The Thoracic Society of ANZ


Home 5 Research Roundup 5 VOLUME 5.06 – SEPTEMBER 2020

Research Roundup:

September 2020

Welcome Message

Welcome to another edition of our TSANZ Research Roundup. We hope that you remain well during this difficult time, and our thoughts are especially with our Victorian members who are on the front-line treating patients with COVID or facing unprecedented restrictions.

Plans for our exciting first virtual ASM in 2021 are well underway, with abstract submissions opened on 21 September 2020 and registrations opening on 22 October 2020. Please visit our TSANZSRS2021 website for more details about abstracts, and pay close attention to the closing date of 6 November 2020. Abstracts submitted to the 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting are eligible to be resubmitted for the 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting, and all resubmitted abstracts will undergo the same robust peer review process for allocation to oral or poster sessions.

The TSANZ Webinar Series continue, with the Society Medal and 50th Anniversary Medalpresentations on 30 September, so don’t forget to register for these exciting events.  

Please also note the opening of the following awards that are now accessible on the TSANZ Awards Submission Portal:

  • Past Presidents Scholarship Award: this new award will support national or international travel costs to present research for early career researchers who do not have the resources available to them via their institution or workplace. Importantly, the awardee will have the support from a TSANZ Past President who will provide invaluable feedback and professional development guidance to help them develop their research presentation skills.
  • Boehringer Ingelheim New Zealand Primary Care Grant: this award addresses the issue of access to primary care in New Zealand, particularly during restrictions like those faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, we are pleased to announce the new CREATE PhD Scholarship, and the opening of LFA Awards:

Finally, please consider helping us to provide essential funding for our world class respiratory researchers and for our TSANZ awards. You can leave a tax deductible donation of your choice in our areas of need, whether it be a donation to our Benevolent Fund or to support research, establishing a named award or leaving TSANZ a gift in your will. Details can be found below.

Please feel free to get in touch with the office if there is anything we can do to support your research needs during this time.

Enjoy the September edition of your Research Roundup.

Prof Sandra Hodge

Chair, Research Sub-Committee

Call for Abstracts

Abstracts for TSANZSRS21 are now open. Abstracts submitted to the 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting are eligible to resubmit for the 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting. Please note, all resubmitted abstracts will undergo the same robust peer review process for allocation to oral or poster sessions.

Please submit your abstract by 6 November and join us for our first ever virtual ASM in 2021!


New Award: CREATE Hope Research Fund PhD Scholarships in Pulmonary Fibrosis

The CREATE PhD Scholarships in Pulmonary Fibrosis will support research into pulmonary fibrosis in Australia

Relevant domains of research inquiry include any form of clinical, population, laboratory, genetic or tissue based research. 

Students who are wishing to undertake a PhD, or are currently enrolled in a PhD in Pulmonary Fibrosis Research, are invited to submit an application. The student must be a resident in Australia throughout the period of the research program.

The Centre of Research Excellence in Pulmonary Fibrosis (the CRE-PF)  will allocate a total of two grants, each of $28,000, for the PhD Scholarships. These scholarships will either fund a stipend for one year for a full time student or may be extended over a second year, should the student be able to secure matching funds to permit extension of the period via their University or Research Institute. Extension of the funding in order to extend the value of the research investment by the Centre of Research Excellence in Pulmonary Fibrosis (CRE-PF) and Lung Foundation Australia by securing matching funding from the host institution is encouraged and will be regarded favourably.

These funds are to be used for the student stipend. Direct, indirect research costs and/or infrastructure costs do not form part of this grant and will not be covered by this funding.

Click here for more info!

Open Awards

Thoracic Society Awards

TSANZ Past Presidents Scholarship Award – closing 04 October 2020

Boehringer Ingelheim New Zealand Primary Care Grant – closing 04 October 2020

TSANZ ASM 2021 abstract-linked Awards – closing 6 November 2020

 Lung Foundation Awards

Lizotte Family Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Grant – closing 13 October 2020

Ludwig Engel Grant-in-Aid for Physiological Respiratory Research – closing 13 October 2020

Ivan Cash Grant-in-Aid For Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Research – closing 13 October 2020

Cochrane Airways Australia Scholarship – closing 13 October 2020

Centre of Research Excellence in Pulmonary Fibrosis (CRE-PF)

CREATE Hope Research Fund PhD Scholarships in Pulmonary Fibrosis – closing 31 October 2020

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.

Respirology – Special Issue and Editor’s Choice

Respirology Issue 25.9 September 2020


Special Issue: Interventional Pulmonology Pearls


Cover caption: A collection of images from the Invited review series International Pumlonology Pearls.

