International & Regional Speakers

Prof  Nicoletta Colombo

International Speaker

Biography

 Prof. Nicoletta Colombo graduated in Medicine in 1980; she completed the Specialty in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1984 from the University of Milan, Italy. After a training period at Charing Cross Hospital and Royal Marsden Hospital in London, she became clinical research associate at the Kaplan Cancer Center, New York University, where she worked from 1984 until 1986. Junior and later Senior Faculty at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Milan from 1986 to 1994, in September 1994 she became Deputy Director and in July 2001 Director of the Gynecologic Oncology Unit, Division of Gynecology, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.

Since October 1, 2002 she is Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Milan-Bicocca. Author of several pubblications in the field of gynecologic oncology, she is member of various professional societies such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (SGO) and the International Gynecological Cancer Society (IGCS).

She is also Past President of the European Society of Gynecologic Oncology ( ESGO) and Senior Editor of the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer.

Dr  Bernard Escudier

International Speaker

Biography

Bernard Escudier, MD, is the former chair of the genitourinary group of the Institut Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, France. Dr. Escudier’s research focuses on renal cell carcinoma, immunotherapy and on development of new therapeutic strategies.

Dr. Escudier received his medical degree from the University of Paris, Paris, France, and initially trained as a cardiologist and then an intensivist. He became the head of the first immunotherapy unit in Gustave Roussy in 1992, and then moved to the Medical Oncology Department..

He has authored more than 400 publications in peer-reviewed journals and is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the European Society for Medical Oncology. He is also a member of the board of the Kidney Cancer Association and president of ARTuR (the French association on renal tumors). Since 1992, Dr. Escudier has been head of the French Group of Immunotherapy, which conducts large multicenter phase 2/3 studies in renal cancer; he is also a principal investigator for many phase 1 to 2 clinical trials in renal cancer. Dr. Escudier was head of the ESMO GU faculty from 2012 to 2014 and has been the coordinator of the RCC ESMO guideline group since 2012.

Dr Jack West  

International Speaker

Biography

Dr. Jack West is a medical oncologist and Medical Director of the Thoracic Oncology Program at the Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle, Washington. He also serves as President of the medical education website OncTalk, LLC and the Global Resource for Advancing Cancer Education (GRACE).

Dr. West received an M. Phil. in Experimental Biology from Cambridge University on a Fulbright Scholarship before returning to the US to undertake his medical training at Harvard Medical School in Boston, where he earned his MD magna cum laude and conducted research as a Howard Hughes Medical Student Fellow. He stayed in Boston for his internship and residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, then moved to Seattle, Washington for his fellowship in medical oncology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/University of Washington. He moved to the Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle in late 2002, where he directs the medical oncology component of thoracic oncology program. He has been repeatedly voted among the best medical oncologists in Seattle by colleagues over the past several years.

Dr. West maintains a strong clinical research focus on lung cancer; he currently serves as the principal investigator on several clinical trials of chemotherapy and novel agents and has authored numerous peer-reviewed as well as invited publications. He has been actively involved with the SWOG Lung Cancer Committee on multiple recent and ongoing protocols, and he leads several investigator-initiated trials at his own institution. In addition to his work in lung cancer, he maintains a significant interest in clinical research in prostate cancer and genitourinary oncology.

A/Prof  Jarushka Naidoo

International Speaker

Biography

Dr. Jarushka Naidoo is an Assistant Professor of Oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, MD.

Dr. Naidoo graduated with her medical degree (MB BCh BAO) from Trinity College Dublin, and went on to complete both her internal medicine training and a medical oncology fellowship through the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. She then completed an awarded advanced fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York) from the Irish Society of Medical Oncology, and joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 2015. Since then, she has developed a portfolio of clinical trials and translational studies focused on immunotherapy for lung cancer, and immune-related toxicity.

Dr. Naidoo currently leads investigator-initiated trials for patient’s lung cancer, specifically for patients with stage III non-small lung cancer, and those with CNS metastases. She is a leader in the field of immune-related toxicity, having published the first comprehensive analyses of pneumonitis (Best of J Clin Oncol 2017), bullous pemphigoid (Cancer Immunol Res 2016), as well as inflammatory arthritis (Ann Rheum Dis 2016) from anti-PD-1/PD-L1 agents. She is now the Chair of the Immunotherapy Subcommittee of the NRG Clinical Trials Cooperative Group, and serves on the NCCN Immune-Related Toxicity Panel. She is the recipient of several grants and awards including an NIH KL2 Clinical Scholar Award, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Merit Award, PRIME Young Investigator Award for NSCLC, and a Young Immuno-Oncologist’s Award.

