GU cancer

COSA 2019 will take on the pressing issues: Prof Bogda Koczwara


Professor Bogda Koczwara

The biggest oncology meeting in Australia will be tackling some of the big issues next week including equity of access to cancer services both locally and globally.

Under its overarching theme Putting Precision and Personalisation into Practice, the 2019 Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) ASM will focus on the subthemes of urological cancers, digital health in cancer and age and gender in cancer practice.

Meeting convenor Professor Bogda Koczwara told the limbic the presentations and discussions would be “thought provoking, energetic, inclusive and multidisciplinary”.

“We certainly try to see what are the most pressing issues that are relevant to our multidisciplinary membership that go beyond just delivering a particular cancer treatment.”

She said with over 1,000 delegates representing all the disciplines in oncology, the ASM had to provide big topics for the audience to grapple with.

Meeting the global demand for cancer care in 2040, the impact of environmental changes on cancer, and a global perspective on inequalities in cancer prevention and care feature on day one in a session on how global health and oncology intersect (Tues, 1.30pm).

The global oncology discussion is continued in a later session focusing on the Asia-Pacific regional perspective (Tues, 4pm).

Professor Koczwara, from Flinders University, said delivering cancer care in Australia was a challenge due to the tyranny of distance.

While Australia was leading the world in telemedicine and now had a nationwide model of teletrials, there was much more to be done in addressing the impact of rurality and remoteness.

The Australian Digital Health in Cancer Care Roadmap, developed by her team following a literature review and stakeholder consultation, will be launched at the meeting (Wed, 4pm).

The same session will include a presentation on Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy Safe, Seamless and Secure.

Invited guest speaker Professor Stacy Loeb from New York University will headline the opening clinical session on prostate cancer prescription for the 21st century (Tues, 9am).

According to Professor Koczwara, Professor Loeb is a very charismatic presenter and represents how much has changed in recognition of role models in medicine.

As well as working in the very male field of prostate cancer treatment, Professor Loeb runs a radio program on men’s health, is particularly active on social media and is currently involved in research of the use of digital communications in prostate cancer.

Professor Loeb will also speak in a session on using digital technology as a clinical tool (Wed, 11am).

Local hero Professor Ian Olver, who is originally from Adelaide, is the 2019 recipient of COSA’s prestigious Tom Reeve Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cancer Care (Wed, 1.30pm).

Other sessions on the program include:

  • Personalising treatments for testicular cancer (Tues, 4pm)
  • Clinical oncology in the digital age (Wed, 9am)
  • Cancer in LBTIQ+ patients (Wed, 4pm)
  • Integrating genetic testing into oncology practice (Thurs, 11am)

The meeting will start to wrap up with a Hot Topics panel discussion moderated by author, comedian, self-proclaimed ‘maths geek’ and media personality Adam Spencer (Thurs, 1.30pm).

The COSA Presidential Lecture will be delivered as an intimate Q&A and performance with Kirk Pengilly, a founding member of iconic Australian band INXS and more recently an ambassador for Movember and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (Thurs, 2.30pm).

“We always finish on a high note. We do not want people to be drifting away in a hurry to get to the airport. We want people to stay to the last moment and we certainly saved a true highlight of the conference,” Professor Koczwara said.

The COSA ASM will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre from 12-14 November. Use the conference hashtag #COSA19 to follow the meeting on Twitter.

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