November 2017

November 2017 Newsletter

President's Message

After two years as the President of the ANZHNCS it was time to reflect and then hand over to the new team at the Brisbane Annual scientific meeting and AGM.

The meeting had over 280 delegates which is a great turnout and a real credit to the team of Ryan Sommerville, Bena Cartmill and Ben Chua who put together a great program.  The international keynote speakers were fantastic, and it was good to see a real mix of local and national experts presenting invited papers and their own research.
We have had two successful meetings in the last two years but there is always room for improvement so if you are sitting on an email asking you to fill out a survey please take the time and help the executive and future conference teams improve the quality even further.

We have had significant changes in corporate structure over the last two years with a change to TAS (The Association Specialists) represented by Pat at the secretariat, and of course a change from an association registered in New South Wales to a “company limited by guarantee” legally able to operate across all jurisdictions.  Change is never easy, but I can assure you that all this work behind the scenes has been necessary set the ship on a steady path where we can focus on our more important aims of cancer care and let the organisation tick along in the back ground. 

Some of you were involved in the IFHNOS meeting bids in an attempt to host the 2026 IFHNOS conference in Australia.  There were outstanding bids from Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney and dedicated teams behind each bid but after a month of deliberation and two rounds of voting the executive decided to put forward Brisbane to the IFHNOS executive.  It is timely to thank the teams from Melbourne and Sydney who put in a huge amount of effort and I hope they will join the team in Brisbane for what now becomes a national effort to bring this major meeting down under.

One of my roles over my time on the executive has been collating the list of MDT’s throughout Australia which is now on the website and regularly updated.  The executive and society are ready to take the next step on this path and look to develop standards to assist MDT’s to function better, and provide excellent patient care for patients.

Under the Presidency of Dr Julia Maclean it will be timely to undertake a Board Performance Review early in 2018.  This will give us an opportunity to revisit the Five year strategic plan which was laid out in 2015 and make sure new and existing executive committee members are familiar with our reporting requirements.

Finally, in my last “Presidents report” I would like to thank all the members of the ANZHNCS and particularly the executive team for supporting me over the last two years.  It has been busy, but a true honour to serve in this role and I look forward to a long and productive ongoing relationship with the society as we all work together to improve the lot of our patients.

A/Prof Martin D Batstone
President, ANZHNCS


Grants Subcommittee Report

The grants subcommittee received 5 applications for consideration.  Dr Abhishek Mahajan, from India, was awarded the ‘Developing Nations Visitor Scheme’ and completed a clinical visit to the Royal Brisbane Hospital with Dr Ryan Sommerville prior to the ASM. The Travelling Lectureship Grant was awarded to Dr Sepiuta Lopati, Tonga, who also attended the ASM and spent time following the conference with Dr Chris Perry in Brisbane, at the Royal Brisbane Hospital. We would like to thank Drs Perry and Sommerville for being so generous with their time and for sharing their expertise with our visitors. Both of our visitors presented papers at the ASM and we look forward to their reports detailing the achievements from their visits.


During the conference there were three awards available; the best overall paper was presented to Dr Courtenay Henrys for her paper “Modifying the clinical use of a novel PKC activating drug.” The best poster “Management of the N0 Neck in metastatic cutaneous SCC to the parotid gland.  A systematic review.” was awarded to Dr Anthony Rotman and the best allied health paper was presented to Dr Teresa Brown for her paper “Adherence and barriers to tube feeding during treatment for head and neck cancer.  Results from an RCT.” Congratulations to all of the recipients, the judging was very competitive, as the standard of oral and poster presentations was so high.
New Memberships
New memberships have been coming in steadily over the past year with 27 new members ratified since the last ASM. I would like to welcome all of our new members to the ANZHNCS and we hope that you have a long and active affiliation with the society. We currently have 174 financial members, hopefully Currinda, the system instituted by TAS, has made renewal a more seamless process. There are a number of members who have not renewed their memberships since June 30, 2017, if you are experiencing any difficulty with the renewal process, or if you are not sure if your membership is current, please contact Pat at who will be able to assist you.


