Blood Biomarkers & Beyond

By ahhb
Monday, 24 June, 2013

Blood Biomarkers & Beyond

Set to Inspire, Inform and Educate Oncologists

With biomarkers playing a key role in the routine management of patients with cancer and guide drug development, the Medical Oncology Group of Australia’s (MOGA) Annual Scientific Meeting Blood, Biomarkers and Beyond is shaping up to be a well-planned program of world-best practice and information. 

Executive Officer of MOGA Kay Francis says the event, which will take place at the Melbourne Convention Centre on 31 July to 2 August will attract more than 250 oncologists from Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia and will include some of the best local and international researchers and speakers. The Scientific Program for the meeting will explore important, current issues and themes including biomarkers as tools for screening, diagnosis and treatment; translational biomarker issues; practical aspects of biomarker development, future approaches as well as applications in translational research, drug development, research and clinical practice.
“We are very excited about the presenters on this year’s program,” Ms Francis says. “Professor Allen Chan from the Chinese University Hong Kong is a biomarker expert and a key member of one of the most exciting research teams working in this area globally. “Professor Chan will present in a symposium on Genomics.”
Professor Chan’s presentation will include the latest information and research on Clinical applications of the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) DNA as a biomarker for nasophayrngea carcinoma. Currently, Professor Allen Chan is the Professor of Chemical Pathology at the Chinese University interest is to develop new diagnostic tests based on the analysis of circulating cell-free nucleic acids. The clinical applications of these tests cover different areas including oncology, prenatal diagnosis,organ transplantation and trauma. With these inventions, he currently holds more than 20 international patents/patent applications. A number of these molecular tests, for example the non-invasive prenatal testing for Down syndrome and Epstein-Barr virus DNA test for nasopharyngeal carcinoma, have already been offered as routine clinical tests in many different parts of the world.
In the Asia Pacific Perspectives session, Professor Chan will pair with Professor Kauo Tamura, president of the Japan Society for Medical Oncology (JSMO) to provide delegates with insight into clinical practice and cancer research in Japan, Hong Kong and China. Professor Tamura has served as President of The Japanese Society of Medical Oncology (JSMO) since 2009, working on enhancing cancer patients’ quality of life, cancer research and education as well as strengthening the tie between JSMO and foreign societies especially in the Asian Pacific region.
“Professor Mark Ratain from the University of Chicago, will also share his unique experience in the closely aligned areas of the pharmacogenomics and pharmacology of anticancer agents,” Ms Francis says. “In addition to a meet the Professor Breakfast session, Professor Ratain will present in a Symposium on Germline and Host factors influencing Drug Response and Toxicity.”
Dr Ratain is a hematologist/oncologist and clinical pharmacologist with significant experience in early clinical trials and pharmacogenomics of anticancer agents.
“The ASM will also include many opportunities for medical oncology trainees from around the country to meet, network and enhance their professional knowledge and participate in the Trainees’ Education Program, Communications Skills Training and the many other ASM sessions on offer,” Ms  Francis says. “For instance, Industry Symposium One chaired by Professor Ian Olver, CEO Cancer Council of Australia, will explore Barriers to Access to Oncology Medicines in Australia and the work of the newly established Oncology Industry Taskforce. “New data from the Taskforce’s stakeholder consultation process, its findings and related issues will be considered from the differing stakeholders’ perspectives with Associate Professor Gary Richardson, MOGA Chairman, speaking for oncologists. “Key representatives from industry, Medicines Australia and consumer groups will also join the speakers’ panel for what is certain to be a dynamic session.”
Immediately following the ASM is the Best of ASCO, on Saturday 3 August. This one-day event features the latest in cutting-edge oncology research and science from the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the inspirational meeting for oncologists worldwide The Best of ASCO will enable oncology professionals to learn about and debate the scientific, research and practice changing highlights at ASCO and will feature international and Australian oncology experts presenting and reviewing the research and scientific outcomes of ASCO.
 “Professor Allen Chan from the Chinese University Hong Kong is a biomarker expert and a key member of one of the most exciting research teams working in this area globally.”
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