but also a personal account of her own health challenges. This was bookended by the final ANZUPx session, including a powerful message from Laurence Albiges on the importance of mentoring female clinicians, and more personal anecdotes shared in the ‘Red Chair’ session ably hosted by the one and only BT (Ben Tran) on the final afternoon.
Over the three days, the quality and impact of our international faculty cannot be overstated, with Laurence Albiges, Viktor Grünwald, Tamim Niazi, Monty Pal, Angie Smith, Chris Sweeney and Bertrand Tombal playing a significant part in the scientific, social and progressive aspects of the meeting.
Other highlights included a Q&A evening symposium hosted by multi-award winning producer and broadcaster Norman Swan who challenged our distinguished multidisciplinary panel as to whether we really do put people first.
We also saw a trial of a script concordance workshop for the Prostate Cancer MDT Masterclass, which was superbly executed by Carmel Pezaro and Joseph Ischia. The famous ASM debate became not one but four creatively contested crossfire challenges, with Angie Smith and Andrew Weickhardt’s ‘Wonder Woman vs Batman’ approach to the cystectomy argument a standout. The global trial landscape was headlined by our international guests and sequenced with ANZUP trial updates presented by Principal Investigators.
The annual free Community Engagement Forum featured presentations and panel discussions covering quality of life, treatment choices, survivorship, impacts on intimacy and the cost of cancer care. This session gave the public the opportunity to engage with an experienced team of healthcare professionals and patient advocates while learning about ANZUP and our clinical trials research program.
We also saw the return of the Cycling Challenge where delegates swapped suits for lycra to secure a place in the highly competitive “ASM ride off” at the conference dinner. Congratulations to the eventual winners – The Yuros. Following the ride off, it was time to blow out the candles on ANZUP’s 10th birthday cake, celebrating the many individuals who have made ANZUP what it is today – not least Ian Davis, Guy Toner and Marg McJannett.
For the first time at an ANZUP ASM, questions from the floor were facilitated by the interactive platform, Pigeonhole Live. Across the four MDT Masterclass live polls and six Q&A sessions, 352 unique users (or 93% of delegates) had at least one interaction with the platform, with 127 questions asked and 405 votes cast on popular questions.
This year we again raised the social media bar with record Twitter engagement of more than 3.86 million #ANZUP18 impressions and 2,403 tweets – with Monty Pal, Angie Smith and Haryana Dhillon setting a new record as key influencers. Attendance also increased to more than 390 delegates – all testament to the high quality, collegial, educational, entertaining ASM for which ANZUP has become renowned.
Thank you to every speaker, sponsor, chair, delegate, participant, committee member and organiser for your contribution. We look forward to seeing you in Brisbane for #ANZUP19.
Professor Henry Woo
ANZUP 2018 ASM Convenor