The Thoracic Society of ANZ

VOLUME 4.04 JUNE 2019

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Research Roundup:

June 2019


Welcome Message

Welcome to another edition of our TSANZ Research Roundup. At the 2019 ATS we saw plenty of important research being conducted across the respiratory field including methodological advances to improve airway wall measurement accuracy for patients with COPD, the importance of understanding haemoglobin biomarkers in patients presenting with COPD and anaemia, and the construction of a Pediatric Asthma Risk Score (PARS) to better predict asthma development in children. It’s not over yet though, as conference season is still in full swing with the ERS International Congress and APSR Congress being held in the coming months. Applications are still open for LFA/A Menarini travel grants for these two conferences, so if you are interested in attending be sure to send in your submissions before the deadline. We are also opening up applications for five (5) travel grants to attend the TSANZ New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting, on 14-16 August 2019, so please click here for further information. 

Many of our research awards are closing this month, and we look forward to reviewing all of the submissions we received and wish best of luck to our applicants. Applications for the PACT Grant-In-Aid Funding Opportunity will remain open until 26 June, so check the Open Awards section below for further details regarding dates and guidelines.

We would also like to remind you that submissions are always open for our “Research Roundup Holy Grail,” supported by the limbic. If you have been trying to uncover some hidden academic riches locked away in the recesses of respiratory research, we want to hear about it! You will be featured in an upcoming Research Roundup and also published on the limbic website. This is a great opportunity to tell us about your research and inspiration, and provides a platform to be able to connect your passion project with our network of TSANZ members and the limbic subscribers. Details can be found here.

We hope you enjoy the June edition of your Research Roundup!

Prof Sandra Hodge

Chair, Research Sub-Committee

Open Awards

Thoracic Society Awards

TSANZ NZ ASM Travel Grants 2019 – closes 15th July 2019

Lung Foundation Awards

Lung Foundation Australia Brian Eaton Memorial PhD Scholarship in IPF – closes 10th June 2019

Lung Foundation Australia Diana Cox PhD Scholarship in IPF – closes 10th June 2019

Lung Foundation Australia / A Menarini Pty Ltd 2019 Travel Awards 

Travel application deadlines

ERS: 31st July 2019 (5pm AEST)

APSR: 13th September 2019 (5pm AEST)

PACT Grant-in-Aid Funding Opportunity – closes 26th June 2019


How to participate

Follow the links above to access each award application form and download the information sheet.

Please email the TSANZ Awards Coordinator with any questions, comments or enquires.

Watch this space for more award announcements…

Lung Foundation Australia Board 

Expressions of Interest 

Lung Foundation Australia (LFA) is seeking expressions of interest for the appointment of new Board Directors, from individuals with a strong clinical or respiratory science interest who are members of TSANZ.  

Click here for more information on applying! 

If you are interested in this position, please see the above document regarding formal application, which should be made by email to Prof Christine Jenkins, Chair, Lung Foundation Australia, before 18th June 2019.


Respirology – Editor’s Choice 

Respirology Issue 26.4 June 2019

Idiopathic chronic productive cough and response to open-label macrolide therapy: An observational study

Matthew J. Martin, Helen Lee, Carly Clayton, Kate Pointon, Irshad Soomro, Dominick E. Shaw and Tim W. Harrison


An overview of the study protocol

DOI: 10.1111/resp.13483


Therapeutic burden in interstitial lung disease: Lessons to learn

Yet H. Khor, Ian Glaspole and Nicole S.L. Goh


Research team from Melbourne, Australia: from left to right A/Prof Ian Glaspole, Dr Yet Hong Khor and Dr Nicole Goh

DOI: 10.1111/resp.13480

Research Project and Survey Requests


What is “suspected” lung cancer?

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality and morbidity in Australia. The Cancer Council’s Optimal Care Pathway suggests that patients with suspected lung cancer on CT scan be seen by a specialist within two weeks. But what exactly is “suspected” lung cancer? Does that 5mm lung nodule found incidentally on CT coronary angiogram need urgent specialist attention?

St John of God Healthcare doctors and Curtin University researchers are inviting respiratory physicians to help us define “suspected” lung cancer. We need you to review 10 short case scenarios and tell us if each of the patients should be seen by a specialist within two weeks.

To participate, click here.

You have been anonymously invited to participate because the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand identifies you as a member. Consent is implied by your voluntary participation. This research study has been reviewed and given approval from the Curtin University and St John of God Healthcare Human Research Ethics Committees.
If you have questions or comments, you can contact the Principle Investigator on, the Curtin University HREC on or the SJOG Healthcare HREC on


Current Opinions of Severe Asthma Specialists on the Utility of Biomarkers for the Management of Corticosteroid Treatment: A Survey

If you are an Australian clinician involved in the care of patients with severe asthma, we would be very grateful if you could complete a brief questionnaire.

