AGITG Annual Scientific Meeting

Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group (AGITG) Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM), Adelaide Convention Centre 21 -23 August 2019 

Report by Meredith Cummins

The AGITG Annual Scientific Meeting was very well attended in Adelaide 21 – 23 August with 350 delegates registered. This meeting is a wonderful opportunity for health care professionals internationally and globally to network and work collaboratively to improve cancer treatments. Prof Tim Price, Chair of AGITG has stated that “Cancer treatment advances are only as good as patients’ ability to access them. But for far too many patients, high quality cancer care and clinical trials are out of reach. We have much work to do before everyone with cancer has equal access to the best treatments and the opportunity to participate in research.” By working together as a community, Professor Price emphasised that we can find solutions that will help ensure that the advances needed can be achieved.” This encompasses the work of the AGITG.

The opening plenary session was Rare cancers, how can we do it better? The presentations were by guest international speakers Professor Christian Jobin (United States) who discussed “The large fingerprint of Intestinal Microbiota in cancer”, Professor Stephen J Wigmore (United Kingdom) “State of the Art Biliary Tract Cancers and Associate Professor Manisha Palta (United States) “combination of Radiation and Immunotherapy: Fact or Fiction. These topics, especially Microbiota whereby samples of gastrointestinal bacteria (stool) investigate the role of bacteria in cancer, created much discussion and were the focus of further sessions throughout the meeting.

Other international invited faculty were Professor James L. Abbruzzese (United States), Professor Sharon Gil (Canada) and Professor Florian Lordick (Germany).

On the Wednesday afternoon a multidisciplinary workshop was held which included management of operational pancreatic tumours. Neoadjuvant therapy and nutritional care. The Thursday afternoon session of New Concepts Symposium saw four concepts presented to the audience which then were voted upon as to whether to take the concept further. One of the presented concepts presented by Dr Mark McGregor was a Phase II study of oncolytic immunotherapy of metastatic neuroendocrine tumours using intralesional rose Bengal disodium in combination with Pembrolizumab – was given the best new concept  award. A/Prof Michael Michael also presented during the ASM the new concept study LuCAT.

On Friday morning AGITG Upper GI Cancer trials were presented including Control NETs by A/Prof David Wyld (Capecitabine ON Temazolamide Radionuclide therapy Octreotate Lutetium-177 Neuroendocine tumours study) which has closed to recruitment and, NABNEC by A/Prof Mustafa Khasraw (A Randomised Phase II Study of Nabpacitaxel in Combination with Carboplatin as first line Treatment of Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Carcinomas) which is still open to recruitment.

It was fabulous to participate in this meeting. Throughout the meeting the Unicorn Foundation was gratefully acknowledged for the ongoing funding for many NET trials which is vital to the advances in NET management.

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