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Who’s Who – Who’s New on the Management Advisory Committee

In August we elected a new President, NZ Representative and Thoracic Surgery Representative to the Management Advisory Committee (MAC); and appointed a new Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) Chair. The MAC is responsible for overseeing the affairs of the ALTG, so we asked our new MAC members to tell us a little about themselves.

Nick Pavlakis – President

nick-pavlakis

What are your priorities as incoming President?

Clinical trials are our “core business” so during my term I would like to ensure the group continues to develop a balanced and fruitful portfolio of trials and that we continue to build momentum. I also aim to promote and build the new operational structure we have put in place for the Scientific Advisory Committee; and build the educational component of our activities – making our ALTG Lung Cancer Symposium an annual event and expanding the ALTG Preceptorship in Lung Cancer to address topics beyond advanced lung cancer.

How did you come to be involved with the ALTG?

I’ve been involved with the ALTG since its inception through my interest in lung cancer and mesothelioma, and association with the NSW Lung Cancer Group. I commenced initially as Secretary, then SAC Chair and now I’m pleased to be taking on the role of President. Prior to the ALTG’s formation, I had initiated two investigator-led studies which became two of the group’s early trials – MATES (ALTG 04/003) and ALTG 04/001, a study of doublet docetaxel/gemcitabine vs sequential single agent chemotherapy.

What do you find most enjoyable/beneficial about being part of the ALTG?

We have really good people in the group, with a lot of enthusiasm and who are keen to keep improving on what we do. At the moment there’s a really strong “buzz” around the group at this time with new drug developments in targeted therapy and immunotherapy, making it an exciting time to be involved. There continues to be such a large unmet need in lung cancer and the group attracts like-minded people, determined to change outcomes for the better.

If you had an unlimited amount of money to invest in thoracic oncology research what are the top three things you would spend it on?

  1. Establish a national platform for molecular testing of lung cancer.
  2. Strengthen infrastructure funding support for trials groups to ensure they are sustainable.
  3. Increase educational activities around evidence for best practice, building on national guidelines and identifying gaps for research.

laird-cameron-photoLaird Cameron – NZ Representative

What are your priorities as the incoming NZ Representative?

My priorities are to increase awareness and participation in the ALTG by New Zealand sites and work to address the obstacles to taking part in the group’s activities and trials; to promote membership of the ALTG to New Zealand colleagues; and to generate clinical questions and trial concepts in the New Zealand setting to bring to the group.

How did you come to be involved with the ALTG?

Whilst undertaking a fellowship in lung cancer at the Peter McCallum Cancer Centre I became interested in the ALTG and attended my first ALCC in 2014. I have since established my clinical practice in Auckland.

What do you find most enjoyable/beneficial about being part of the ALTG?

Generating and debating ideas to better outcomes in lung cancer patients with like-minded colleagues in a proactive culture.

If you had an unlimited amount of money to invest in thoracic oncology research what are the top three things you would spend it on?

  1. Addressing barriers to accessing treatments, including new therapies.
  2. Optimising practice of immunotherapy in lung cancer patients.
  3. Establishing lung cancer screening in Australia and New Zealand.

Morgan Windsor – Thoracic Surgery Representative

What are your priorities as the incoming Thoracic Surgery Representative?

My major priority is to get Surgeons aware of the available trials in lung cancer and to form a definitive national working group of surgeons to provide input and expertise into planning of lung cancer trials. I believe we have the numbers and impetus to run trials in Australia involving surgery.

How did you come to be involved with the ALTG?

I have been involved with the ALTG since the first Australian Lung Cancer Conference.

What do you find most enjoyable/beneficial about being part of the ALTG?

The trials group provides a collegiate platform for discussion and sharing our experience and knowledge. The beauty of the group in Australia and New Zealand is that is small enough that all clinicians and researchers involved in lung cancer care are able to be included.