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02 Aug 2021

Monday Lunch Livestream: Understanding the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines in people with cancer - The SerOzNET study

In an Australian first, Monash Health and Cancer Australia have established an important clinical study, SerOzNET, that will help build vital global evidence about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines in people with all cancers. Join Cancer Australia's CEO Professor Dorothy Keefe and Medical Director Dr Vivienne Milch, along with Professor Eva Segelov, Director of Oncology, Monash Health.

People with compromised immune systems or pre-existing medical conditions, including cancer, are more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection and are at increased risk of more severe infection. However, people with cancer were largely excluded from the initial clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccines because clinical trials typically need to see whether the vaccines will work in people with healthy immune systems.

In this collaborative Monday Lunch Livestream, Principal Investigator of the study, Professor Eva Segelov, Director of Oncology, Monash Health will be joined by Professor Dorothy Keefe, and Dr Vivienne Milch to discuss how the SerOzNET study is providing vital insights into how patients with different types of cancers, including blood cancers, respond to the vaccines and the impact of timing of the vaccine for patients on cancer treatment.


Dorothy Keefe

Professor Dorothy Keefe: Chief Executive Officer, Cancer Australia

Professor Keefe is the CEO of Cancer Australia, Australia’s national cancer agency. She is a medical oncologist with a long-term research interest in Supportive Care in Cancer. She has led cancer services at hospital, regional and state levels, and is passionate about health reform and patient-centred care. She has a Master’s degree in Medical Leadership and a strong interest in advocacy, career development and mentoring. She is a past president of MASCC (The Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer) and a Clinical Professor at the University of Adelaide.

Vivienne Milch

Dr Vivienne Milch: Medical Director, Cancer Australia

Dr Milch provides strategic clinical policy input to Cancer Australia’s work to minimise the impact of cancer, address disparities, and improve the health outcomes of people affected by cancer in Australia. Dr Milch is also medical advisor to the Commonwealth Department of Health on cancer screening policy. Prior to joining Cancer Australia, Dr Milch was a General Practitioner and clinical researcher at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, and she holds a Masters in Health Policy from the University of Sydney.

 Eva Segalov

Professor Eva Segelov: Professor and Director of Oncology, Monash Health and Monash University

Professor Segelov was appointed as Professor and Director of Oncology at Monash Health and Monash University in 2017. She's a recognised international expert in the fields of gastrointestinal cancer, including neuroendocrine tumours, and breast cancer, with a 20-year history of management of patients in a multidisciplinary setting. She's led multiple national and international oncology clinical trials, including investigator-initiated studies. Her research interests relate to translational studies of targeted therapies in defined subpopulations to increase benefit and reduce the toxicity of cancer treatments; new anticancer therapies; and understanding the molecular changes induced by anticancer therapy. 

Monday 2 August 2021