Deciding on a future in the field of Upper GI Cancer


Supported by an education sponsorship by Shire, 39 early career cancer clinicians – including consultants in Medical, Radiation and Surgical Oncology – gathered earlier in May to learn from the experts at the AGITG Preceptorship in Upper GI Cancer.

This two day intensive learning course involves a complete review of literature to understand the evolution of treatment for Upper GI Cancer in the context of current treatment paradigms.

Adopting a similar method to the Harvard Short Course model, learning is in small group interactive sessions requiring active participation from attendees with regard to reviewing papers and presenting cases.

Feedback on the course content from participants included:

“The perspectives from the Preceptors are invaluable – they shared fantastic views and experience and seem genuinely interested in teaching.”

“It was a great interactive learning opportunity. The content was well structured and hearing the feedback and critical assessment of the seminal trials from preceptors was highly valuable”

The Preceptors (mentors) supporting the students over the 2 days included:

  • Convenor – Professor Eva Segelov, Monash Health & Monash University, VIC
  • Co-Convenor – Dr Lorraine Chantrill, Kinghorn Cancer Centre, St Vincents Hospital, NSW
  • Associate Professor Chris Karapetis, Flinders Medical Centre, SA
  • Associate Professor Jeremy Shapiro, Cabrini Haematology & Oncology, VIC
  • Dr Christopher Jackson, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, NZ

Professor Eva Segelov commented on the event and unique learning opportunity it provides

“This unique learning package aims to deliver truly interactive, expert-guided understanding of the evolution of the current management of Upper GI Cancer by systematically reviewing evidence gained through the performance of clinical trials. Understanding the pivotal trials, which form the foundation of modern day therapy, is a fundamental step in appreciating how the landscape of practice has changed, and why. 

This is not an “Upper GI Cancer 101”course; we are specifically focusing on the impact of clinical trials in shaping the treatment paradigm. It involves significant pre-work and then a two day face-to-face workshop with a build-up of knowledge through peer presentations and expert commentary from leading Australian GI oncologists. The program is scheduled to progressively extend knowledge from the earliest interventions up to current therapy, placed in context of clinical care of patients with Upper GI Cancers, both in the adjuvant and metastatic setting. 

Along the way, skills in summarising and presenting trials, understanding different types of trials and the conclusions and statistics used, the use of shared cloud resources and the interaction with peers and experts make for a very rewarding experience. Feedback from our colorectal preceptorships and preceptorships in other tumour types indicate that the learning experience is totally different from any other structured course and is not only effective but also very enjoyable.”

Topics covered during the Upper GI Cancer Preceptorship included:

  • Basic biology & translational science of Upper GI Cancer and current therapies
  • Seminal papers in adjuvant therapy of Upper GI Cancer
  • Seminal papers in therapy of metastatic Upper GI Cancer
  • Treatment paradigms for metastatic Upper GI Cancer
  • Treatment pathways to achieve cure


The next 2017 Preceptorship, supported by Roche Products, will focus on Rectal Cancer – date to be announced. Email to register interest in attending