 

Dr David R. Gandara

International Speaker

Biography

Dr. Gandara’s research interests focus on developmental therapeutics of new anti-cancer agents as well as preclinical modeling and clinical research in lung cancer. He is the principal investigator on an Early Therapeutics award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), where he leads an interdisciplinary team of clinical oncologists, pharmacologists, molecular biologists and statisticians in developing new anti-cancer agents in a variety of novel drug classes. He also leads a multi-specialty team in the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG), an NCI-funded national clinical research organization, in studies related to improving therapies for lung cancer and developing predictive biomarkers of therapeutic efficacy.

Dr. Gandara is also the UC Davis principal investigator for a multi-institutional collaboration (iGXT: integrated Genetically-engineered mouse models, patient-derived Xenografts, and Clinical Trials) between the NCI Center for Advanced Preclinical Research (CAPR) and Jackson Laboratory, an NCI-designated basic cancer center. The goal of this iGXT project is to develop better preclinical models to optimize cancer drug development and speed the transition to personalized cancer therapy.

TBA

International Speaker

Biography

A/Prof  Clare Scott 

Regional Speaker

Biography

Associate Professor Clare Scott is a Medical Oncologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Royal Women’s Hospital and Laboratory Head at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, studying drug resistance in ovarian cancer. She has 15 years experience in clinical cancer genetics, including working in Familial Cancer Clinics and in treating breast and ovarian cancer. In the lab, she focuses on ovarian biology, including the role of apoptosis in infertility and on developing targeted therapies for ovarian cancer in novel ovarian cancer models. She has been awarded a Clinical Fellowship from the Victorian Cancer Agency (2011) and the Sir Edward Dunlop Cancer Research Fellow from the Cancer Council Victoria (2012).

Prof  Ben Solomon

Regional Speaker

Biography

Professor Ben Solomon is a medical oncologist in the Lung Service and the Head & Neck service. He is the Group Leader of the Molecular Therapeutics and Biomarkers Laboratory in the Research Division. He has an interest in translational lung cancer research and completed a PhD investigating the mechanisms by which EGFR inhibition enhance the effects of radiation, and subsequent postdoctoral studies at the University of Colorado investigating novel predictive markers for therapy with EGFR inhibitors.
He now practices as a medical oncologist with a research focus on clinical and translational research in lung cancer and head and neck cancer. His clinical trial work focuses on the identification of novel therapies for lung cancer. The Molecular Therapeutics and Biomarkers Laboratory focuses on pre-clinical studies of novel therapies for cancer and, more specifically, identification of prognostic and predictive biomarkers in lung and head and neck cancers.

A/Prof  Peter Grimison

Regional Speaker

Biography

Associate Professor Peter Grimison  is currently Staff Specialist in Medical Oncology at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse in Sydney; Visiting Medical Officer at Royal Prince Alfred and Dubbo Base Hospitals; and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Sydney. His clinical work focuses on testicular cancer, other genito-urinary cancers, and upper gastro-intestinal cancers. He is involved as germ cell subcommittee chair, member of the scientific advisory committee, trial management committee member, and site principal investigator in several national and international trials for the Australian and New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate Cancer Trials Group, whose coordinating centre is based at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre of the University of Sydney. He is also involved as an active member and site Principal Investigator in clinical trials for the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group; and site Principal Investigator for industry sponsors. He serves as a member of the Australian Government Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, and a number of other Federal and NSW Government committees. He is also committed to teaching as coordinator of Advanced Training in Medical Oncology at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, and also actively teaches in Basic Physician Training and the University of Sydney Medical Program.

Prof  Anna Nowak 

Regional Speaker

Biography

Prof Anna Nowak is a Medical Oncologist and member of the Perth Mesothelioma Centre and National Research Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases (NCARD) who has participated actively in mesothelioma research over the past 10 years, and has received international recognition in this area. She works closely with other researchers in this field at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and UWA.

