TCRN Travel story | Yvonne Gaspari - 2018 R1 Professional Development Grant

11 May 2018
Gaspari photo

2018 TROG (Trans-Tasman Radiation Oncology Group) ASM (Annual Scientific Meeting)

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your research? 

I work as a Radiation Therapist with Genesis Care Albury at the Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre. I have been working as a Radiation Therapist for approximately 6.5 years and have been with Genesis Care for almost 2.5 years.

Could you tell us about 2018 TROG ASM and why you chose to attend this conference?

TROG is one of the highest recruiting collaborative trials group in Australia and New Zealand. This conference provides information on the latest trials and research being undertaken in Australia and New Zealand, and an opportunity to network with professionals passionate about improving the services we currently provide.

What would be the most important outcomes of the conference for you?

Personally, the most important outcome for attending this conference would be expanding my knowledge in the area of oncology trials and research. The knowledge I have gained can then be shared with my colleagues through a series of meetings and in-services.  Hopefully sharing this knowledge will lead to building on our own research and trials being undertaken locally.  

How can your research translate into improvements in patient care and clinical outcomes

The research being conducted around the country leads to improvements by discovering new and improved ways to treat cancer. If organisations such as TROG help to support research and trials, it will ultimately lead to an increased survival rate, as well as decrease the amount of side effects patients experience.  

Were there any new knowledge or strategies from the conference you found interesting and possibly an interest of other TCRN members?

The topic of immunotherapy I found quite interesting. The development of various different immunotherapy drugs used in conjunction with Radiotherapy could result in lower prescribed doses, as radiation damages the cells in the target volume, and the immunotherapy drugs then target the damaged cells, penetrating the target volume and killing off the cancer cells. Lower radiation doses results in lower side effects, therefore making the patients’ journey through treatment much easier.

Could you tell us about your membership with the TCRN?  

I am quite new to the TCRN, I have been a member for almost a year and I enjoy reading the newsletters emailed out monthly 

You received funding to attend the conference – could you tell us about the difficulties of obtaining funding for these sorts of activities and how the TCRN fills a need? 

The application process was simple and I would recommend anyone who requires financial assistance to attend a conference or workshop to apply. Without the TCRN’s financial support, attending the TROG ASM would have been quite expensive, without the TCRN grant, I would have found it more difficult to attend as the conference was in Hobart.