We would ideally like to sample opinions from specialists involved in the care and management of patients with severe asthma to reach consensus. This is the second round of a multi-national Delphi process to reach a consensus and there may be follow-up questions based on the answers we receive from this round (with likely 2-3 rounds in total).

A strategy to optimize corticosteroid use in the severe asthma population using biomarkers is currently being investigated. Professors Peter Wark and Jodie Simpson at the University of Newcastle, Australia are looking at an algorithm to adjust corticosteroid dose using exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), and peripheral blood eosinophils. This survey is being conducted by them, and will also be part of a Masters by Research by Dr. James Michael Ramsahai. As part of this project, we would like to seek your views on some aspects of biomarker based corticosteroid adjustment in severe asthma.

For more details, please see the attached information statement. Please note that completion of the survey will imply consent to participate, and for the data collected to be used for analysis. You may withdraw at any time.

If you agree to participate, please follow the link to complete the survey

*for issues with the survey link, please try copying and pasting into your browser and/or using Firefox browser. Feel free to contact the investigators with any questions*

Thank you,

Peter Wark
Jodie Simpson
J. Michael Ramsahai


Survey of Attitudes of Australian Specialists to Lung Cancer Screening with Low Dose Computed Tomography

To Members of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand,

Lung cancer screening with low dose computed tomography has been implemented overseas however is still a debated topic within Australia. We are conducting a survey of Australian specialists and their knowledge and attitudes towards lung cancer screening and perceived barriers to the implementation of lung cancer screening with low dose computed tomography within Australia.

The anonymous survey is available online using the SurveyMonkey survey tool and takes approximately 7 minutes to complete.  It can be accessed via the following link.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you require any further information.  We attach our study protocol and copy of HREC approval (The Prince Charles Hospital Human Research and Ethics Committee LNR/2018/QPCH/44970).

Thank you for your kind support.

Yours truly

Rachel McLellan, Advanced RACP Trainee
Kwun Fong
Henry Marshall
Rayleen Bowman
Ian Yang

University of Queensland Thoracic Research Centre at The Prince Charles Hospital
Metro North Hospital and Health Service | Queensland Government
Rode Road, Chermside, Brisbane QLD 4032, AUSTRALIA
t. 61 7 [31394000] e. |



New survey about Victorian doctors’ end-of-life decision-making

Victorian doctors in specialties likely to be involved in end-of-life decisions are being surveyed about their decision-making practices involving adult patients. Researchers from the NHMRC-funded Centre of Research Excellence in End-of-Life Care are conducting a study to determine what sort of end-of-life decisions are being made by doctors, how often these decisions occur and for what sort of patients.

At present, there are no up-to-date, representative Australian data describing the frequency and nature of medical end-of-life decisions involving adults, and the characteristics of patients about whom such decisions are made. The research aims to provide an evidence base to understand current medical practice in Victoria including the extent to which palliative care is provided to patients at the end of life. Findings from this research will also inform improvements in the quality of end-of-life care.

A sample of Victorian doctors will be contacted in April and May by the AMA’s Australia Medical Publishing Company (AMPCo) to invite them to complete a survey.  The survey can be completed in hard copy or online.  Participating doctors who complete their survey before 16 May will go into the draw for one of three prizes to the value $100, in fine wine, or a donation to a registered charity of your choice.

If you have any queries about this research, please feel free to contact Dr Rachel Feeney[]. The research team is grateful for the time and insight of the doctors who support this research by completing this survey.



Genomic medicine here to stay? Have your say.

Are you a medical specialist in Australia?

If so, tell us your thoughts about genomic medicine
practice and continuing medical education!

We need to hear from non-genetic medical specialists
who work clinically in Australia.

We want to know about past, present and future aspects
of genetics and health, including genomics in healthcare.

It doesn’t matter how much you know about this,
or whether you incorporate genomics into your practice or not;
your opinions, views and experiences are valuable to us.

You will help shape future workforce practices and
continuing education and training programs

Click here to complete the anonymous 15-minute survey.
Please distribute this link to your networks

Please note there are separate studies for clinical geneticists, oncologists, pathologists, radiologists and general practitioners, who will be contacted directly.

This survey is an activity of the Workforce Development Program of the NH&MRC-funded
Australian Genomics Health Alliance. If you have any queries, please contact Dr Amy Nisselle, Specialist Project Officer, Australian Genomics Health Alliance ( or 03 9936 6340).

This survey has HREC approval, The University of Melbourne (1646785.8).


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