Dear friends and colleagues,
2020 has had a busy start with the ALTG ASM held in conjunction with ALCC20 in February in Melbourne. Attendees could choose from a comprehensive program detailing updates in several aspects of cancer care and future questions for optimal lung cancer treatment. We were pleased to have international faculty Professors Nir Peled, Marina Garassino and Federico Cappuzzo attend the ALTG clinical trial concepts session and provide feedback on DREAM3R and ASPiRATION. We also congratulate award winners, Dr Surein Arulananda for Best New Investigator Presentation, and Kirsten Duggan for the ALTG Best Poster Presentation, and extend our thanks to the ALCC20 Local Organising Committee and Co-Chairs A/Prof Tom John and Prof Kwun Fong.
Several ALTG meetings were also held throughout ALCC20 and I thank those who attended for their thoughtful contributions. The open MAC meeting enabled briefing and discussion on ALTG updates including announcement of our two newest MAC members, Malinda Itchins as Early Career Representative and Phillip Antippa as Thoracic Surgery Representative. On behalf of the ALTG, I congratulate Malinda and Phillip on their appointments. Other updates included progress on the website re-design and a proposal for secure dissemination of minutes from ALTG open meetings.
The strategic planning process for the new strategic plan commencing in 2021 was also initiated, with a meeting gathering feedback from the membership. While there was an acknowledgment that the recent advances in lung cancer treatments have led to a large amount of medical oncology trials, discussion centred around broadening the existing scope of the ALTG program, including the trial program, the Lung Cancer Preceptorship, and the membership distribution from the other disciplines involved in lung cancer care. It was also acknowledged that the ALTG trial portfolio and its activities are simply a reflection of the memberships’ interest, opportunities and contributions. Greater active participation by other group members of the ALTG is encouraged if this broadening of scope is to be achieved. Other items discussed included the potential for donations and fundraising monies to be specifically directed to the ALTG and increasing the profile of ALTG as an organisation dedicated to lung cancer research.
In other news, along with several other Cancer Collaborative Trial Groups, the ALTG SAC was pleased to endorse the proposal for teletrials that has been submitted by COSA to the MRFF Rural, Regional and Remote Clinical Trial Enabling Infrastructure grant opportunity. I can also share that the ALTG is on track to meet the 2020 deliverables for the Cancer Australia Support for Clinical Trials Program that supports critical ALTG infrastructure such as concept development meetings, early concept development services provided by the NHMRC CTC, the ALTG Executive Officer, rent, website hosting, and other office necessities.
Lastly, I would like to encourage any member to submit a clinical trial concept for consideration by the ALTG. The review and submission process is detailed on the website, and they can be submitted at any time, not just in preparation for an ALTG SAC meeting. The ALTG also welcomes proposals to participate in international trials through this process. I also welcome any feedback on the ALTG and proposed strategic initiatives as we enter the new planning cycle.
A/Prof Nick Pavlakis