Cancer care

MOGA 2019 ASM will celebrate 40 years of medical oncology


Professor Desmond Yip

It will be a busy 40th anniversary celebration for the Medical Oncology Group of Australia at its 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) in Canberra, as the group will be looking forward to a very active future.

Convenor Professor Desmond Yip says the huge treatment advances that have transformed medical oncology in the last few years make it fitting that one theme of the meeting – to be held on 14-16 August – will be cancer survivorship and how to manage it.

The conference  will therefore have sessions on how to help patients live with cancer as a chronic disease, with a focus on issues such as quality of life, functional capacity, co-morbidities, diet and exercise – something almost unthinkable 40 years ago when there were few effective treatments and survival prospect were poor.

“Medical oncology is a relatively new speciality in Australia, it only really started with Martin Tattershall who was the father of the speciality from the 1970s and many of us trained under him,” he says.

“But we’ve made huge steps with things such as targeted therapies even since I trained around 20 years ago, when we had few effective drug treatments and prospects for patients were  certainly very poor.”

With an eye of the future, Professor Yip says the ASM program will feature presentations on many of the cutting edge developments in medical oncology such as how to use genomic screening and molecular profiling of tumours to select patients for the most appropriate therapy and clinical trials.

On Thursday, a distinguished international speaker Professor Sabine Tejpar, from KU Leuven Belgium, will be presenting the latest developments in subtyping of colorectal cancers and immunophenotyping,

The ASM will also feature developments in imaging, radiotherapy and immunotherapy  of brain metastases, he says.

And in addition to clinical developments, the ASM will also have a focus on personal and career issues for medical oncologists, such as work-life balance, emotional intelligence and diversity in the workforce.

A plenary session on the final day will feature the best research results in areas such as advanced endometrial cancer, metastatic hormone sensitive prostate cancer (MHSPC) and the optimum use of endocrine therapy.

As well as reflecting the rapidly developing state of medical oncology in the 21st century,  the MOGA 2019 ASM will be “an important opportunity to build professional networks, share knowledge and skills as well as celebrate the strength and diversity of our profession,” says Professor Yip.

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