Sydney Catalyst Monthly Newsletter
View this email in your browser
Welcome to the Sydney Catalyst June newsletter. This month we're talking about the CNRU, ASCO 2017, our brand new Pilot & Seed funding recipients and about how our Travel & Education Awards have supported lung cancer research. Happy reading!



The Cancer Nursing Research Unit

The Cancer Nursing Research Unit is one of the founding member groups of Sydney Catalyst. Established in 2010 and led by Professor Kate White, the unit is a collaboration between the Sydney Nursing School, USYD and the SLHD. The unit leads and participates in research in cancer and supportive care, as well as supporting cancer and palliative care nurses across NSW to develop their research capacity and skills.

“The group, which now includes 5 staff and 9 students working across 16 distinct projects, has a strong focus on both developing new evidence in supportive care, psychosocial and quality of life research (working with an impressive range of local and international collaborators in doing so) but also in supporting the translation of evidence into practice.”

As Kate has noted previously:  ‘Nurses are the largest professional group involved in cancer care. In NSW there are approximately 2000 cancer and palliative care nurses with high level expertise in coordinating and managing patient diagnosis, treatment and recovery in both acute care and community settings. Their specialised knowledge enables them to provide better care which ultimately improves patient outcomes.’

Individual members of the CNRU are involved in a range of Sydney Catalyst projects and activities, including Kate who is a member of our Scientific Advisory Committee, T2T3 Working Group and is the Chair our Pilot and Seed (P&S) Review Panel for T2T3 research. Kate has also previously received P&S funding from Sydney Catalyst for her project entitled ‘The financial impact of cancer treatment on Australian patients and families’. One thing that is evident from our close working relationship with Kate and her team is their commitment to improving outcomes for people affected by cancer; an aim we well and truly share.  


Members In The News

Sydney Catalyst Member Professor John Mattick was in the news this past month predicting Australia as a front runner in precision medicine thanks to outcomes in whole genome sequencing. But, he warns, we need to act now to make clear policy decisions from the outset.

Check out the article here.


Congratulations Pilot & Seed Funding Recipients

Last month the Sydney Catalyst Governing Council and Scientic Advisory Committee agreed to fund x5 new Pilot & Seed projects for 2017. Congratulations to the following recipients:
  • Daniel Steffens & team: Feasibility and acceptability of pre-operative exercise to improve patient outcomes after major cancer surgery: A pilot randomised controlled trial.
  • Roger Bourne & team: Gold-standard assessment of prostate cancer MRI accuracy.
  • Thomas Cox: Biomechanical priming of organotropism in metastasising breast cancer cells.
  • Helen McGuire: Development of a novel test to predict clinical response to checkpoint therapy in lung cancer and mesothelioma.
  • Jessica Lee & team: Multidisciplinary Management Of Episodic Breathlessness In Adults With Advanced Cancer - a mixed methods pilot study of a complex intervention.
Our Pilot & Seed Funding supports the development of new concepts and projects. Please check out our website for more details, especially if you have a project in mind for our next application round. 


Travel & Education Awards

The Sydney Catalyst Travel and Education Awards allow those working in the area of cancer services and research to attend conferences and seminars related to cancer management, supportive care and research. 

Our aim is to encourage training and development of outstanding researchers and clinicians from within Sydney Catalyst member groups and institutions, who have the potential to develop highly significant careers in cancer care and research and meet the overall goals of Sydney Catalyst.

We caught up with Sydney Catalyst T&E Award recipient Dr Nicole Rankin to find out what she gained from her success in this awards program, and what she was able to implement in her area of research, 
"My learning in lung cancer early detection (particularly about biomarkers, patient-focused interventions targeting signs and symptoms and population based approaches to understanding lung cancer) is immediately useful in work to document innovations in interventions in lung cancer diagnosis and health services research. My conference presentations were very well received and it reinforced/provided a strong recognition for me that the RoaDmaP intervention in lung cancer and implementation work is not being replicated elsewhere within the Cancer and Primacy Care research community. It was pleasing to receive feedback from UK experts that this intervention is novel in its approach to targeting primary care clinicians through a radiology pathway and I have a clearer vision about how to pursue this research."

Congratulations Nicole, on making exciting headway in lung cancer research. Our 2017 round of T&E awards is now under review, so watch this space for news of new recipients moving forward!  


SCITCRS2017 - Program + Call for Abstracts

We're ramping up the planning for our upcoming 2017 Sydney Catalyst International Translational Cancer Research Symposium. It's quick and easy to register online here.
WHEN: Tuesday 8 August, 2017
WHERE: L'Aqua @ Dockside, Darling Harbour

Now is the time to get involved and submit an abstract for a poster. We encourage members to submit abstracts for both new and recently presented posters; this is your chance to share your current or completed translational research with our consortium.

The SCITCRS 2017 is a full day symposium offering Sydney Catalyst members and other participants with an interest in translational cancer research the opportunity to learn about our own program as well as a range of successful national and international translational cancer research projects and programs. The meeting, our third biennial Symposium, will also provide valuable opportunities for networking, communication and collaboration across our unique multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional consortium. 
We are pleased to confirm that we have secured x3 keynote speakers and x11 invited oral presentations from Sydney Catalyst members and collaborators. This is your chance to hear from a diverse range of experts from across the translational cancer research spectrum about the Frontiers in Translational Cancer Research each of them are facing. We will also have Julie McCrossin facilitating an engaging and interactive panel discussion. So please check out our draft program below and click on the image for a closer look. 

And don't forget to register online now to secure your seat.

Other Opportunities

As always, we’re pleased to share a range of other great opportunities with our members. Check out the highlights below and then head to our website for even more. 


53rd Annual ASCO Meeting Wrap-Up

This weekend past saw 30,000 oncology professionals from around the world descend on Chicago for the 53rd annual American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting. This year’s theme of ‘Making a difference in cancer care with you’ is one that Sydney Catalyst shares as we work toward our goal of improving outcomes for people affected by cancer with you, our members. Just a few highlights from Sydney Catalyst members who attended and presented include; 
·         Associate Professor Jane Beith’s oral presentation entitled ‘Long-term results of a phase II randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a psychological intervention (Conquer Fear) to reduce clinical levels of fear of cancer recurrence in breast, colorectal, and melanoma cancer survivors’, which showed that a unique psychological intervention, Conquer Fear (CF) is a theroretically-grounded intervention to reduce fear of recurrence in the first 6 months following treatment.  
·         Previous Sydney Catalyst scholarship recipient Dr Kate Mahon’s poster presentation entitled ‘Post hoc analysis of a phase III study to test the association between circulating methylated glutathione s transferase (mGSTP1) DNA levels and response to docetaxel (DTX) in metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC)’, which validates the use of circulating mGSTP1 DNA as a marker of therapeutic benefit and prognosis that could be utilized for clinical management.
·         A trials in progress poster presentation of the Sydney Catalyst supported MoST program entitled ‘The Molecular Screening and Therapeutics (MoST) Program: A precision medicine framework for biomarker-driven signal-seeking clinical studies for rare cancers’, which generated a lot of interest and discussion from those who visited the poster on the day.
This is just a very small sample of presentations led by our members. The ASCO Daily News site includes a great summary of the top stories and commentary from the entire meeting.
Copyright © 2017 Sydney Catalyst, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list