Welcome to 2016 and a year that promises to be a busy one as we continue to grow our membership and activities. I would like to thank all our members and particularly the Office Bearers, Working Group Chairs and workshop convenors for your contributions in 2015. 2015 was an extremely productive year and we are clearly entering a phase of growth, as evidenced by our passing 500 members; the opening of BR31; plans to launch at least two new trials in the coming months; a highly successful first ALTG Preceptorship in Lung Cancer; several workshops to brainstorm ideas for future clinical trials; and the ALTG’s instrumental role in establishing the new international thoracic oncology collaboration, TACT.
Looking forward, “core” activities such as developing and initiating trials will continue, while some important new challenges and opportunities present themselves. In mid-February the Management Advisory Committee (MAC) will meet to discuss plans for the next three to five years. Meeting the needs of members, focusing on our strengths and establishing a secure funding base are key priorities that we have already identified.
Following the workshop in November last year, members are working on several new protocol concepts for consideration by the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). The SAC will select a number of these concepts and, with the assistance of the CTC, develop them for funding submissions. Workshops are a valuable opportunity for members to meet face-to-face to network and discuss new trial concepts and in 2016 we will be using this time together to not only brainstorm new trial ideas but also discuss more developed concepts in detail. We also expect to develop new topics for workshops based on feedback from a member survey that we’ll be conducting in the first quarter – please take the time to provide your input when the survey is launched!
The 6th Australian Lung Cancer Conference takes place this year on 18-20 August, with ALTG members’ and open, joint MAC and SAC meetings scheduled for August 17th. Several MAC positions are open for election this year as current office bearers’ terms come to an end. It would be terrific to welcome new Committee Members and an injection of fresh ideas and enthusiasm to help maintain the momentum that has been built over the last three years.
On the educational front, the 2nd ALTG Preceptorship in Lung Cancer will take place in late October and a large number of expressions of interest have already been received for this important educational opportunity. Last but by no means least, two new trials will open in 2016 – NIVORAD in advanced NSCLC and PEARL in palliative care. By developing trials that offer patients the opportunity to participate in new treatment approaches we are continuing to fulfil our Mission to reduce the impact of lung and other thoracic cancers on patients, carers and their families.