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 Welcome to the July 2014 edition of the Sarcoma Australia E-News from the Australasian Sarcoma Study Group (ASSG) highlights the ASSG activities and achievements over the last six months. 



Let us know how your group has marked July as Sarcoma Awareness month. 




The Story Bridge in Brisbane lights up Blue in July for Sarcoma Awareness month.
Nearly 100 people turned up to watch the bridge light up in blue to honour those lost to sarcoma cancer but also to help in raising awareness of this aggressive disease. Bruce Shriver from the Liddy Shriver Initiative, in USA, came up with the slogan "Sarcoma knows no borders" on their first Team Sarcoma bike ride in Denmark July 2003 which, because of the international involvement, called it the International Sarcoma Awareness month.  This bike ride was the only one his daughter Liddy rode on and unfortunately lost her battle to sarcoma the following January.  He used the slogan "Sarcoma knows no borders" meaning that sarcomas can occur anywhere in the body and they don't discriminate on age, gender, race or nationality.  The reason for the colour blue is because it is the background colour of the awareness bracelet that is worn and the swirls on the bracelets is of a pathology slide of a sarcoma patient and "Sarcoma Knows no borders" is printed on one side and the work "sarcoma" is printed in 13 languages on the other side.-Leigh Webb of Hannah’s Chance Foundation



Asia Pacific Musculoskeletal Tumour Society Meeting Melbourne April 9-11th 2014 Melbourne

ASSG Research Meeting Melbourne  June 2014

ASSG & Cancer Council Sarcoma Guidelines-Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Guidelines

SARC Membership

ISKS Update

News from out supporters

10th Asia Pacific Musculoskeletal Tumour Society Meeting April 9-11, 2014 Melbourne

The 10th biennial Asia Pacific Musculoskeletal Tumour Society Meeting was held in Melbourne in April of this year and was a tremendous success.  Over 400 delegates attended from all over the world.  A full program covering state of the art advances in medical oncology, surgical oncology, pathology, radiation therapy and basic science were presented to the multidisciplinary audience.  The APMSTS is the peak international multidisciplinary society whose mission is to bring together specialists and practitioners from the Asia Pacific to improve the care of patients with bone and soft tissue tumours. Society President Professor Peter Choong and ASSG Board member was responsible for bringing the APMSTS Meeting to Australia for the first time.   This was an excellent opportunity to combine this year’s ASSG/Australian Sarcoma Group annual scientific meetings with the APMSTS.  The meeting went over three days and was opened by the Lord Mayor of Melbourne Robert Doyle, (pictured above).  The high quality of the presentations was led by three outstanding international speakers, Prof Robert Maki, MD, Prof Franklin Sim and Prof Pancras Hogendoorn.  Finally a thank you to the sponsors of the meeting: Stryker, GSK, Oceania Orthopaedics, Surgical Specialties, Amgen, Biomet, LifeHealthcare, Lima and Zimmer. 


The next ASSG/ASG will be back on schedule and will be held in Brisbane October 16-18th, 2015.  Mark your calendars!


 The Lord Mayor of Melbourne Robert Doyle

ASSG Research Meeting Melbourne June 27th

The ASSG held its recent research meeting in Melbourne with a focus on new concepts for research projects and clinical trials.  Four new concepts were presented for discussion to the group of sarcoma experts. These new ideas will be developed with support from the ASSG with the intention of creating new clinical trial protocols.  The new concepts included ideas for utilizing immunotherapy drugs for sarcoma, developing new radiotherapy techniques, using a multidisciplinary team to improve long term outcomes for sarcoma survivors using exercise physiology regimens, and reviewing the long term survival  and disease surveillance of bone sarcoma survivors.  Additionally presentations were given by past and present grant ASSG recipients reporting on their current results. 

ASSG and Cancer Council Sarcoma Guidelines-Adolescent and Young Adult Guidelines


Dr Susan Neuhaus officially launched the ASSG Cancer Council Sarcoma Clinical Practice Guidelines at the ASSG research meeting in November and has continued this work.  Dr Neuhaus presented this valuable resource at the recent international APMSTS meeting which was enthusiastically received by the delegates.  This work highlighted the role that Australia plays in the Asia Pacific region and the opportunities for further collaborations and knowledge sharing. The next phase of this project will be to include the adolescent and young adult populations and will be led by Dr Vivek Bhadri.  The working group will meet in late November to discuss the issues and evidence for the next phase of the Sarcoma guidelines. Cancer Council Australia and the ASSG are partners in this endeavour and will continue the ongoing support of this important work. 


