Oesophagogastric Cancer Summit

Summit updates:
Oesophagogastric cancer summit newsletter - July 2017
Oesophagogastric cancer summit newsletter - March 2017
Oesophagogastric cancer summit AGITG newsletter - October 2016
Oesophagogastric cancer summit summary report - September 2016 

Watch the oesophagogastric summit presentation

About the Summit

Improving outcomes for people with oesophagogastric cancer is particularly challenging. Chances for early detection are slim and many present at a late stage of disease. Eighty members of oesophagogastric cancer multidisciplinary teams across Victoria gathered together on the 26th of August 2016 to review variations in care and identify opportunities to improve the outcomes and experiences of care.

The scene was set by three senior UGI surgeons; Professor Robert Thomas, Chief Cancer Advisor to the Department of Health & Human Services; Mr Paul Cashin of Monash Health and Mr Ahmad Aly of Austin Health.

Professor Thomas opened the event highlighting the importance of the multidisciplinary team approach to cancer care and introducing the optimal care pathway for people with oesophagogastric cancer as an important document that sets a common understanding of what care to expect at different points in the cancer journey. Mr Cashin welcomed the participants and set the task of identifying opportunities for improving outcomes and the organisation of care for Victorians diagnosed with oesophagogastric cancer. Mr Aly presented available data about the current state of oesophagogastric cancer care and outcomes in Victoria.

Observed variations in data for Oesophagogastric cancers in Victoria

  • Trend for improving survival in both oesophageal and gastric cancer over the last 30 years with 1-year relative survival increasing from around 35% to around 55%
  • Regional variation in 5-year survival which seems to correlate with socio-economic status, higher rate of presentations with metastatic disease and utilisation of surgery and neoadjuvant therapy
  • Time to surgery and chemotherapy is longer than optimal timeframe of 28 days (up to 71 days from diagnosis to surgery and up to 50 days from diagnosis to adjuvant chemoradiation)
  • Only 60% of patients have treatment planned formally by a multidisciplinary team
  • There are lower rates of multidisciplinary meeting discussion for regional / rural patients
  • Documentation of staging at multidisciplinary meeting sits at 53% for the state
  • 63% of patients with oesophageal cancer had an oesophagectomy in their Integrated Cancer Service (ICS) of residence and 75% had first chemotherapy in their ICS of residence
  • 73% of patients with gastric cancer had a gastrectomy in their ICS of residence and 81% had first chemotherapy in their ICS of  residence

Where do we want to be and how to get there?

Participants worked in small groups to turn observed variations into opportunities for state or local action.

Variation in the multidisciplinary meeting practice certainly grabbed the attention of participants.  The participants asked who is not being discussed and why? Whether access to multidisciplinary meetings for private patients is an issue? Are non-curative and palliative patients discussed routinely?

Variation in 5-year survival for regional Victorians raised questions of access to treatment and utilisation of different treatment modalities and why residents of regional ICS present later.

Timeliness of treatment resonated with the participants. Where are the delays occurring? What are the reasons for the delays? Are there changes that could be made that are within the clinical sphere of influence?

The summit raised questions regarding access to clinical trials for patients with oesophagogastric cancer, particularly patients living in regional Victoria.  This highlighted an opportunity to use the Victorian Tumour Summits platform to promote the work of the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group (AGITG).  Learn more here.

Amy Sutherland
Project Officer – Oesophagogastric Cancer Summit
Ph 03 9496 3213

Oesophagogastric Summit Working Party

Mr Ahmad Aly Dr Peter Briggs Mr Paul Burton
Mr Paul Cashin Mr Gary Crosthwaite Mr David Deutscher
Mr Cuong Duong Dr Samuel Harris Mr Matthew Leong
Prof Trevor Leong Mr Kiat Lim A/Prof Sue-Anne McLachlan
A/Prof Peter Nottle        Mr John Spillane              Dr Niall Tebbutt
Dr Zee Wan Wong    

Project team

Ms Mirela Matthews Ms Amy Sutherland Mr Luc te Marvelde
Mr Don Vincendese Ms Ella Stuart Ms Megan Dendle


print text size increase