Committees

Committees

The Management Advisory Committee (MAC)

The general affairs of the ALTG are overseen by the Management Advisory Committee (MAC) which is elected by members and chaired by the ALTG President. The MAC meets every 3 months via teleconference or Face-to-Face. If you would like to know the dates of  the future meetings, please visit the Events’ page.

Get to know this committee by reading the biography of the MAC members.

Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC)

The advisory committee to the MAC is called the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). The SAC assists investigators in the development of new study proposals, oversees ongoing studies and advises the MAC on scientific matters that may arise. Usually the SAC meets every 3 months via teleconference or Face-to-Face in conjunction with the MAC. To see the dates of the future meetings, please visit the Events’ page.

Get to know this committee by reading the biography of the SAC members.

The SAC includes 5  Subgroups (Early Diagnosis, NSCLC, Mesothelioma, SCLC, Supportive/Palliative Care) that are responsible for generating and developing trial concepts for SAC review in different clinical settings. The formalisation of the SAC Subgroups is an extension of the way in which the group has worked in the past when breakout groups have met at workshops. SAC Subgroups are formed by members with an interest in the particular clinical setting and led by two Co-Chairs. They are supported by a Research Fellow and the ALTG Admin Team at the Lung Foundation. Subgroup Co-Chairs are responsible for ensuring the subgroup operates effectively to generate and develop clinical trial concepts to the point where they are suitable for SAC consideration.  One Subgroup Co-Chair is invited to participate to the SAC meetings. Please contact the ALTG Admin Team to express your interest in joining and/or chairing one of these SAC Subgroups.

 

If you would like to take part of an ALTG advisory committee or a sub-group committee, please contact us so we can discuss this further.

 

Insights from committee members

 

We have asked some of our MAC and SAC members to tell us a little more about themselves and their involvement with the ALTG.


Nick Pavlakis – President, MAC and SAC member

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What are your priorities as 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 – New Zealand Representative, MAC member


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, MAC member


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.


Cameron Hunter – Treasurer, MAC member


Please tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be involved with the ALTG.

I trained in the UK and was a member of the Papworth Hospital Lung Cancer team for 7 years, as well as developing lung cancer services at the local district hospital.  I moved to Hobart in 2007 and further developed services for lung cancer there. Initially I became involved in the ALTG as the Respiratory Physician representative on the MAC and now I’m the Treasurer.

What is it about being a member of the MAC that you find most interesting?

Being involved in the development and generation of ideas for research into lung cancer; hearing the results as the trials develop; and especially the friendly and supportive interactions with the others in the group.

How would you like to see the ALTG develop over time?

I’d like to see us with a wide portfolio of trials across all the disciplines involved in lung cancer. I would like to see the ALTG recognised as the main “go to” place for lung cancer research, with high public recognition of the group and hence lung cancer research.


Shankar Siva – Radiation Oncology Representative, MAC member

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Please tell us a little about yourself and how you came to join the ALTG.
I am a radiation oncologist and clinical researcher at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. I have a special interest in stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR) and co-ordinate the program at the Peter Mac.  I was “tapped on the shoulder” to join the MAC early during my PhD studies in 2012 by my mentor Professor David Ball and have been serving ever since.

What is it about being a member of the CAP that you find most interesting?

With research it is easy to become engrossed in your own particular niche area of interest. I love being involved in the MAC because it gives me a global perspective of the direction of lung cancer trials in the region.

How would you like to see the ALTG develop over time?

I would like to see the ALTG engage our neighbour Asian countries in collaboration and truly embrace our “Australasian” moniker. Additionally, I feel medical oncologists are leading the way in engagement within the ALTG and ideally we would see growth in the representation of all the disciplines involved in the care of lung cancer patients.


Emily Stone, Respiratory Medicine Representative, MAC member

Please tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be involved with the ALTG

I’m a respiratory physician at St Vincents hospital in Sydney.  I started our MDT in 2006 and have developed it since then. I became involved in the ALTG through colleagues in respiratory medicine and oncology from around Australia.

What is it about being a member of the MAC that you find most interesting?

It gives me an opportunity to share ideas and views with clinicians and researchers from around the country and gives me insight into the full range of issues that are important for lung cancer patients.  It also gives me contacts across a range of areas of expertise something that has helped me in both clinical medicine and in research.

