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Newly developed genomic oncology workshops a success

Newly developed genomic workshops, Practical genomics for oncologists, were delivered in December 2020 by Melbourne Genomics. Two sessions ran online via Zoom – one for trainees and one for specialists.

Registrants included oncologists and trainees from Alliance member organisations, Victorian regional centres, overseas hospitals and industry representatives. A total of 33 professionals attended the workshops.

“The feedback shows us that the workshops improve genomic literacy and skills despite the challenges of facilitating case-based learning online,” said Dr Kortnye Smith of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Flagship clinician for the advanced solid cancers clinical project, who co-developed and led the workshops.

The program provided an online pre-reading module for cancer genomics, followed by a two-hour online workshop of presentations and case-based group discussions which were facilitated by clinical genomics experts.

Dr Ella Thompson, Dr Huiling Xu and Dr Georgina Ryland of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Dr Dong Anh Khuong of The Royal Children’s Hospital and Dr Ain Roesley of the Victorian Clinical Genetics Services co-facilitated the workshops with the Melbourne Genomics education team.

The workshops also tested out a prototype online decision tree for oncologists regarding genomics developed by Melbourne Genomics members, with participant feedback aiming to inform future knowledge translation activities.

“The workshop confirmed that there is an interest in having a tool like this for use in clinic,” Dr Smith said. “We will continue working on upskilling and providing educational opportunities and resources to support oncologists seeking to use genomics in practice.”

Melbourne Genomics will continue to provide workforce development activities in the next program of work. For more information on previous education initiatives, read the project summaries here.