Education / Podcasts

TOGA Podcast Series

TOGA Podcast 8

Welcome to the Thoracic Oncology Group of Australasia Podcast series. This TOGA Podcast focuses on Small Cell Lung cancer (SCLC) – a type of lung cancer with the poorest prognosis of any lung cancer. SCLC patients make up about 13% of new lung cancer diagnoses that are characterized by early & rapid spread with only modest progress in its treatment over the last decades. Immunotherapy continues to radically change the way we treat many types of lung cancer and today we explore what these treatments mean for the SCLC patient and the practical implications of using immunotherapies in the clinic. We also discuss future combinations and novel agents in clinical trial development.

Our guests today include Dr Steven Kao, Medical Oncologist from the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse in Sydney Australia, Associate Professor Stephen Liu, Director of Thoracic Oncology & Director of Developmental Therapeutics at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Centre of Georgetown University and also Dr Rebecca Tay, a Medical Oncologist from the Royal Hobart Hospital in Tasmania, having recently completed a Clinical Research Fellowship at the Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester.

Thank you for joining us and also thank you to Roche for sponsoring this Podcast.

Useful link:

Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and participants contained in this message do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of TOGA or official policies of TOGA. Dosage & administration of any treatments mentioned during TOGA medical education may differ between Regions. Please refer to your local prescribing information for further details.

TOGA Podcast 7

Lung cancer screening works. Earlier detection of lung cancer presents a vastly different prognosis. Stage I disease has a median 5 year survival of greater than 65%, whereas metastatic disease has a 5 year median survival rate of 15-20%. It is time to shift the perception of a lung cancer diagnosis to that of a treatable cancer with a potential cure, through a combination of early-stage detection, and effective communication that newer treatments offer better survival and QoL. The recently released Cancer Australia Report on lung cancer screening has been presented to the Health Minister and is awaiting actions. 

Dr Emily Stone, Respiratory Physician from St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, interviews Professor Kwun Fong, Thoracic and Sleep Physician at The Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane. Both are long time advocates and researchers in early screening for lung cancer and they discuss the challenges of implementing a lung cancer screening program. 

TOGA Podcast 6

Australia has one of the highest incidence rates of mesothelioma in the world.

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that most often affects the thin linings of the organs in the chest (pleura) and abdomen (peritoneum). Mesothelioma is closely linked with asbestos exposure either at work or among family members of workers and people living in neighbourhoods near asbestos factories and mines. The risk is lifelong.

TOGA, the Thoracic Oncology Group of Australasia, is working to positively change the outcome for patients with mesothelioma through an innovative clinical trials program and by providing medical education & awareness.

In this Podcast, we talk with Professor Anna Nowak, Pro Vice Chancellor at UWA, Medical Oncologist and Director of the National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases and Medical Oncologist Dr Steven Kao from the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse with a special interest in predictive and prognostic factors in mesothelioma, about emerging treatments for mesothelioma patients and the DREAM3R trial.

In a successful partnership spanning US, Australia and New Zealand, TOGA investigators are collaborating with PrECOG and NHMRC CTC and have opened a Phase III trial called DREAM3R investigating the addition of immunotherapy to chemotherapy in patients with newly diagnosed malignant pleural mesothelioma. Australia has one of the highest incidence rates of mesothelioma in the world, and new promising therapies are desperately needed. The DREAM3R trial follows on from the exciting Phase II clinical trial results in PrECOG’s PrE0505 trial and the Australian DREAM trial that both showed early promising results with the chemotherapy and durvalumab combination. More information on the DREAM3R trial can be found here: and

 Further trial information available here: and

TOGA Podcast 5

The first virtual TOGA Preceptorship enabled 38 Preceptees involving Fellows, Advanced Trainees, Nurses and Patients to come together and discuss the landmark papers in lung cancer and the latest in treatment.

A multidisciplinary group including Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Respiratory, Nursing, Palliative Care and Surgery were involved and available to share expertise.

Hear from two of the Preceptors – Prunella Blinman and Shankar Siva, and three Preceptees – Anna Lawless, Abhijit Pal and Melanie Rabbets, about their experiences, their learnings, what they are looking forward to in future research and how the Preceptorship has impacted their career choices.

TOGA Podcast 4

Dorothy Keefe, CEO of Cancer Australia and Mark Scott discuss the COVID impact on diagnosing and treating lung cancer patients – a 4 week delay in diagnosis makes a difference. The red flag symptoms of lung cancer need increased education, especially for the younger, non-smoking women, who are not always aware that a lung cancer diagnosis is possible. GP awareness and early screening is also important here. We are very good at treating breast cancer, colorectal cancer and prostate cancer – we need more focus to reach this point with lung cancer. Developing a specific thoracic oncology research group will enable such a focus, especially a multidisciplinary, patient centric group such as TOGA.

Cancer Australia: Investigating Symptoms of Lung Cancer

TOGA Podcast 3

Remarkable advances in screening, diagnosing and treating lung cancer are discussed in this Podcast. Associate Professor Nick Pavlakis, Medical Oncologists from Royal North Shore Hospital Sydney and Dr Emily Stone, Respiratory Physician from St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney join TOGA for a conversation about public health measures to ensure the survival increase we are seeing for patients with lung cancer continues to accelerate into this decade.

Sponsored with a Takeda Educational Grant.

TOGA Podcast 2

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer related deaths in Australia, and lung cancer in never smokers is still the seventh leading cause of death. Lung cancer kills more women every year than breast, ovarian and uterine cancers combined even though many seem to think that the only cancer women ever get is breast cancer! More young women are being diagnosed every year who have never smoked – around 1/3 of new diagnoses fit this category for women.

Thankfully this statistic is declining.

Higher awareness, earlier screening and targeted treatments have played a role in better outcomes for lung cancer patients, as has the identification of driver mutations that can cause some lung cancers.

Alexandra’s story is inspiring. Diagnosed with lung cancer 8 years ago, her treatments have varied due to the discovery of a rare mutation called ALK and she is now involved in an innovative clinical trial using a targeted agent for patients with the ALK gene rearrangements.

In this Podcast, Mark Scott talks with Alexandra about her challenges in diagnosis, searching for the best treatments available, living in a regional area and what it’s like to be involved in lung cancer clinical trials.

 Alexandra is redefining survival rates for those with lung cancer and bringing new hope for patients all around the world.

TOGA Podcast 1

Join us for a conversation with internationally recognized Medical Oncologists and researchers, Professor Ben Solomon & Associate Professor Tom John as they discuss the increased survival benefits for patients with oncogene driven lung cancer and how novel treatments are contributing.

Oncogenes discussed include EGFR & osimertinib; ALK & brigatinib, alectinib, lorlatinib; ROS1 & crizotinib, entrectinib; KRAS & sotorasib; G12C; Exon20 insertions & poziotinib, amivantamab, RET & selpercatinib, pralcetinib. Also discussed – the importance of the move beyond single gene testing to panels and NGS is important to maximise turn-around times and the efficient utilization of clinical samples.