Experts from Peter Mac stepped into the international spotlight over the weekend, giving lectures and presenting their research findings at the 2022 European Society of Medical Oncology congress in Paris.

Professor Danny Rischin’s and Dr Annette Lim's research into the use of a treatment called Cemiplimab prior to surgery for stage II-IV cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma was presented at the congress.  

There was a simultaneous publication of the research findings in the highly regarded New England Journal of Medicine.  Fifty per cent of people who received cemiplimab in the trial had no evidence of any residual cancer in the surgical specimen. 

Professor Sarah-Jane Dawson’s knowledge and expertise in the detection of minimal residual disease was evident. Sarah-Jane was asked to not only co-chair the session she gave the introduction to the session and scientific background as well as a lecture on the utility of minimal residual disease in clinical trials.   

Professor Sherene Loi discussed the microenvironment in early breast cancer during a session focussed on new classifications and staging of breast cancer.

Associate Professor Shahneen Shandu chaired a special symposium on prostate cancer and presented data on LU-PSMA as a prostate cancer treatment. 

Mini oral presentations provide fellow researchers and clinicians with the opportunity to hear the most impactful research and ask questions of the researchers.  

It was wonderful to see Associate Professor Shom Goel and Professor Jeanne Tie both presenting their important research as ‘Mini Orals’ to help further advance cancer treatment.  Professor Prue Francis chaired and was an Invited Discussant to put into context research presented during the early breast cancer Mini Oral presentation session.

Associate Professor Shankar Siva was invited to speak on the emerging role of stereotactic radiotherapy in primary and metastatic kidney cancer.

It was also wonderful to see Dr Lavinia Tan present a poster on her PhD research which explores the use of a liquid biopsy called circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA).  Her research examines whether ctDNA in the blood can be used to determine which patients will respond to treatment and identify those that are likely to become resistant to treatment.  

Patients that had a significant decrease in their ctDNA in the first two weeks following treatment were found to have the greatest and most enduring response to treatment.