ANZGOG highlights & reflections

Some of Australia’s leading national and international gynaecological cancer experts gathered in Brisbane recently to share exciting developments in gynaecological cancer diagnosis, treatment and care.  

The Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group (ANZGOG) Annual Scientific Meeting is the go-to event in Australia to find out the latest in the gynaecological cancer field including cutting edge technologies and research trial outcomesNot only did the QCGC Research team attend the conference to learn and share ideas, but some members of our team also gave presentations about the incredible work they do. 

We asked our researchers to share with us the highlights of their ANZGOG Conference experience. 

Professor Andreas Obermair, Director of QCGC Research, presented on endometrial cancer in premenopausal (young) women. The team recently completed the feMMe clinical trial which showed that non-surgical hormonal treatment is safe for some women so that they can retain fertility. Professor Obermair presented emerging data on how to identify which women will not benefit from this treatment, as well as ongoing and future research into alternative treatments for these women. 

QCGC’s postdoctoral research fellow, Dr Eva Baxter hasn’t been able to attend an ANZGOG conference ‘in-person” for five years so was excited to attend this year.  

I had forgotten what it feels like to be surrounded by hundreds of people who are all interested in the same thing (improving outcomes for women with gynaecological cancer) and to feel that buzz of excitement when new discoveries are announced. The conference certainly gave my brain a good workout with ideas of how we could improve research at QCGC Research and possible new projects” she said. 

Eva noted that her favourite speaker was Professor Iain McNeish from Imperial College London.  

He gave two fantastic talks about why some patients with ovarian cancer do not respond to treatment and how our understanding of disease biology is leading to new studies that will hopefully improve outcomes for women with ovarian cancer. 

I was a judge for the Pure Science Symposium Oral Abstracts and also really enjoyed the pre-conference workshop on how to develop your research career” Eva said.

Eva found the ANZGOG ASM cemented for her why attending conferences is so important. 

“It is impossible to stay informed of all the research that is going on around the world, whereas at conferences all the relevant and important information is summarised. 

From left, Vanessa Behan, Sara Baniahmadi and Dr Eva Baxter

Attending the 2023 Brisbane ANZGOG conference was a new experience for QCGC Research Trial Manager, Sara Baniahmadi as it was her first time at the meeting. Sara enjoyed the opportunity to attend many informative and educational sessions 

“I really enjoyed the Engaging with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Communities session which highlighted the importance of improving equity, diversity and inclusion in trials” Sara said. Trevor Tejada-Berges’s presentation on potential barriers/needs for transgender male gynaecological cancer patients was also very interesting - his presentation highlighted that more data is needed to have a full picture of how common gynaecological cancer is in transgender men. 

Another session highlight for Sara was the Survivors Teaching Students (STS) workshops, whose work she found incredibly impressive and important. Their goal is to raise awareness of the symptoms of ovarian and gynaecological cancers amongst the next generation of health professionals, so the diseases are detected without delay.

Sara said Elsa Larsen’s presentation about her sister’s (Kristen) journey through cancer was amazing.

I am so impressed by the continued efforts of Elsa to honour her sister’s legacy and help other women. 

Vanessa Behan, Clinical Trial Manager at QCGC Research, has attended many ANZGOG Scientific Meetings throughout her career as a gynaecological cancer nurse and since commencing with QCGC Research in 2007. 

Vanessa really enjoyed the welcome reception and explained that the Conference Dinner was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the fantastic achievements of ANZGOG members and to meet again face to face after so long. 

My most favourite speaker and talk of the conference was by Rene Pareja a colleague from Colombia who spoke about cervical cancer over the ages and explained how much has changed since they started treating cervical cancer back in 1878. It was fascinating, as well as entertaining.  

Vanessa worked with Rene Pareja on the LACC Trial which ran from 2008 to 2017. I have enjoyed working with him over this time and to catch up in person was a highlight for me” she said. 

Also hearing about all the PARP inhibitor developments and new trial concepts to treat gynaecological cancers and support women going through treatment was outstanding. This group is unstoppable and always looking for ways to improve treatment for women with these cancers.  

It is a highlight to be part of such an amazing group of people with such incredible ideas” Vanessa concluded.

Last updated:
23 May 2023