The Sarcoma Guidelines are publicly available at wiki.cancer.org.au/Australia/Guidelines:Sarcoma.


The ASSG is now a member of the Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration (SARC)

The ASSG is now officially a partner member of the North American collaborative clinical trials group, Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration.  “SARC is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development and support of clinical trial research for the prevention, treatment and cure of sarcomas.”  SARC now in its 10th year shares the same mission as the ASSG and we look forward to working together to improve outcomes for sarcoma patients and their families through clinical trial participation. For more information on SARC visit their website www.sarctrials.org

International Sarcoma Kindred Study-Update

Principal Investigator Professor David Thomas


The International Sarcoma Kindred Study (ISKS) is an Australian initiative investigating the heritable aspects of adult-onset sarcoma. Recruitment began at 6 sites in Australia in 2009 and since then a further 13 sites have opened in France, India, New Zealand, Canada, USA, UK and shortly Korea.  Sarcoma patients and their families are asked to complete a family pedigree and questionnaire and give a blood sample.  There are over 1175 families involved worldwide with recruitment continuing internationally.  The study has gathered information on approximately 30 000 individuals, collected almost 1700 bloods, 500 tumours and completed over 2000 questionnaires.


We believe that sarcomas are a fertile population for the study of inherited cancer risk.  To date, 20% of evaluable families have clinically striking pedigrees. The median age of sarcoma onset in probands is 45 years, and the median age of onset of cancer in relatives is 59 years (AIHW median age of cancer onset is 66 years). Despite the young age of the ISKS population, 18% of (probands) have multiple primary cancers (compared to ~10% in the general population). Seven percent of families have multiple sarcoma cases, and 14% have 2 or more first-degree relatives with cancer under the age of 50.


The ISKS is available to all researchers upon application.  There are currently 14 sarcoma research projects across 6 countries utilizing the study resources with 5 publications arising to date. 


For further information please contact

Mandy Ballinger


03 9656 5885


News from our Supporters

 Run for Tom 

Run Melbourne is on again and the team from Run for Tom is fit and ready to go.  David and Kati Wood who lost their son Tom to sarcoma have held the fundraising event for several years now. Their efforts have been able to fund a PhD scholarship over three years for sarcoma research.  The Run for Tom page on the fundraising site, Everyday Hero, has been an easy and effective way for their supporters to contribute directly to the ASSG and support the Wood family.   

Hannah's Chance Foundation

Congratulations to Leigh Webb for her Pride of Australia nomination in the community spirit category.  Good Luck and thank you for all your efforts to support sarcoma research and awareness!


July 2014
Research Brief
PVNS: An international clinical trial exploring the effect of nilotinib as a treatment for patients with pigmented villo-nodular synovitis / tenosynovial giant cell tumour
read more
CASPS: An international clinical trial assessing cediranib treatment in patients with metastatic alveolar soft part sarcoma
read more
LDE225: A clinical trial on LDE225 in the treatment of patients with metastatic or unresectable sarcoma
read more
SUNXRT: A clinical trial for patients with soft-tissue sarcoma using a multimodal approach of radiotherapy and sunitinib treatment
read more
AYAPK: A clinical trial characterising the activity of Doxorubicin in tumour types with worse prognoses for specific gender and age populations
read more
SMOC: A pilot study to determine whether whole body MRI is a useful screening toolfor high risk patients and their family members.
ISKS: International Sarcoma Kindred Study is a population based project investigating the familial aspects of sarcoma. 
EuroEwings/RFK: International Phase 3 trial for patients with locally advanced unresectable or metastatic Ewings sarcoma.
Next Edition

December 2014

Newsletter of the Australasian Sarcoma Study Group
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Locked Bag 1, A’Beckett Street Melbourne 8006
T 613 9656 3605F 613 9656 5875E sarcoma@petermac.orgW www.australiansarcomagroup.org