Associate Professor Amitesh Roy is a senior Medical Oncologist at Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, Flinders Medical Centre.
Amitesh is an active member of the AGITG, with involvement across numerous trials as site principal investigator, and Study Chair of the international anal cancer trial, InterAACT. Amitesh was recently appointed into the role of Deputy Chair, Upper GI Working Party and is a member of the AGITG research executive committee.
We sat down with Amitesh as he shared with us his career achievements, how he became involved in the AGITG and his favourite cuisine!
What inspired you to become an Oncologist?
The interest stems from my stint as a junior resident in oncology at the Royal Hobart Hospital. I had great mentors and I was fascinated by the care provided by the oncology team to patients with this devastating disease. I was curious about cancer biology as a medical student as well. Cancer is a common and a life altering disease, so I was driven by this desire to contribute to change the course of this disease for patients suffering from cancer.
What achievement are you most proud of?
I guess as an overseas trained doctor becoming a Fellow of RACP and recent academic promotion at Flinders University.
Why did you become involved in the AGITG?
I was always interested in GI oncology and upon my return from the UK after completing my research fellowship in GI oncology I got actively involved with AGITG. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to lead InterAACT in Australia as was part of its conception in the UK and eventually to see the results define standard of care for patients with metastatic anal cancer was amazing. I see AGITG as a multidisciplinary platform that enables robust scientific discourse to further novel clinical and translational research ideas. I particularly enjoy and appreciate the collegial atmosphere within the AGITG and am fascinated by the support and work that AGITG does to improve patient outcomes. Consumer input and the philanthropic activities by the AGITG members are commendable and inspirational.
Are there particular areas of GI cancer research that you believe hold most promise for the future?
I think immunotherapy is prime time in GI cancers, we will perhaps see improvement in cure rates and better overall survival due to immunotherapy in these cancers. Exploring the role of immunotherapy in curable upper GI cancers is an area of interest and in advanced stages combinatorial strategies of immunotherapy and targeted drugs is worth looking at. Biomarker research to tailor treatment in the early stages is exciting.
Why did you choose to become part of the AGITG Upper GI Working Party?
Joining this working party aligns with my clinical and research interest and when a timely opportunity arose to be part of the Upper GI Working Party, I put my hand up. I am also involved in lower GI cancer and GI NET research.
If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?
Quentin Tarantino, absolutely love his work. But if I can have Satyajit Ray (doyen of Indian films) on the table as well then that would be fascinating.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A tough one as I like all sorts of food, and experiment often with different cuisines.
I would say a bowl of spicy lentils (dhal) and rice.
What are your top three hobbies?