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24 Nov 2020

2020-21 Victorian Budget investment in cancer research, equity and education

  • Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre

The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) has welcomed the 2020-21 Victorian Budget, which includes $33.1 million for the alliance to continue its work to improve cancer outcomes across the state.

This new funding will support projects that focus on the limited treatment options for low survival cancers (such as lung cancer, which has a 14 per cent five-year survival rate, and pancreatic cancer, which has just four per cent five-year survival), and increase access to personalised medicine through the expansion of genomic testing and precision oncology.

Investment in strategic programs

In addition, the investment in the VCCC will enable strategic programs that will:

  • Improve data linkage to accelerate cancer research;
  • Embed translational research into routine care;
  • Invest in initiatives to improve equity and ensure world-class cancer outcomes for all Victorians; and
  • Lead the world in cancer education through a new Victorian Centre for Cancer Education.

“We want to improve outcomes for all Victorians with cancer,” Executive Director of the VCCC, Professor Grant McArthur said.

“We know that currently, Victorians living in regional or rural areas experience a five-year survival rate of 67 per cent, compared to 71 per cent for patients in metropolitan areas. With this investment, the VCCC will be able to facilitate more clinical trials, particularly in regional and rural areas, and expand our cancer teletrials program, which has already demonstrated great potential.” 

Earlier this year, the VCCC established Affiliate Partnerships with Albury Wodonga Health and Bendigo Health, with more regional networks to come in the near future. 

Patient-centred approach for better outcomes

“Since the earliest days of the VCCC, its effectiveness has been enhanced through engaging consumers in all aspects of its work. It is exciting to contemplate what we might achieve together in the next few years.” Chair, Cancer Consumer Advisory Committee of the VCCC, Ms Sophy Athan said.

“Many new areas rely upon a patient-centred approach and we are now witnessing the seeds sown a decade ago, embracing inclusive, multidisciplinary medicine. Patient-reported outcome (PRO) systems are being developed, precision medicine is moving into clinical practice, there is excellent clinical translation and good outcomes for immunotherapy in clinical trials, and researchers are partnering with consumers in a shared vision for better outcomes at the bench.

In our next phase, we hope to significantly improve access to cancer clinical trials and ensure parity of care for all in the Victorian community, no matter who they are or where they live.”

The VCCC alliance will also expand and link its data platform to enable rapid translation of the latest advances in cancer research, and implement data-driven value-based cancer services across the system. 

Victorian Centre for Cancer Education

A Victorian Centre for Cancer Education will be established to help build a highly skilled and diverse Victorian cancer workforce. 

“It’s critical that we have a strong and expert cancer workforce right across Victoria – one that is well networked and collaborative, so that all Victorians are able to access the best and latest in cancer care and treatment close to home.”

“Over the past four years, the VCCC has made direct and tangible contributions to the prevention, treatment and recovery from cancer across Victoria. The alliance has expanded clinical trials, built workforce capacity, facilitated Australia’s largest and highest impact cancer research program, and helped enable the translation of research discoveries into clinical care for patients, faster.” 

“We have more to do, and together we have the opportunity to ensure more Victorians with cancer benefit from the capabilities of this alliance,” Professor McArthur said.

2017-20 Review. VCCC alliance - Overcoming Cancer Together.

Read media release


Avalee Weir, VCCC Head of Communications | e. avalee.weir@unimelb.edu.au | 0416 130 033


Evelyn Ek | CPR Communications | e.ek@cprcomm.com.au | 0412 887 853