Peter Mac News


Peter Mac Researchers headline at ASCO 2024

04 June 2024

The American Society of Medical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago brought together over 44,000 professionals to inspire, collaborate, and learn about state-of-the-art research to drive the next big advance in cancer care.

Assisting in the creation of a valuable scientific and educational program over the five-day meeting in early June were Peter Mac researchers Professors Jayesh Desai, Shahneen Sandhu, Shankar Siva and Linda Mileshkin.

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Professor Ricky Johnstone, Director of Research at Peter Mac said once again the high calibre of Peter Mac researchers is being brought to light at these international meetings. 

“To have Professors Desai, Siva and Sandhu hold positions on two different scientific committees and Professor Mileshkin and Siva on an educational committee shaping the content of ASCO is a credit to them and Peter Mac.

“To add to their standing as experts in their respective fields Jayesh and Shahneen were also invited to be discussants in two oral abstract presentation sessions. 

“The role of the discussant is very important and reserved for someone that is recognised for their expertise in a certain area and can provide commentary and perspective on the oral abstracts presented,” he said.

Professor Jeanne Tie further validated her role as a global leader in the use of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) as a prognostic tool to guide therapy in stage II colon cancer.  Professor Tie was invited to present the overall survival and updated five-year results from the DYNAMIC trial at a clinical science symposium.

New data in lung cancer research was presented by Associate Professor Tom John who discussed results from the ADAURA trial and Professor Ben Solomon who presented 5-year progression free survival and safety data from the CROWN study.

Important data was also presented in oral abstracts by Dr David Kirsch and Professor Sherene Loi.  Dr Kirsch discussed the results of a trial that looked at the effects of neoadjuvant radiotherapy and surgery with or without an immunotherapy treatment, pembrolizumab, for soft tissue sarcoma.  Professor Loi presented data from the CHARIOT trial on the prognostic utility of circulating tumour DNA detection in a select group of breast cancer patients.

“It was also wonderful to see Peter Mac people presenting in educational sessions with Dr George Au-Yeung sharing his knowledge and expertise on melanoma of the gynaecologic tract,” said Professor Johnstone.

Dr Julia Lai-Kwon also presented in an educational session on how to select patient-reported outcomes to enhance primary palliative care and Professor Shankar Siva informed the audience about the integration of functional imaging in Renal Cell Carcinoma.

“It is also worth noting role that Peter Mac played in the global NADINA trial which involved the use of neoadjuvant nivplumab and ipilimumab (two types of immunotherapy) in resectable stage III melanoma.”

The results of the trial were simultaneously published in the NEJM and presented in Plenary sessions reserved for practice changing data.

Professor Sandhu was the Principal Investigator for the trial at Peter Mac and Professor David Gyorki and Dr Lavinia Spain were also co-authors on trial result publications that were presented at the Plenary.

The data was very well received and provided the audience with evidence that will change the way melanoma is treated. 

Professor Johnstone said it was encouraging to see some of the new research talent coming through Peter Mac present posters for the first time at ASCO.

Post doctoral researcher Sathya Monoharan presented a poster on their research into cancer of unknown primary and Tharani Sivakumaran presented a poster on the BEACON results which in serous ovarian cancer patients.