Illustrations credit (A to F clockwise from top left) : A and B: Pyng Lee (personal communication), C and D: Fielding and Oki p.914, E: Guibert et al. p.953, F: Shah and Slebos p.972.

DOI: 10.1111/resp.13598


Respirology Issue 25.10 October 2020


Acute effects of e-cigarette vaping on pulmonary function and airway inflammation in healthy individuals and in patients with asthma

Serafeim-Chrysovalantis Kotoulas, Athanasia Pataka, Kallipoi Domvri, Dionisios Sypratos, Paraskevi Katsaounou, Konstantinos Porpodis, Evangelia Fouka, Aikaterini Markopoulou, Katalin Passa-Fekte, Ioanna Grigoriou, Theodoros Kontakiotis, Paraskevi Argyropoulou and Despoina Papakosta


Cover caption: Asthmatic and healthy smokers underwent pulmonary function tests to assess acute effects of e-cigarettes

DOI: 10.1111/resp.13806


Peer Connect Service for people with pulmonary fibrosis in Australia: Participants’ experiences and process evaluation

Gabriella Tikellis, Joanna Y.T. Lee, Tamera J. Corte, Jamie Maloney, Michael Bartlett, Tonia Crawford, Ian N. Glaspole, Nicole Goh, Kelcie Herrmann, Alison J. Hey-Cunningham, Greg Keir, Yet H. Khor, John Price, Debra G. Sandford, Lissa Spencer, Alan Teoh, Jennifer Walsh, Susanne Webster and Anne E. Holland


Cover caption:  Bill, diagnosed with IPF in 2015, is a primary peer within the Pulmonary Fibrosis Peer Connect service. (Photograph credit: Lung Foundation Australia)

DOI: 10.1111/resp.13807

Invitations and surveys


Do you have asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis or bronchiectasis?

Do you live in an area affected by bushfires or bushfire smoke?

If yes to both, you may be eligible for the BREATHE study.

We are studying facemasks for prevention of smoke exposure

Find out more:

Please register your interest:

Contact us:

Ethics Approval: HC200477


Dear colleagues,

Clinical trials evaluating the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations evaluate heterogeneous outcomes (endpoints), often omitting those that are clinically important and relevant to patients. This limits their usability and comparability.

To remedy this issue, the European Respiratory Society (ERS) set-up a Task Force aiming to develop a core outcome set (COS). A COS is a consensus-based minimum set of clinically important outcomes that should be evaluated in all future clinical trials on the management of COPD exacerbations.

We have identified around 50 outcomes of COPD exacerbations and we need your help to prioritize a small number of the most important outcomes, to be included in the core outcome set and to be evaluated in all future clinical trials on the management of COPD exacerbations. To help us prioritize the outcomes, we will be grateful if you could complete a survey that has two stages, 4-8 weeks apart. Each survey takes about 20 minutes to complete.

In the first survey, you will be asked to rate the importance of 50 outcomes between 1-9:

  • 1-3: Outcomes of limited importance.
  • 4-6: Outcomes that are important but not critical.
  • 7-9: Critical outcomes.

We welcome responses from health professionals, researchers, patients with COPD and any other stakeholders with interest in COPD exacerbations.

In the second survey, you will see a graph summarizing the responses of all participants in the first survey and you will be asked to reconsider your ratings, taking into consideration the views of the other responders. While the aim of this survey will be to reach consensus, you will not have to change your ratings if you do not want to.

Your opinion in both surveys is extremely important in developing the core outcome set.

It is crucial that you complete both surveys and we would be very grateful if you can do this.

Please, take the survey in one of the following languages:


We appreciate this is a difficult time for patients and professionals in the respiratory community. While all efforts should rightly be focused on caring for those affected by the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, we believe that research to improve care and outcomes for respiratory patients is needed now more than ever. We are sensitive to the enormous pressures faced by patients and professionals in our community and will review the timelines for this survey and subsequent work in response to the ongoing global pandemic.

Thank you very much in advance,
Kind regards,
Associate Prof. Jens-Ulrik Jensen,
Dr. Alexander Mathioudakis,
Prof. Jørgen Vestbo,
On behalf of the study team.



Dear Colleague, 

You are invited to partake in the current study, “Global Current Practices of Mechanical Ventilation Management in COVID-19 Patients.” The goal of this study is to explore the current practices of mechanical ventilation support in adult COVID-19 patients worldwide. 