 Her clinical research on unidimensional measurement of response in mesothelioma culminated in the development of the Modified RECIST Criteria for tumour response which have been widely accepted for use in clinical trials in this disease. She has been an invited speaker internationally on tumour measurement and clinical trials in mesothelioma. She also performed the first published validation of the use of a quality of life tool in clinical trials in mesothelioma. More recently, she has continued to investigate the role of PET scanning in prognostication and monitoring of treatment response in mesothelioma, and is the principal investigator of an investigator-initiated phase II clinical trial of sunitinib as second line therapy in malignant mesothelioma. Her clinical research work outside of mesothelioma includes active participation in clinical trials, psycho-oncology, and translational research in high grade glioma.

Prof  Martin Stockler

Regional Speaker

Biography

 Martin Stockler is Professor of Cancer Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology at The University of Sydney, Consultant Medical Oncologist at Concord and RPA Hospitals, and Co-Director of Oncology at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre. After internal medicine training at the Prince of Wales and Prince Henry Hospitals, and medical oncology training at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital all in Sydney, he spent 3 years in Canada doing a clinical research fellowship at the Princess Margaret Hospital and a Masters in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on improving quality of life, survival, prognostication, and doctor-patient communication for those affected by cancer, particularly those arising from genitourinary, breast, gynaecologic, and lung primaries. His clinical focus is genitourinary cancer. 

A/Prof  Tom John 

Regional Speaker

Biography

Associate Professor Thomas John is a medical oncologist specialising in Thoracic malignancies and genetics. He received his medical degree from Monash University and PhD from University of Melbourne in 2008. He underwent post-doctoral research using PDX models of NSCLC under the guidance of Prof Ming Tsao and Frances Shepherd in Toronto. He has received awards from the American Society of Clinical Oncology as well as the American Association for Cancer Research for his research into lung cancer and melanoma. He leads a laboratory group researching both lung cancer and mesothelioma with an interest in immunology, methylation and novel targets. He is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Cancer Council of Australia.

Dr  Craig Gedye 

Regional Speaker

Biography

Dr Craig Gedye is a physician/scientist, dual trained as a medical oncologist and as a basic science cancer researcher. Based at the Calvary Mater Newcastle, he is inspired by working for patients with melanoma, brain, prostate, bladder and kidney cancers. Dr Gedye’s research focuses on complexity in cancer, with a particular interest in understanding “intratumoural heterogeneity”.

Dr Gedye moved to Australia in February 2014 to pursue a number of related research interests at the Calvary Mater Newcastle, University of Newcastle and HMRI.

He is leading several biobanking studies and projects, and is a member of the Mark Hughes Scientific Advisory Committee, HNEHLD Clinical Trials Ethics Subcommittee, ANZUP Cancer Trials Scientific Advisory Committee, HCRA Biomarkers Flagship Program Steering Committee and HCB Management Committee.

Dr Gedye has contributed to 28 international research papers and nine conferences.

Dr Ganessan K

Regional Speaker

Biography

A/Prof  Rina Hui 

Regional Speaker

Biography

Rina Hui is a Senior Staff Specialist in Medical Oncology at Westmead & Blacktown hospitals. She is also a Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney and Co-ordinator of the Western Sydney Lung Cancer Service. Rina undertook basic laboratory research in molecular biology of breast cancer, and was awarded a PhD degree with a thesis entitled “Cyclin DI Expression and Function as Markers of Prognosis in Breast Cancer.” Rina continued her passion in breast cancer research to further examine markers of therapeutic responsiveness in breast cancer, and has published widely. Her major clinical interests are breast cancer and lung cancer management. Rina sees over 350 new patients each year. She is a member of several multidisciplinary teams, including breast cancer and lung cancer.

Prof  Michael Friedlander

Regional Speaker

Biography

Professor Michael Friedlander is conjoint Professor of Medicine at The University of New South Wales  and Director of Medical Oncology at the Prince of Wales Cancer Centre in Sydney. He has appointments at The Royal Hospital for Women and The Prince of Wales Private Hospital and has a busy private practice at Suite 20. For patients requiring systemic chemotherapy, they may be treated in the oncology day centres at all 3 hospitals.

Major Clinical Interests include Gynaecological Cancers, Breast Cancer, Soft Tissue Sarcomas and Germ Cell Tumours.

He has been very active at both a National and International level in the field of Gynaecological Oncology. He was President of the International Society of Gynaecological Oncology (IGCS) from 2004-2006. He is a senior editor of the International Journal of Gynaecological Oncology. He was the founding Chairman of the ANZ Gynaecology Oncology Group (ANZGOG) and has held this position from 2000-2008 and remains on the ANZGOG executive and is currently the Research Director of ANZGOG.He is the Principle Investigator for ANZGOG in the US GOG as well as an ANZGOG representative to the Gynaecological Cancer Inter-Group (GCIG).

