And so with a bit of luck, I had the chance to go to ICPOEP - International Conference on Phase 1 and Early Phase Clinical Trials in Hong Kong.
|All the way from Seberang Jaya at Grand Hyatt Hotel, TST|
|Of course, the obligatory photo as a traveler in Hong Kong|
There is a section displaying their trial set up. There is a large picture of the view from clinical trial ward. The hospital which houses the trial ward is overlooking ocean view of Hong Kong. They make the subjects feel that they are on Holiday rather than coming in for Research. Basic amenities such as soaps, shampoos, slippers are Hotel-like, and menu of the food there is extremely attractive!
|Each of them given this starterpack. Note that there is an IPAD with entertainment, something like flight entertaiment concept.|
The talk started right on time. Good organisation I would say. The list of speakers were impressive. Mostly were Chinese names based in overseas, renowned medical centres, like Ninewells Dundee, NUS Singapore, Imperial London, Uni of Toronto Canada, Harvard just to name a few.
I took pictures of almost all slides to keep me awake throughout the sessions, and for the purpose of this entry, for my goldfish memory. I'll share some slides which are very interesting, at least to me.
Let me start with this Prof Gail Echardt's talk on challenges and opportunities in early phase trial. She was given an award lecture in Drug Development in this annual conference. She is a very established early phase researcher from Colorado, USA. She shared her experience in organising her Phase 1 centres, particularly her strategies in nurturing new researchers and going away from MD-driven hierarchy.
|I particularly like this slide. She showed that there is a disease specific team leader and coordinator which oversees the Phase 1 study, specifically on that disease, and they typically follow through as the study progresses to Phase 2 and 3.|
|Let me just say that in this slide, the last sentence is the killer!|
I think I will not be able to go in depth in all talks.
Let me move on to my favourite speaker, Prof Lee M Ellis. His CV is long, but for the sake of his speech, suffice to know that he is a journal editor. He talked about research integrity.
He talked about increasing occurrence of fraud and dishonesty in research conduct. He feels that this is all because of academic pressure which is unnecessary. He gave examples of Japanese Riken scientists and Anil Potti in Duke.
I think it is very relevant to us, in Malaysia whereby the push for publication is high, but without proper mentoring. There is a very high pressure on us to perform. In that process, it is important to keep in mind that we do not sway from good research integrity, attempted plagiarism, sloppy reporting, dishonesty and academic bullying.
|I would think most of us are Sloppy, but hopefully we dont Fabricate.|
|I have nothing to publish in CNS. LOL|
|It is funny when some proposals I was told that was rejected previously because it has been done. Our top level needs to know the importance of reproduciblity of any research to test the hypothesis repeatedly. We learnt to do more, as we done more.|
I would love to see this kind of fresh talk in NCCR.
OK, lets move to a intellectual talk. This Prof Mak Tak-Wah, is extremely funny man. I think he is damn old, probably in his 70s and his job is just travelling around the world giving speech. Despite his age you see, he is given a topic - Future Oncology Targets, just to show how big is his name in advanced research of Oncology. He basically went through from historical perspective on how unsuccessful our endeavors in coming out with new oncology drugs, mainly because we had the wrong conception. But right now, there are many new targets being pursued, which his lab is working on, and he even shared a slide of which it has just been published on that day itself.
|New targets, note the footnote. The conference was on 19/11/15 - it was just published today|
|Warburg is a Nobel Prize winner who said Cancer is not caused by Virus or genes, both very wrong. But we progress not because scientists changed their minds, but because they die. Scientists - sometimes, over-believed their science.|
|Note that Prof Mak is the main author!|
Other interesting speakers and slides:
I checked with NMRR, we have two Phase 1 studies in this country as of today.
All in all, I enjoyed the conference very much, it shows me how behind is my exposure to current world and we need super flying speed to be catching up with the rest of the world.
Perhaps we should start with nurturing good research attitude and research culture.
Thanks for reading.