Read, discover and understand progress, achievements and outcomes of cancer research, education and clinical care delivered by the VCCC Alliance, our members, supporters and partners.
“This is Australia’s first ever, purpose-built comprehensive cancer centre, built with the vision to save lives by connecting the world’s best cancer research, education, treatment and care under one roof.”
Those were the words of Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday 18 July 2016 as he officially opened the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre. Since then, the vision has become an exciting reality with a multitude of achievements notched up under its amazing glass roof.
As COVID-19 cases return to the Victorian community, people affected by cancer are being urged to get vaccinated.
The Victorian COVID-19 Cancer Taskforce is driving a new campaign to strongly encourage people with cancer to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
One in four people with cancer who contract COVID-19 die from the virus. That figure rises to one in three for people with blood cancers or lung cancer.
Vaccination is safe and recommended for the vast majority of people with cancer, including people on active treatment and people with blood cancers.
The VCCC alliance is delighted to announce the appointment of 137 people to guide development and implementation of the VCCC's new Strategic Program Plan 2021-24. This includes 18 consumers joining other cancer experts to form nine specialised steering groups to enable the achievement of ambitious goals to improve outcomes for more Victorians with cancer.
Well over 300 submissions to join the steering groups were received from across metropolitan and regional Victoria, indicating a high level of interest in the opportunity presented by the VCCC's collaborative model and the impact that can be achieved collectively.
The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) welcomes 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.
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Riccardo Dolcetti as Head of Clinical and Translational Immunotherapy, a joint appointment of Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, The University of Melbourne and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre. He will take up the role on 23 November.
As Head, Professor Dolcetti’s primary focus will be on facilitating the rapid translation and clinical application of new discoveries for the benefit of patients with cancer, while also working closely with Director of the Centre for Cancer Immunotherapy Professor Joe Trapani to develop additional laboratory-based research programs. Under the Director, he will also lead a laboratory-based research program within the Centre.
Palliative care is particularly affected by the pandemic due to the pandemic's impact on the nature of palliative care as a discipline, which centres on physical presence, touch, and face-to-face relationships.
Victoria is seeing firsthand some of these issues. Translating the Chief Health Officer’s directives, which drive policy change at a broader legalistic level, and reconciling the impact these directives have on individuals and their families is challenging and emotional.
Cancer experts are concerned Victorians are not seeing their GPs for important health checks during the COVID-19 pandemic and have today launched a campaign aimed at alleviating the fears and barriers that underlie this.
The ‘Cancer Care Never Stops’ campaign features a series of 90-second videos scripted and voiced by Victorian doctors which will be shared on social media and other digital platforms from today. They will also be translated into a range of languages.
The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre alliance has welcomed the Victorian Cancer Plan 2020-2024 – a state-wide plan to reduce the harm caused by cancer.
“Every Victorian is affected by cancer in some way,” Executive Director of the VCCC, Professor Grant McArthur, said.
“This plan sets out a state-wide commitment to increase screening, improve access to treatment and more personalised care, and to invest in research and programs for all Victorians, no matter where they live.”
The urgent need to implement telehealth as a part of safe health care delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the opportunity this technology offers to enable cutting edge care - including clinical trial participation.
A new paper on the innovative VCCC Teletrials Program has been published in The Medical Journal of Australia, 31 August 2020.
Dr Mark Buzza appointed Head of Clinical Research Programs of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre alliance
As the VCCC moves towards an exciting new chapter in our growth and development, we are very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Mark Buzza as Head of Clinical Research Programs. Mark will lead the strategic development and operational delivery of the VCCC clinical research programs portfolio.
Bringing best treatment closer to home
Cancer patients in regional Victoria will have better access to cutting edge treatments through new partnerships between the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre and local regional health services.
“The VCCC is focused on improving outcomes for patients with cancer no matter where they live in metropolitan, regional, or rural Victoria,” Executive Director of the VCCC, Professor Grant McArthur, said.
Under new Memorandums of Understanding, Bendigo Health and Albury Wodonga Health will be Affiliate Partners of the VCCC.
The impact of cancer is more than physical. For many patients, the emotional and psychological challenge of absorbing a new diagnosis or progression of the disease is just as difficult as the physical effects. As doctors, our ability to inform and support patients with compassion is a critical aspect of care and treatment.
During the COVID-19 pandemic and associated precautions, the delivery of compassionate medical care for patients with cancer is more important than ever. We know that patients with cancer are experiencing high levels of anxiety and stress. Calls to Cancer Council’s information and support line have increased in number and duration.
Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre alliance and Monash Partners Comprehensive Cancer Consortium join forces to coordinate response to COVID-19
A new collaborative platform will help health professionals respond to the treatment and care needs of patients with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This new network will tap the extensive knowledge held by individual clinicians, departments, institutions and patient advocacy groups across Victoria, Australia and internationally, to curate, collate and share guidance, ideas and solutions for health professionals who urgently need this support.
In accordance with our COVID-19 precautions, VCCC event and activities will be postponed or delivered online where possible:
Workshop and training programs: postponed, we are currently working on dates for rescheduling from August.