Addendum to the President’s report

Incoming President
On behalf of the executive and membership, I would like to thank A/Prof Martin Batstone for his significant contributions to the ANZHNCS over the past 2 years. Martin has been modest in reporting his achievements, he has expertly navigated the complex legalities required to change the corporate structure whilst ensuring that we were still on track with our 5-year strategic plan. Martin has worked efficiently and constantly which has resulted in everything in very good order for our handover!  Thankfully, although Martin can now have a little respite, he remains on the executive and I know that we will all continue to benefit from his wisdom and unflappable nature. I would like to welcome A/Prof Richard Gallagher to the executive and I look forward to continuing to work with all members of the executive, with TAS and our membership for what promises to be a busy and productive year ahead.


ANZHNCS Annual Scientific Meeting 2017

Message from A/Prof David Wiesenfeld, Chair of ANZHNCS Research Foundation Australia

2017 has been a wonderful year for The ANZHNCS Research Foundation. At the ASM in Brisbane in October 2017, we announced 3 Research Grants. The successful applicants will present the results of their studies to us at The ASM in 2019. Four successful applicants from the 2015 and 2016 grant rounds presented their results at the 2017 ASM.

The Foundation has made 9 grants in the last 3 years, a total of $70,000 for research into Head and Neck Cancer, a marvellous effort, with thanks to our Donors, Board and Committee Members.
Our fundraising efforts in the 2016/2017 year resulted in donations of $22,000. Special note is made of IGNYTA, our ASM sponsor last year, who donated $6000, and members of the IFNOS Team led by our friend Professor Jatin Shah who donated a further $6000.
A successful fundraising event was held in Brisbane this year organised by President Martin Batstone and Sarah Wilson, which raised over $6000.

 At the Society Meeting Dinner on lucky Friday the 13th of October, the attendees excelled with donations of $29,500, including donations of $27,600 received from members of the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Head and Neck Team at the Royal Brisbane Hospital.  This donation will provide for the establishment of a Reconstructive Head and Neck Surgery Research Fund within the Foundation. We hope to build on this donation to facilitate an annual Reconstructive Surgery Grant.

The Foundation has established 2 additional Special Funds, firstly an Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Fund supported by a family from Adelaide. Brian Stein and David Wiesenfeld will act as co-ordinators. More recently a Skull Base Cancer Fund, supported by Mr David Fenech from Lateral Medical, has been established as an initiative from Ryan Somerville. Ryan and Martin Batstone will act as co-ordinators.

Grants 2017

12 excellent applications were received, clearly demonstrating the need for the existence of the Foundation. The Research Advisory Team, chaired by Lyndell Kelly and comprising Professor Lester Peters, Dr Jacqui Frowen and Mr Richard Lewis, assessed the applications. Based on their advice, The Board has awarded 3 grants.

1. $25000 to A/Professor Eng Hooi Ooi, and his team from Flinders University for their project Development and Validation of new breath analysis tools for the non-invasive detection of head and neck cancers.

2. $5000 to Ms. Merran Findlay and her team from Royal Prince Alfred Sydney for their project Enhanced Recovery After Surgery: Feasibility of Pre-operative Carbohydrate Loading in Patients Undergoing Major Head and Neck Cancer Surgery with Free Flap Reconstruction.

3. $5000 to Mr. Giri Krishnan and his team from the University of Adelaide and Royal Adelaide Hospital for their project Magnetic Nanotechnology For Sentinel Lymph Node Mapping In Oral Cancer.

The Foundation is thriving with broad representation from across Australia. I welcome new Board Members Professor Elizabeth Ward, Associate Professor Martin Batstone and Mr Ryan Somerville, who join our team of Kerwin Shannon, Lyndell Kelly, Michael Collins, Morris Margolis, and Professor Suren Krishnan. Our thanks to retiring members Associate Professors Julia Maclean, who leaves us to devote her efforts to the Society as President, and Ardalan Ebrahimi who is joining the research committee.  These are exciting times for our Foundation. I invite you all to get on board - make donations, encourage your families, friends and patients to make donations in lieu of gifts for those special occasions, and participate in research. A donation form is attached to the Newsletter.

Executive Committee Members 2017-2018

President A/Prof Julia Maclean
Immediate Past President A/Prof Martin Batstone
Vice President Dr Brian Stein
Secretary Dr Tim Iseli
Treasurer Dr Michael Collins
Dr Richard Lewis, Dr Nicholas Marshall, Dr Tsien Fua, Dr Brian Stein, Dr James Bowman, A/Prof Richard Gallagher