Prof  Frances Boyle

Regional Speaker

Biography

Professor Boyle is a Medical Oncologist at North Sydney’s Mater Hospital, where she is Director of the Patricia Ritchie Centre for Cancer Care and Research, and Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Sydney. She is involved in the oncology teaching program of the Sydney Medical School and in communication skills training through the Pam McLean Centre.

Professor Boyle’s clinical practice at the Poche Centre focuses on breast cancer and melanoma. Her current research interests include clinical trials of new cancer treatments, psychosocial and supportive care, and communication. Fran Chairs the Board of Directors of the ANZ Breast Cancer Trials Group, and is a founding Director of the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance. She was honoured with Membership of the Order of Australia in 2008 for services to cancer research, advocacy, policy development and professional education.

Prof Ian Davis  

Regional Speaker

Biography

Professor Ian Davis is Professor of Medicine and Head of Eastern Health Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine and Nursing and Health Science Monash University and Senior Oncologist, Eastern Health. His primary clinical interests are in urologic cancer and melanoma, and his primary research interests are in cancer immunology and the biology of urologic cancers. He is an author on over 180 publications that have appeared in international peer-reviewed journals.

Professor Davis is a member of the Urology Committee, Skin Cancer Committee, and Standing Subcommittee on Research for the Cancer Council Victoria. He is the founder of the Urologic Oncology Group of the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia (COSA), a member of COSA Council and COSA Executive, and founder of the Australian and New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate Cancer Trials Group Ltd (ANZUP). Professor Davis is chair of the ANZUP Board and its Scientific Advisory Committee.

Dr  Maria Ftanou

Regional YOGA Speaker

Biography

Maria Ftanou is a clinical psychologist, PhD candidate and Research Fellow in the Centre for Mental Health at The University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health.

Maria works both as a clinical psychologist and as a research fellow. Clinically, Maria has substantial experience in the mental health field, both in the public sector and the private sector. She currently works at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre providing psychological services to people with cancer and their families.

Maria is currently conducting a randomised control trial aimed at exploring the impact of suicide prevention Community Service Announcements and has experience in successfully carrying out large scale population studies including The Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medicare Benefits Schedule study, and the Access to Allied Psychological Services program evaluation.

Dr Florian Honeyball

Regional YOGA Speaker

Biography

Florian is a medical oncologist at Dubbo Hospital, clinical lecturer at the University of Sydney School of Rural Health and is the chair of the Western NSW LHD cancer services clinical stream. He has research interests in genitourinary cancers, health services logistics, and translating research to regional and remote contexts.  His clinical interest is providing evidence based holistic cancer care as close to home as possible, and in light of this he provides outreach clinics in Cobar, Walgett, Coonabarabran and Mudgee.  Florian is also rolling out a remote video assisted chemotherapy model to provide access to chemotherapy in rural and remote community hospitals across Western NSW.

Dr Abhishek Joshi

Regional YOGA Speaker

Biography

Dr Abhi Joshi “Abby” is currently a Senior Staff specialist in Medical Oncology at Townsville Cancer Centre, and a senior lecturer at James Cook University in Townsville Queensland. He is also a committee member of the Queensland Clinical Trials Oncology Group (QCOG), ICON cancer research foundation, Indigenous Respiratory Outreach (IROC) programme and Queensland Health  Genetics Steering Group.

His research interests include use of technology in regional and rural cancer care and integrating health systems to streamline cancer pathways for achieving better outcomes for regional and rural cancer patients.

As one of the founding members of Townsville Tele-Oncology Network he has been involved in the development, practice and evaluation of various tele-oncology models of care to deliver rural cancer care closer to home including the Queensland Remote Chemotherapy Supervision (QReCS) model which is adopted by Queensland Health. He is an avid mentor and runs the Tele Oncology Fellowship programme at Townsville Hospital.

His current research is focusing on streamlining the breast cancer pathway from presentation to survivorship by achieving common governance between General Practitioners, Townsville Hospital and Private Health workforce.

His research collaborations include academicians and clinicians within James Cook University, Queensland Health, General Practitioners and ICON cancer care.