We are carrying out this online survey for frontline clinicians involved in the care of patients with COVID-19, with the aim to examine which ventilation techniques healthcare providers’ used to manage adult COVID-19 patients. It would be helpful if you could complete this survey, the estimated time is 5-10 minutes. While there is limited information available on ventilatory support practices in COVID-19 patients, this international survey will provide further insights into current strengths and limitations of global practices.

Rest assured that your answers will be kept confidential, and no information will be used to identify you or your response. This research project was approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB), AFHER-IRB-2020-012.

If you have any concern or question regarding this study, please do not hesitate to contact me at

Jaber Alqahtani
On behalf of the whole international team



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

Alfred Health and the Centre of Research Excellence in Pulmonary Fibrosis are inviting health professionals involved with pulmonary fibrosis (PF) to take part in a study on self-management for pulmonary fibrosis: what does it mean and how might it help? 

Participation is voluntary and involves you sharing your views, opinions and experiences on the patients’ management of PF through a confidential telephone interview of about 30 minutes in duration

Your perspective is important to help us identify and develop resources that will provide patients with the knowledge and tools to manage their own wellbeing. In turn, this will help health professionals to be better equipped to provide support to people with PF and their families. 

The study has been approved by the Alfred Health Human Ethics Committee (Project number: 144/20). 

If you are interested in participating or would like further information on this study, please contact: 

Professor Anne Holland (Chief Investigator) 
Professor of Physiotherapy, 
Monash University and Alfred Health 
Telephone: (03) 9903 0214 

Ms Joanna Lee (PhD candidate)
Monash University and Alfred Health
Mobile: 0431 689 361

Thank you for your time and consideration of our study. 

ASCOT trial

ASCOT is a clinical trial that will generate clinical evidence about treatment for COVID-19 that can be applied during the pandemic to reduce mortality or the need for mechanical ventilation in hospitalised but not yet critically ill patients with COVID-19.

The trial is conducted on an adaptive platform, results will be continually analysed, so that ineffective therapies can be stopped and new therapies can be evaluated as part of the trial. The trial will be conducted across more than 60 sites in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. The trial is registered at: ACTRN12620000445976, Ethics approval granted through Melbourne Health Human Research Ethics Committee HREC/62646/MH-2020.097

Potential Treatments for COVID-19

There are currently no specific therapies for COVID-19. The two main strategies are to limit the virus replicating (antiviral therapies) or to modulate the immune response (in some severe cases, there is a damaging over exuberant immune response).

ASCOT intends to randomise patients to different therapies to understand their impact on clinical outcomes. We will do this for existing therapies, but also be set-up to test new and emerging therapies as they become available.

ASCOT Trial Intervention

Initially, an open label trial of two existing treatments in a 2×2 factorial design with usual care arm will be conducted.

  1. Lopinavir/ritonavir (kaletra), a combination medicine that is used to treat human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infection
  1. Hydroxychloroquine, a medicine used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions and to prevent and treat malaria.

Protocol documents and further details are available at


Can you help TSANZ make a difference?

Your support makes a difference, and helps us continue to provide funding for research and our TSANZ awards. If you would like to support our work, you can leave a tax deductible donation of your choice in our areas of need.

1. Making a donation to our Benevolent Fund

The Benevolent Fund supports projects aimed at improving the respiratory health care of individuals who are in a setting where health care resources and delivery are poor.
CLICK HERE to make a donation or by filling out the Support TSANZ form. Once you have completed the form, please email

2. Making a donation to support research

With your support, we can continue to support Australia and New Zealand’s most significant and cutting edge respiratory health research, and benefit Australians and New Zealanders suffering from lung disease.
Please CLICK HERE to make a donation or by filling out the Support TSANZ form. Once you have completed the form, please email

3. Establishing a named award

For significant donations of above $10,000 AUD, a TSANZ award can be established in your name. Please call the TSANZ office on +61 2 9222 6200.

4. Leave TSANZ a gift in your will

If you are interested in supporting TSANZ in the future, one way to do so is to leave TSANZ a gift in your will. Any support is greatly appreciated and will leave a lasting legacy.
If interested, please notify us by ticking the box on the Support TSANZ form. Once you have completed the form, please email Alternatively, please call the TSANZ Office on +61 2 9222 6200.

5. TSANZ New Zealand Branch Incorporated 

New Zealand members are reminded that you are also able to make a tax deductible donation directly to the NZ branch. You can assist the NZ branch to provide services to members across NZ. If you make a payment via electronic funds transfer (EFT), please notify the TSANZ office so that we can arrange a receipt. 
CLICK HERE to make a donation.

Thank you for your continued support of TSANZ



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