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15 Sep 2019
Press Release

The Next Wave in Cancer Research

  • Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre

Australia's premier comprehensive cancer conference on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 September 2019, featuring:

  • Olivia Newton-John OBE AC, in conversation with VCCC Executive Director, Professor Grant McArthur;
  • World-renowned cancer expert, Professor Doug Hanahan (Director of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research), on ‘The Hallmarks of Cancer’ – the most cited cancer research paper of the last decade; and,
  • A Public Forum – featuring experts, advocates, and patients – to discuss the future of cancer care and cancer research in Victoria.

Victoria will host some of the world’s best minds and explore some of the biggest ideas in cancer prevention, research, and treatment this week, with over 50 Australian and international experts to share their insights at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Research Conference 2019.

This second VCCC Research Conference will look at the complexity of cancer from multiple perspectives – from nursing, to palliative care, basic research, clinical trials, and patient support.

Australian icon, Olivia Newton-John OBE AC, will speak at the opening session of the conference about the importance of collaboration to win over cancer.

“This year’s VCCC Research Conference is all about ‘the next wave’ – looking ahead and into the future. It will be an opportunity to explore collective insights into key issues, challenges, and opportunities in the cancer sector – from the future of cancer care, to new research discoveries, and the potential benefits for patients,” VCCC Executive Director, Professor Grant McArthur, said.

The conference will tackle current hot topics and big questions in cancer, including:

  • The future of cancer eradication, prevention, and early detection;
  • The latest advances and challenges associated with modern immunotherapy treatments;
  • How can researchers utilise Artificial Intelligence and digital innovations to transform research to the delivery of clinical care?
  • The most recent advances in translational cancer research; and
  • The Great Debate: Are Victoria’s excellent outcomes for cancer patients a result of good luck, or good management?

The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) is an alliance of 10 leading research, academic and clinical institutions, working together to accelerate and amplify leading-edge cancer research, knowledge and expertise to benefit the Victorian community.

“The VCCC is changing the way we tackle cancer in Victoria. We bring together leading research, academic, and clinical institutions to substantially improve outcomes for Victorian cancer patients,” Professor McArthur said.

The VCCC alliance partners are Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre; Melbourne Health (including The Royal Melbourne Hospital); the University of Melbourne; the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research; the Royal Women’s Hospital; The Royal Children’s Hospital; Western Health; St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne (including St Vincent’s Institute); Austin Health (including the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute and Austin Lifesciences); and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

In addition to experts from VCCC alliance partner organisations, also speaking at the 2019 VCCC Research Conference are:

  • Professor Steve Baylin, co-Director of the Cancer Biology Division and Associate Director for Research Programs of The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in Maryland, USA, and Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research;
  • Professor Helen Heslop, physician scientist, Professor of Medicine and Paediatrics and Director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital, and Texas Children’s Hospital, and Associate Director for Clinical Research at the Dan L Duncan Cancer Comprehensive Center in Houston, USA;
  • Dr Bertalan Mesco, self-proclaimed "geek" physician, The Medical Futurist and Director of The Medical Futurist Institute in France; and,
  • Professor Thomas Merchant, radiation oncologist and expert in the treatment of childhood cancers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, USA.

“We’re very pleased to bring these world-leading experts in cancer to Victoria. As the first of its kind in Australia, the VCCC’s collaborative, inclusive, consultative approach is positioning Victoria as a trailblazer when it comes to research-led, consumer-informed cancer prevention, detection, treatment, and patient care,” Professor McArthur said.

See the full program of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Research Conference 2019.

Media Enquiries

Lee Byrne | VCCC Communications Manager | lee.byrne@unimelb.edu.au | 0479 184 550

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