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imPACT – July 2022

Message from the Chair

Welcome to your latest imPACT. After a post-pandemic lull, clinical trial access for patients with interstitial lung disease is now expanding rapidly. New trials from Roche, Boehringer-Ingelheim and moreThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Dan-600-x-400-600x400.jpg have commenced, recommenced or are about to commence recruitment with some really promising drug targets which we anticipate will lead to new treatment options for our patients. Make sure you visit the PACT website frequently, and register with our trials matching partner HealthMatch to ensure you are part of this exciting activity. If you are a trial site please check with our PACT coordinator Naomi (pactcoordinator@cre-pf.org.au) to ensure that we have you listed.

In other PACT news I would like to congratulate Dr Hayley Barnes and Dr Ryan Hoy for their success as winners of the 2022 PACT Grant-in-Aid for Investigator Led Pulmonary Fibrosis Clinical Research for their project titled “Discovering Radiological Biomarkers in Silicosis using Artificial Intelligence.” Hayley and Ryan’s project is one example of how innovations in health care are increasingly linked to digital technologies, big data and machine learning. These advances will impact all areas of medicine, including interstitial lung disease. I hope you enjoy reading this issue of imPACT.

Stay healthy and safe,

Professor Dan Chambers
PACT Chair

Message from the CRE-PF

While the CRE-PF is nearing the end of our original NHMRC grant period in early 2023, things are anything but slowing down around here! In this issue of imPACT, I would like to highlight exciting recent advancements of the CRE-PF clinical research team.

Together with an international collaborative team, we have recently published on the prognostic accuracy of a novel deep learning algorithm, using high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) in large cohort of well characterised patients with progressive fibrotic lung disease from the Australian IPF Registry (Walsh et al., 2022). We have shown that our deep learning algorithm, called SOFIA, provides enhanced outcome prediction compared to expert radiologist evaluation or guideline-based histologic pattern. Such a tool may have exciting future utility in multidisciplinary characterisation of fibrotic lung disease – furthering our ability to individualise treatment decisions.

Our collaborative work continues with progress underway on the application of this technology to the broader landscape of fibrotic lung diseases, utilising data from the Australasian ILD Registry.

Yours sincerely,
A/Prof Tamera Corte (CIA for CRE-PF)

Trials Update

Australasia remains at the forefront of PF trials with a number of new trials expected to be coming online with PACT soon, so make sure you check in regularly. After a brief pause in recruitment, the Roche sponsored Starscape study is again recruiting, however it is filling fast so make sure you find a trial site soon if you are interested. Information about current trials is available on our Find a Trial page. If you are a patient interested in participating in a trial, we encourage you to register with our trials matching partner HealthMatch and talk to your treating healthcare team about getting a referral to a trials centre.

PACT Consumer Advisory Group Recruiting New Members

Our wonderful Consumer Advisory Group is looking for people living with pulmonary fibrosis and their caregivers. The Group provides feedback and advice to PACT and pulmonary fibrosis researchers on issues or proposals including new clinical trials and research plans.

Group membership involves meeting approximately four times per year, usually virtually. The role is voluntary but reimbursements for meeting attendance costs and time may be available. Training on understanding pulmonary fibrosis research is provided.

If you are interested in research; open to sharing your own knowledge and experience and hearing the views of others; and able to work collaboratively, contact alison.hey-cunningham@sydney.edu.au to find out more!

Grants

The 2022 PACT Grant-in-Aid for Investigator Led Pulmonary Fibrosis Clinical Research was awarded in June to Dr Hayley Barnes and Dr Ryan Hoy for their project “Discovering Radiological Biomarkers in Silicosis using Artificial Intelligence.” Congratulations Hayley and Ryan! Stay tuned for information about the 2023 PACT Grant-in-Aid – expected early 2023.

Current grant opportunities relevant to PF clinical research and trials include:

  1. MRFF 2022 International Clinical Trial Collaborations Grant – support clinical trials in Australia in collaboration with international counterparts to: give patients across Australia more access to clinical trials; show which treatments and medicines work best for patients; provide researchers with more opportunities to work with international colleagues to bring international trials to Australian patients; and promote new approaches that support efficient and effective research. Round 1 closing 3 August 2022. Round 2 closing 22 February 2023.
  2. NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grantssupport high-quality clinical trials and cohort studies that address important gaps in knowledge, leading to relevant and implementable findings for the benefit of human health. Closing 24 August 2022.

Upcoming Events of Interest

Health Professional Webinars

The PACT-TSANZ webinar “ATS 2022 Pulmonary Fibrosis in a Nutshell – What’s the latest in PF clinical research?” is available to watch on demand now. Other previous webinars of this series for health professionals are also available to watch on demand here. Stay tuned for information about upcoming webinars.

Consumer Webinar

An introduction to Connective Tissue Disease-associated Interstitial Lung Disease (CTD-ILD). Join Dr Adelle Jee, Respiratory and Sleep Physician, and Tania, who is living with anti-synthetase syndrome, for an overview of CTD-ILD and an insight into how to navigate the diagnosis and management journey to get the most out of your treatment and care. Live Wednesday 20th July, 5:00pm (QLD, NSW, VIC, TAS), 4:30pm (NT, SA), 3:00pm (WA). Register now.

Virtual PF Research Meetings

The next CRE-PF CREATE Australasian Pulmonary Fibrosis Virtual Research Meeting will feature Joanna Lee from Monash University speaking about her self-management in pulmonary fibrosis research. Contact Kate Christian on create@cre-pf.org.au to find out more about the program and how to join.

Five Minutes with a Pulmonary Fibrosis Researcher Dr Ingrid Cox, Menzies Institute for Medical Research and University of Tasmania, Hobart

Dr Cox sat down with the PACT team to talk about her epidemiology and health economics research, including how it started, what the team hopes it will achieve and the challenges they’ve faced.

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Membership

The PACT network welcomes new members across all aspects of pulmonary fibrosis research, care and life with the condition. Join our growing community, today.

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