AGITG Working Party Meeting Updates

The AGITG Upper GI and Lower GI Working Parties met in May to discuss respective concepts and trials. The Upper and Lower GI Working Party meetings are held every two months throughout the year, with members representing the disciplines of medical oncology, surgery, radiation oncology, statistics, translational science, study coordination and allied health.

Thanks to the breadth of applications received to join the working parties in the most recent expressions of interest round, shared positions and consultant roles have been created. These roles provide flexibility between two AGITG members to share one position, enable greater input from all disciplines, and provide increased opportunities for members to be involved in the development of AGITG research.


Upper GI Working Party Meeting

Wednesday 19 May

Upper GI Working Party Chair Professor Andrew Barbour, commenced the meeting by welcoming seven new Working Party members, advising that Dr Dominique Lee and Professor Tim Price had retired from the Working Party. We thank them for their service and are excited for the new members to begin contributing to the vital work of the group.

Welcome to the Upper GI Working Party:

  • Dr Samantha Barbour, Radiation Oncologist, QLD
  • Mr Milton Kirkwood, Consumer Advisory Panel member, NSW
  • Associate Professor Nick Clemons, Translational Scientist, VIC
  • Dr Shehara Mendis, Medical Oncologist, VIC
  • Dr Sweet Ping Ng, Radiation Oncologist, VIC
  • Dr Marjan Naeini, Bioinformatician, QLD (consultant)
  • Associate Professor Tom Sutherland, Radiologist, VIC (consultant)

Concept updates were provided on the following studies:

  • The STOPNET neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) phase II study was re-presented to the group after initially presenting the concept at the November Working Party Meeting. It was concluded that the concept was feasible and would proceed to the Scientific Advisory Committee for further review.
  • A proposal for using a PD-1 targeting vaccine was presented by the manufacturer, IMUGENE. The PD1-Vaxx Study is investigating an active immunisation or vaccination approach versus a passive infusion of antibodies. A Working Group is to be established to discuss the concept further.
  • Support was given for a phase II study of autolytic immunotherapy of metastatic neuroendocrine tumours using intralesional rose bengal disodium in combination with Peptide Receptor radionuclide Therapy (PRRT). Feedback for refinement was also taken onboard.

New Concepts were also presented in the following areas:

  • MASTERPLAN sub-study on understanding the effect of chemotherapy on microbial composition of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients.
  • A phase I and II study on a drug combination to inhibit chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression (low blood counts).
  • A phase I trial on locally advanced/metastatic pancreatic cancer studying the safety run-in of CEND-1 with other combinations.

The next Upper GI Working Party Meeting will be held on 28 July 2021.


Lower GI Working Party Meeting

Wednesday 26 May

This meeting introduced and welcomed 12 new Lower GI Working Party Members from a range of disciplines across the country. We look forward to their valued contributions and input in their time with the Working Party.

Welcome to the Lower GI Working Party:

  • Professor Joanne Bowen, Translational Scientist, SA
  • Professor Tim Price, Medical Oncologist, SA
  • Dr Sina Vantandoust, Medical Oncologist, SA
  • Mr Jeff Cuff, Consumer Advisory Panel member, NSW
  • Ms Sophie Hogan, Dietitian, NSW
  • Associate Professor Stephen Smith, Lower GI Surgeon, NSW
  • Dr Michael Jones, Radiation Oncologist, TAS
  • Dr Jessica Roydhouse, Psycho-Oncology, TAS
  • Dr Simon Wilkins, Translational Researcher, VIC
  • Dr Deborah Wright, Lower GI Surgeon, NZ
  • Dr Kirsten Gormly, Radiologist, SA (consultant)
  • Dr Marjan Naeini, Bioinformatician, QLD (consultant)

Research priorities were the forefront of discussions during this Working Party meeting. The group discussed the need to identify AGITG strengths in Lower GI and future concepts in refractory colorectal cancer trials.

Three concepts were discussed in length:

  • The first was presented by Dr Matthew Burge on opportunities for targeting RAS in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer. It was decided to work out a study design to potentially pilot the trial.
  • Associated Professor Jeanne Tie then presented on novel inhibitors including CD47/SIRP pathway, an area deemed to be worthy of watching closely.
  • Finally, Professor Robert Ramsay suggested that the focus in bowel cancer should be on the spread of cancer to secondary sites such as the liver, lungs and abdomen.

The next Lower GI Working Party Meeting will be held 4 August 2021. Submit a new concept for review at this meeting by 4 July.