TROG Cancer Research is currently in the final year of their 2017-2019 strategic plan. On Friday 2 August 2019, we held a strategic planning meeting with key stakeholders to discuss the direction and focus for the upcoming three years. The workshop facilitated by Ms Alison Evans, Health Consultant, was well attended with over 25 participants from Australia and New Zealand.
As a collective we reflected on recent progress and key challenges, as well as considered crucial questions regarding the changing research environment, including:
- What role will TROG Cancer Research play in the next three years?
- How is the clinical trials environment changing?
- How is radiation oncology research changing?
To provide context of the changing research environment, we were fortunate to have key stakeholders provide their insights and perspectives.
Prof Trevor Leong (TROG Cancer Research Scientific Committee Chairperson) provided an overview of the TROG Trials Research Portfolio and the changing radiation oncology research landscape as well as global trends in clinical research.
Dr Peppe Sasso (TROG Cancer Research Board President) provided insights into the influence of new technology and techniques, including the opportunities for artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Prof Martin Stockler (Genomics Cancer Collaborative Trials Initiative) provided a snapshot of recent and emerging cancer trials which had a biological (genomics) component and suggested that TROG Cancer Research should consider how such studies could be incorporated into the portfolio.
Mr John Stubbs (Consumer Representative) reinforced the importance of consumer engagement to ensure research is of relevance and meets patient needs. He also suggested that there is opportunity for consumer engagement across the Australian Collaborative Cancer Trial Groups.
Discussions from the strategic planning workshop reinforced that a primary focus of TROG Cancer Research should be the conduct of high-quality patient-centred research to ensure safe and effective use of radiation in cancer control. Several other themes emerged which further support this focus including strengthening collaboration and partnerships; enhancing the impact of radiation research; and ensuring organisational capacity and sustainability.
Outcomes of the TROG Cancer Research strategic planning meeting will be circulated in due course, with the plan to be implemented for 2020-2022.
Collaboration will continue to be an important focus as part of TROG’s strategic plan. TROG Cancer Research has had a strong collaborative partnership with RANZCR, which we are pleased to continue into the future.