Seminars and lectures, such as Monday Lunch Live: to be delivered via GoToWebinar and other accessible platforms where possible, see the VCCC Events page for updates.
Symposiums and conferences: postponed, we are working on dates for rescheduling from September. Where postponement is not possible these events will be cancelled.
Lung cancer has the highest mortality rate of any cancer in Australia. Late detection of lung cancer contributes to its low five-year survival rate as it has often progressed to a stage where treatment is more difficult by the time it is detected.
Utilising established and respected leadership and networks, the VCCC alliance efficiently and effectively brought all of these to the table and coordinated a consensus response. A VCCC Lung Cancer Screening Interest Group galvanised a multi-disciplinary group of 24 experts from five institutions and developed a detailed plan submitted to the National Lung Cancer Screening Enquiry for the implementation of tailored lung cancer screening in Victoria.
The Australian Government’s $32 million Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) initiative, through the Medical Research Future Fund, has been awarded to MTPConnect.
To deliver the program, MTPConnect is partnering with research, training and industry organisations to deploy an integrated, three-pillar plan driving skills development and workforce training that brings together researchers, clinicians, industry and the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The incidence rate of childhood cancer in Australia increased by 1.2 per cent each year between 2005 and 2015, and is expected to rise a further 7 per cent over the next 20 years, according to Australian research.
When you take into account current cancer incidence rate trends and population growth, the annual number of children diagnosed with cancer in Australia is expected to grow 40 per cent over the next 20 years.
The rise follows a period of stability in childhood cancer incidence dating back to 1996. The researchers say the reasons for these increases are unclear, but diagnostic improvements and changes in reporting may be contributing factors.
More than 1000 Victorian cancer patients are set to benefit from real-time genomic testing in the next three years, aiming to improve diagnosis and provide more targeted and effective treatments for cancers of unmet need.
The $6 million Cancer of Unmet Need Initiative is the first project of a partnership announced in 2019 by University of Melbourne and Illumina, one of the world’s leading biotech companies.
The initiative is targeting the most challenging to treat cancer cases including rare or aggressive tumours; those resistant to standard therapies; or those that are traditionally difficult to diagnose.
Scientists around the world have collaborated to create the most comprehensive map of whole cancer genomes to date, improving our fundamental understanding of cancer and how to treat it.
To grow and spread, cancer cells take a number of genetic steps to overcome the normal cell controls that allow them to enhance their growth rate, move into nearby tissues and evade our immune system.
Researchers have submitted human tumour samples from all over the world, piecing together their genetic information into the recently published Global Cancer Atlas.
New research says lung cancer screening saves lives and catches cancer earlier than it would otherwise be found.
It's a cancer that's linked to stigma, equity and poor prognosis.
But does a screening program come with risks of overdiagnosis and would it be cost-effective?
Today is World Cancer Day.
Today, 96 Victorians will receive a new diagnosis of cancer – one every 15 minutes.
Also today, 30 Victorians will die from cancer.
The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) is urging all Victorians to support World Cancer Day, a global initiative which aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer, and encouraging governments and organisations around the world to take action against the disease.
Over the last six month, Cancer Council Victoria (CCV) has asked more than 600 Victorians, clinicians and researchers, what is needed to improve cancer outcomes for all Victorians.
The resulting insights, along with published reports and cancer statistics, has informed the CCV's submission to the Victorian Government as it prepares the next Victorian Cancer Plan, which will be released mid-2020.
A newly discovered type of killer immune cell has raised the prospect of a "universal" cancer therapy, scientists say.
Professor Andrew Sewell, lead author on the study from Cardiff University's School of Medicine, said it was "highly unusual" to find a TCR with such broad cancer specificity and this raised the prospect of "universal" cancer therapy.
He added: "We hope this new TCR may provide us with a different route to target and destroy a wide range of cancers in all individuals. Current TCR-based therapies can only be used in a minority of patients with a minority of cancers.
"Cancer-targeting via MR1-restricted T-cells is an exciting new frontier - it raises the prospect of a 'one-size-fits-all' cancer treatment; a single type of T-cell that could be capable of destroying many different types of cancers across the population. Previously nobody believed this could be possible."
Melbourne researchers have determined the molecular basis for how an important component of the immune system, called gamma-delta T cells, detects infections and cancers.
Published today in Science, the research team from the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute), the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute and CSL Limited say this breakthrough of discovering how gamma-delta T cells become activated addresses a question that has baffled scientists for 25 years.
The healthcare industry is Australia’s largest and fastest growing according to the 2019 Australian Jobs report, and is predicted to grow almost 15 per cent in the next five years. As the sector expands, it’s never been more important to work with the pioneers of the industry.
The University of Melbourne’s partnership courses give students direct access to some of healthcare’s brightest minds at world-leading organisations such as the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), the Starlight Children’s Foundation, and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) alliance.
Experts from these research and clinical institutions have worked with University of Melbourne academics to write a program that provides students with the most up-to-date and useful information possible.