How would you like to see the ALTG develop over time?

I see the ALTG developing its leadership role in clinical lung cancer research so that new and established researchers can turn to the ALTG for a range of resources – access to colleagues, mentorship and advice and research opportunities.


Anna Nowak, Mesothelioma SAC Subgroup Co-Chair, SAC member


Please tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be involved with the ALTG
I was an inaugural member of the ALTG, which was formed at a meeting in Sydney whilst I was a postdoctoral fellow at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre. From memory Martin Stockler carted me along to the first meeting, so I guess that was in 2003.

However I had already done a PhD in malignant mesothelioma and subsequent work on quality of life analysis and tumour measurement in this disease, so the ALTG was an obvious vehicle for future trials in this rare and relatively neglected thoracic cancer. As I have continued to work in mesothelioma in the laboratory and clinical trials, the ALTG has become an important collaborative vehicle for this work.

What is it about being a member of the SAC that you find most interesting?

Working collaboratively with colleagues to refine a clinical trial idea is the most interesting and enjoyable part of being a MAC/SAC member. One person can never think of everything important. Everyone has input into the development of a new clinical trial, the teamwork is fantastic.

How would you like to see the ALTG develop over time?

Being the co-chair of the mesothelioma subgroup, of course I’d like to see the ALTG have an open mesothelioma trial at all times. The DREAM clinical trial is the second ALTG mesothelioma trial, but we haven’t had a mesothelioma trial open through the ALTG for a few years, since the close of B2P2M2. I’d also like to see the ALTG develop more supportive care trials for thoracic cancers.


Lillian Leigh – Consumer Representative, MAC member

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Please tell us a little about yourself and how you came to join the ALTG.

As a consumer and poverty lawyer (think mortgage repossessions and insurance disputes after natural disasters), I’ve spent more than a decade advocating for the disadvantaged and the “voiceless”. Having now lived with lung cancer for over a year and a half, I’ve found that lung cancer is, in many ways, one of the most “voiceless” of all cancers. So, just like many who’ve been touched by this disease, I wanted to use what little skills I have to give back to those who’ve kept me alive.

Having a rare genetic rearrangement, and being a Phase 1 participant of a clinical trial, I’m keenly aware of the importance of well-designed and conducted medical research. I stumbled upon ALTG’s website, and was intrigued. So with a sense of curiosity, I applied to be a consumer member.

What is it about being a member of the CAP that you find most interesting?

I am relatively new to the CAP, so everything I’ve encountered seems very interesting. I am pleasantly surprised and encouraged by how dedicated and passionate the members I’ve met are in lung cancer research. I also thought I was used to medical jargon having grown up in a medical family, but I wasn’t prepared for all the acronyms (even if I knew Latin or Greek I’d have no hope working them all out).

How would you like to see the ALTG develop over time?

I would like to see a more public face of the ALTG, with a greater connection to lung cancer patients and carers in Australia. To me, research brings a lot of hope, but I’ve met many people who know little and fear much when it comes to clinical trial participation. I think that the ALTG has the potential to dispel some of this fear through education to both those within the medical profession and to the public.

I also look forward to seeing the ALTG build its financial capacity to ultimately fund grants for innovative research. As we all know, lung cancer is one of the least funded in research of all cancers, in terms of dollar per death. This desperately needs to improve and I am committed to help the ALTG where I can.


Sue McCullough – Consumer Representative, MAC member

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Please tell us a little about yourself and how you came to join the ALTG.

As a Lung Cancer consumer for over ten years, I was a member of the NSW Cancer Institute’s regular Lung Cancer Oncology Group, since its inception in 2005. At these meeting I met numerous physicians/officials involved in the treatment of Lung Cancer. It was at these meeting that I was recommended for membership of the ALTG.

What is it about being a member of the CAP that you find most interesting?

Being involved in and finding out information about the variety of research trials that may help the treatment and diagnosis of Lung Cancer in all its forms. Hopefully representing the many people I have met through my LC support group and work for them.

How would you like to see the ALTG develop over time?

Be able to improve the best treatment for people with LC as well as possibly make the Government realize the things required to provide the best quality of care and therefore life, of people with Lung Cancer. To make sure that all Lung Cancer research done in Australia, is shared and known about, so advances in treatment and diagnosis can be moved into practice as quickly as possible.