November 2018 ALLG Scientific Meeting Highlights

 In News, Scientific Meeting

The Australasian Leukaemia and Lymphoma Group (ALLG) held its November 2018 Scientific Meeting (SM) in Brisbane with 111 members in attendance.


A key objective with the Scientific Meetings is to promote engagement among our members. Along with the normal activities such as ‘Meet the Chief’ and social networking events, this year we included a ‘Celebrating Members Event’ to acknowledge members years of service to the ALLG. Hosted by Peter Mollee, the event will continue every November with 10 year, 20 year and 30 year service awards.

We would especially like to thank the 15 sponsors for their support. The November meeting sponsors included Janssen, AbbVie, Amgen, Celgene, Novartis, Roche, Astellas, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead, MSD, Mundipharma, Pfizer, Phebra, Specialised Therapeutics and Takeda.

The highlights of the meeting included:

  • Facilitated by Brock Patton the ALLG Protocol Development Coordinator, the Tuesday Haematology Education Day offered a wide breadth of information on the diagnosis, treatment and research of Multiple Myeloma. Highlights of the day included discussions of front-line therapy for newly diagnosed transplant eligible, and elderly patients with Myeloma, an introduction to novel immunotherapies, and a discussion of bone disease and supportive care – an oft-neglected topic that has deep consequences for patient quality of life. Feedback from the sessions was overwhelmingly positive, and we thank the speakers for their time and expertise.
  • The Wednesday Data Managers’ Day / Research Nurses Day includes presentations and round tables on essential clinical trial procedural topics. All attendees to the data manager’s day enjoyed several talks to provoke thought and discussion. Of which included the Practicalities and Rationale of 3rd Party EBV-specific T cells by Colm Keane from PAH, an Introduction to Biosimilars by Jordan Roser from Sandoz. The panel discussion of the upcoming AMLM22 proved to be very useful in troubleshooting ideas from a site level on managing a multi-arm platform clinical trial.
  • The Clinical Research Workshop on Wednesday focused on the Response Assessment of Lymphoma in the Modern Era. Open to full members, the session was chaired by Eliza Hawkes and Judith Trotman. During the session we learnt about the interpretations of PET, received an update on the response assessment for GALLIUM from the 2018 Menton PILM (PET in lymphoma and myeloma) meeting, and heard about the promising novel PET developments. Colm Keane finished off the session with a discussion on peripheral blood monitoring.
  • We had the pleasure of listening to the Anne Lenton Memorial Scholarship recipient Lorraine King present on the outcome of her project. All present were impressed by the well-deserved Anne Lenton Memorial Scholarship Award 2018 Recipient Lorraine King’s presentation about the “Point of care use of mobile device in clinical trial conduct.” The new laptops at St George Hospital, generously donated by the Lenton family, have enabled the clinical trials team to digitally record patient information in a more timely and efficient manner. Thank you to the Lenton family for continuing to provide ALLG members with this fantastic opportunity.
  • The Network Breakfast event offered the opportunity for engagement between members, staff, partners and sponsors. We welcomed more than 48 people to the event which, enabled a robust discussion regarding different ways and opportunities we can collaborate on projects together.
  • David Curtis chaired the first session on Here he discussed the elements of trial design, selection of primary endpoint as key to defining a good trial. David also shared recent insights to the value of a ‘negative study’ as informative.
  • During the Thursday morning sessions, Tony Mills presented the Safety and Data Monitoring (SDMC) report outlining the importance of the role of the SDMC. This year’s activities include the review and approval of eight new ALLG clinical trials, review and approval of 11 protocol amendments to current trials and the review of trials that are currently recruiting or with patients still in follow-up.
  • The Myeloma session, chaired by Peter Mollee included presentations by Andrew Spencer, Helen Weston, Joy Ho and Hang Quach. During the session, new strategies to improve the outcome of patients with poor responses was discussed as well as an update on the current Myeloma clinical trials including MM13, MM15, MM16, MM17, MM18, MM19, and MM20.
