The 2021 Cholangiocarcinoma Idea Generation Workshop

The third Idea Generation Workshop was held virtually on Friday 14 May, facilitated by Associate Professor Lara Lipton and Associate Professor Mehrdad Nikfarjam. This workshop was held in collaboration with Pancare Foundation.

At this workshop, ideas focused on gaps in current knowledge or ideas for future clinical trials in cholangiocarcinoma, with concepts presented across medical oncology and surgery.

Launched in 2019, the Idea Generation Workshop enables us to deliver on our strategic goals to accelerate the pace of discovery and connect researchers. It serves as a platform to elevate ideas and encourages participants to offer constructive advice, as well as ways of improving the proposed ideas.

Participants were invited to consider the many aspects of the ideas presented, including potential impact, requirements to ensure its success, potential to become AGITG studies and more. They then voted on the level of enthusiasm for each idea, ranking from ‘highly interested’ to ‘no interest’. Finally, participants had to indicate their interest in assisting to refine and improve the proposed studies.

Take a look below at a snapshot of each idea presented on the day.

Idea 1: Presented by Associate Professor Adnan Nagrial

Title: Study of neoadjuvant Ipi/Nivo is patients with resectable cholangiocarcinoma and gallbladder cancer

“Exploring immunotherapy in patients with resectable bile duct cancer. I’m hoping to finetune the idea and gain feedback from colleagues at the workshop.”

Idea 2: Presented by Doctor Daniel Croagh

Title: Comprehensive molecular profiling of advanced biliary cancer – a cohort study

“The idea is to assess the feasibility and usefulness of comprehensive molecular analysis of biopsy material obtained from patients with advanced cholangiocarcinoma, at the time of diagnosis, and use this to select patients for targeted therapy.”

Idea 3: Presented by Doctor Benjamin Dwyer

Title: Niche-targeted therapies for cholangiocarcinoma

“Our idea is to develop defined, precision bio-printed patient-derived in vitro models of cholangiocarcinoma incorporating tumour and stromal cells for high throughput drug screening. Interactions between tumour cells and stromal cells are a major contributor to therapy resistance, which aren’t addressed by current systems. Developing models that incorporate these interactions will enable us to repurpose approved drugs and define new combination therapies that target these interactions to increase the efficacy of cholangiocarcinoma therapies.”

Idea 4: Presented by Associate Professor Zee Wan Wong

Title: Immunotherapy for patients with advanced unresectable or metastatic cholangiocarcinoma

“Using immunotherapy to extend the benefit from chemotherapy in advanced cholangiocarcinoma. We see a significant number of such patients who do not survive and we really need better treatment options.”

Idea 5: Presented by Doctor Shehara Mendis

Title: ctDNA in newly diagnosed cholangiocarcinoma patients and a binational cholangiocarcinoma registry

“I propose the development of a real-world database for biliary tract cancers that involves multiple institutions, so that we can follow patients diagnosed with this rare cancer and capture their outcomes. I hope to involve some of these patients in a circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) substudy, to help us learn how to best use ctDNA in this disease.”

Idea 6: Presented by Professor John Zalcberg

Title: Opportunities for registry randomised trials through a biliary, clinical quality registry

“The idea is for AGITG to link its efforts in this group of conditions to a clinical quality registry (CQR) to develop the idea/concept of a national registry program as a platform that links real-world populations with a rare tumour to a relevant clinical trials network, such as AGITG. This would provide enormous opportunities for research to improve health outcomes for patients with rare tumours.”

Idea 7: Presented by Professor David Goldstein

Title: Embedding correlative science in biliary cancer precision medicine studies within the Molecular Screening and Therapeutics trials Program (MoST)

“Driving knowledge from current biliary trials to inform the design of subsequent trials to improve the chance of better outcomes.”

Progressing the workshop ideas

Several ideas presented at the workshop are currently being progressed through our research development pathway into research concepts, and when fully developed, will be presented to the Upper GI Working Party. The best idea presented to the Working Party will receive a grant of up to $100,000 to progress the idea, co-funded by the GI Cancer Institute and Pancare Foundation.

Upcoming workshops

We look forward to hosting two more Idea Generation Workshops in 2021:

Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Friday 20 August 2021:

  • Gaps in current knowledge or ideas for future clinical trials in hepatocellular carcinoma with a focus on radiation are encouraged for submission.
  • Convenors: Professor Andrew Kneebone and Professor John Olynyk
  • Submissions close: Monday 12 July 2021.
  • Find out more and submit an idea

Rectal Cancer, Friday 12 November 2021:

  • Gaps in current knowledge or ideas for future clinical trials in rectal cancer with a focus on neoadjuvant treatment are encouraged for submission.
  • Convenors: Associate Professor Sam Ngan and Dr Deborah Wright.
  • Submissions close: 9am Thursday 30 September 2021.
  • Find out more and submit an idea