Guest speaker Professor Mohamed Khadra called on a well-known phrase from John F Kennedy at the ANZUP Annual Scientific meeting for 2015. Over 3 days, around 300 health professionals came together to consider current trends in urogenital cancers. While the event itself was an enjoyable one, it reinforced the huge multi-disciplinary effort that goes into the ongoing battle against urogenital cancers.
The Australian and New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate (ANZUP) Cancer Trials Group holds its Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) in July each year. The ASM is the key meeting in the region for genitourinary cancers and is ANZUP’s major scientific and educational event.
This year’s ASM was held at the Sofitel Wenthworth in Sydney, and brought together medical and radiation oncologists, urologists, nurses, psychologists, researchers and other health professionals to review and discuss the new developments in urological oncology. We were privileged once again to have outstanding international speakers: Chris Sweeney, Brian Rini, Ted DeWeese and Bertrand Tombal, as well as many fantastic local speakers. The theme “Redefining Personalised Medicine” saw a focus around treatments that are tailored to encompass prevention, diagnosis, prognosis and psychological support for patients.
The ASM is an opportunity for members to hear from our national and international experts on the most up to date research in urogenital cancer.
Sunday saw a number of different exciting sessions. The ANZUP “Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) Masterclass” offered a case based workshop with a series of panel discussions. At the same time we once again convened our Community Engagement Forum A little below the belt. The Forum brought diverse experts together to provide the public with information about ANZUP and discuss the importance of clinical trials in improving treatment for people diagnosed with prostate and urogenital cancers. The panel took questions from the floor covered topics from the rising costs of treatment, to the latest clinical trials and how to source credible health information online.
Sunday night’s Evening Symposium saw presentations from our international faculty Chris Sweeney, Precision Medicine in Prostate Cancer and Brian Rini, Optimising Current Systemic Therapy in Metastatic RCC.
Amongst Monday’s presentations was a unique panel discussion around PSA testing. The lack of consensus and widely agreed clinical guidelines on PSA testing confuses and concerns men and their health advisers. The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia partnered with Cancer Council Australia to discuss the development of evidence based national clinical guidelines. The breakfast session presented the guidelines and answered questions on the current PSA controversy.
Delegates heard from Ted DeWeese on the standard treatment of high risk prostate cancer with androgen suppression and radiation. His research suggests that the present standard of irradiating tumours when circulating androgens are at a nadir may not be ideal. These results could have significant implications for altering current clinical management of men with high risk prostate cancer. There was a Best of the Best Oral session as well as Poster presentations from ANZUP members. We were also fortunate to two presentations from Bertrand Tombal on treatment of localised high risk prostate cancer, and MRI for fusion biopsies and in gantry biopsies.
Tuesday opened with a clinical trial concept development workshop. ANZUP members presented their concepts and received valuable feedback from other members as well as our visiting international experts. The day’s talks included Professor James Kench explaining the new 1 to 5 histological grading system for prostate cancer. The presentations ended with an insightful and provoking panel debate on the safe incorporation of new technologies in clinical practice and the best way forward.
A series of awards were presented including the annual ANZUP Tolmar Fellowship. This year it was awarded to Dr Ian Vela, Urologic Oncologist at the Princess Alexandria Hospital, Brisbane. The Fellowship will provide $60,000 to support Dr Vela in pursuing his research entitled, “Precision medicine in advanced prostate cancer.”
The event generated a lot of interest and wider discussion. The ASM was relayed on Twitter under the hashtag #ANZUP15 which generated over 1.25 million impressions, a significant rise from last year.
The event was only made possible with the ongoing support of our Sponsors: Platinum Sponsors Jansen and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia; Gold Sponsors Sanofi, Novartis, Amgen and Astellas; Silver Sponsors Ferring, IPSEN, Tolmar, Cancer Institute NSW, Pfizer and Bayer; as well as other major supporter Macquarie Bank who sponsored the ASM Welcome Reception. ANZUP also acknowledges the support we receive from the Federal Government through Cancer Australia’s infrastructure funding.
We were very fortunate to have an extraordinary convening committee which included Joseph Bucci, Ian Davis, Haryana Dhillon, Howard Gurney, Kathryn Hall, George Hruby, Belinda Jago, Carmel Pezaro, David Pook, Weranja Ranasinghe, Kathryn Schubach, Shomik Sengupta, David Smith, Andrew Weickhardt and Henry Woo. I am also very grateful to all the ANZUP subcommittee chairs for their expedient review of submitted abstracts and concepts to ensure we made our tight timelines. My thanks also to the ANZUP secretariat and the YRD team who brought it all together to ensure a hugely successful meeting.
Venu Chalasani, ASM 2015 Convenor
Dr Chalasani graduated from the University of Sydney and completed his Urological training in the New South Wales section training scheme. He undertook a general urology fellowship in the United Kingdom, and then subsequently completed a Society of Urological Oncology Fellowship in Canada.
To learn more about ANZUP, visit the website.