  • The ALLG Annual General Meeting (AGM) was facilitated by our Chair, Peter T Kempen OM. During the meeting a number of key points were addressed including the future of the ALLG, the strategic plan, advocacy and financials. One of the key recommendations was the need for a constant flow of research ideas leading to new clinical trials, and the induction of patients to our trials leading to faster accruals. Also presenting at the AGM was Delaine Smith with the CEO report, Malcom McComas with the financial report, Peter Mollee offered a SAC update and the proceedings finished with Peter T Kempen OM completing the business of meeting. The meeting minutes and video is now available on our website under ‘ALLG Governance’ page.
  • Dr Eliza Hawkes gave a thought-provoking presentation on the new first line CNS Lymphoma Study in High Grade Lymphoma, outlining new concepts in the NHL32 trial. For studies in progress, Mark Hertzberg discussed the HD10 treatment optimization trial in the first line treatment of advanced stage Hodgkin Lymphoma, Judith Trotman discussed the NHL29 trial outlining that only two more patients to recruit with the aim to completing recruitment by December 2018, and also presenting was Colm Keane on the NHL31 trial with discussion centred around the study schema and status of the study.
  • The last presentation for Thursday was the LG NHL and CLL session chaired by Judith Trotman. A section on ‘What’s New’ was presented by Anna Johnson, while Judith Trotman presented the uncommon lymphoma NBCR update, and the results of the NHL27 study.
  • Welcoming new member’s event included a speech by Matthew Ku who welcomed 18 new members to the ALLG. Amid the laughter to the slew of bad jokes, it became apparent the Mathew Ku is a natural and we look forward to his contributions for years to come.
  • We were excited to announce the recipients of this year’s Celebrating Members Event, to acknowledge our members and their years of dedicated service to the ALLG. During the event, we presented 10 year service awards, 20 year service awards, and 30 year service awards.
  • Friday’s session started with the Laboratory Scientific Committee, chaired by Jake Shortt, including presentations outlining ‘What’s New’, updates on LS17 REGALLIA and LS21. A highlight was Maher Gandhi’s presentation on NHLLOW5 Correlative Studies.
  • During the Supportive Care session, we learnt about the progress and next steps in supportive care including the formation of the RAPID series tranexamic acid subcommittee, data collection, what information will be gathered and future trial concept. We also heard about the preliminary results of the REDDS feasibility trial.
  • We were honoured to have Professor Ian Frazer AC address our membership. His key note speech included an update on the Medical Research Future Fund, progress on the funding to date, and specifically, he discussed the launch of the genomics initiative, which will benefit the future of blood cancer research.
  • David Ross chaired the CML and MPN sessions including ‘what’s new’, proposed studies, studies, and progress and completed studies. A key highlight was the inclusion of the ASH abstracts for CML10 and CML11. Also, a highlight was the introduction of new studies including SATURN, and the new concept for a treatment free remission registry.
  • The sessions ended on AML, ALL and MDS chaired by Andrew Wei and Will Stevenson. Included was an update on the NBCR and Biobank including a summary of the registry-linked activities including the German SAL collaboration, and proposal to harmonise AML chemotherapy backbones. Ing Soo Tiong provided a summary update on the INTERCEPT project, and the IDH sub-study, while Will Stevenson provided an update on the NGS Harmonisation. Matt Greenwood presented the current studies ALL08, and ALL09, while Andrew Wei presented on APML5, and Chong Chyn Chua on AMLM21. The session rounded off with results for recently closed clinical trials including ALL06, AMLM15, AMLM16 and AMLM17.
  • Marketing and communications continued with the distribution of the welcome card which has been well received by members, and the development of the ALLG Annual Review outlining the ALLG’s achievement for the last financial year. Also, well received was the Fundraising area complete with an ice-cream bar and toppings.

For those who were unable to attend or would like to receive the presentation slides, the sessions are now available in the members’ area on the ALLG website under ‘Meetings & Events’ page.

The next Scientific Meeting will be held in 7-10 May 2019 at the Hilton Sydney.

For further information about the ALLG, its trial portfolio and other activities, please contact the ALLG.