This issue focused on the achievements and recent development of phase 1 oncology research in East Asia and Australia. Drs Loong, Tan and Shimizu presented a comprehensive overview of the history and challenges of phase 1 drug development in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. Dr. Im and colleagues focused on the great contribution of Korean researchers and collaborators in the development of new therapies for cancers that are prevalent in Korea. Dr. Desai and colleagues gave a historical account of how the landscape of early drug development in oncology has evolved in Australia over the past decades. These phase 1 experts highlighted the process of how over the years, cancer research centers in their region have formed close strategic partnerships with key stakeholders such as healthcare policy-makers from the local government, regional hospitals in other parts of their country or area, and most of all the academia and bio-pharmaceutical sponsors. These relationships have helped to shape their region as one of the premier hubs for conducting phase 1 oncology research.