Read, discover and understand progress, achievements and outcomes of cancer research, education and clinical care delivered by the VCCC, our alliance members, supporters and partners.
Diagnosis delays and the management of ongoing side effects were labelled the main causes of inefficiency
While the majority of survey respondents indicated their needs were sufficiently addressed during their care, there was also room for improvement in relation to support and shared decision-making, integrated multidisciplinary care, and the financial impact of treatment.The global study included responses from 4000 cancer patients and carers across 13 countries. One quarter of the 850 surveyed were from Western Australia, and 89% were women.
The New Yorker by Siddhartha Mukherjee
New "living drugs" - made from a patient's own cells - can cure once incurable cancers. But can we afford them?
The Royal Melbourne Hospital is leading an international trial to investigate whether a CT scan is the best method in detecting early lung cancer.
Funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), with national and international collaborators, the hospital is performing a large-sample study to determine the best way to use a CT scan for early lung cancer screening.
Effective and open communication is linked with stress reduction, improved pain control, greater understanding of and adherence to treatment, speedier recovery, and better quality of life.
But, the nature of physician-patient relationships means that they are often tied together by difficult news, especially for people living with cancer.
For both the physician and the patient, their interactions regularly involve making complex decisions while dealing with the distress caused by cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Primary care practitioners are the frontline of cancer identification. From dentists and general practitioners, to physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other allied health fields these professionals play a key role in reducing cancer incidence.
Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) Research & Education Lead, Associate Professor David Wiesenfeld explores the essential connection between primary care and oncology in relation to the notoriously difficult to detect head and neck squamous cell carcinoma or head and neck cancers.
One of Australia’s most prestigious prizes for excellence in cancer research was awarded this week. The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) together with the Picchi Brothers Foundation awarded three outstanding VCCC alliance member PhD students with a Picchi Award in Basic Science, Clinical Science and Population Health.
The $ 10,000 award empowers winners to travel internationally or attend a conference to extend their networks and make connections in their chosen field. Each of the winners delivered a presentation of their work at an award ceremony at the VCCC on Monday 22 July.
Victorian Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos opened the Centre for Cancer Immunotherapy today, she said, “this world-leading research institute is bringing together about 100 researchers to engage in cutting-edge clinical trials as we continue to combat cancer.”
The Centre is a joint initiative of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, University of Melbourne and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC); supported by the Victorian Government.
From diagnosis to treatment, survivorship and palliative care, the experience of every patient with cancer is different; effects can be physical, psychological, financial and social.
Navigating through encompasses family, friends, medical professionals, health service staff and many others along the way.
Proposal, led by the R&E Lead for Genitourinary Cancers, Associate Professor Niall Corcoran of the Royal Melbourne Hospital brought together a new combination of investigators from five VCCC member organisations and six cancer research disciplines.
The research proposal, (PRECEPT - PRostatE CancEr Prognosis and Treatment) leveraged other VCCC programs, including connection to the Regional Oncology Lead, resulting in extension of one of the proposed clinical trials to regional Victoria. It also harnessed the VCCC’s strong relationships with its consumer advisory groups.
Brain cancer kills more children in Australia than any other disease, but genetically engineered killer T-cells could be a game changer
“The brain is a very high stakes environment to be working in when it comes to the immune system, because the side effects of potential new treatments, like inflammation, can be devastating when in the brain.”
Immunologist Dr Misty Jenkins is talking about the difficulty of finding a cure for one of the deadliest of cancers – brain cancer.
The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) welcomes the state government budget announcement; a wonderful investment in progressing cancer discovery and care.
Congratulations to the VCCC alliance members and sector collaborators on gaining the Victorian Government’s support for these important initiatives.
Cancer clinical trials predominantly focus on new therapies to control cancer. However, patients with cancer commonly experience symptoms not directly related to the cancer itself. These symptoms can have a significant impact on the patient’s quality of life, as well as that of family and carers.
Through the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) Investigator-Initiated Trial Building Capability Program, the VCCC has announced funding for two new investigator-initiated clinical trials addressing the treatment of two significant symptoms in patients with cancer: changes in taste during chemotherapy and insomnia in the palliative care setting. A third trial is targeting treatments on a personalised, molecular level.
GP Dr Alia Kaderbhai is among the first doctors in Australia to undertake a Masters of Cancer Sciences, a new degree at the University of Melbourne. ‘I am committed to improving the lives of patients diagnosed with cancer, and want to develop new and innovative ways to provide better care,’ she told newsGP. Dr Kaderbhai is also keenly aware of the rapidly evolving nature of cancer care, as treatments and technologies continually develop and improve – a process that is impacting on the role of the GP.
The approach of cancer specialists is usually to go hard with chemotherapy, using repeated courses, to try and obliterate the tumour — but the statistics show that for most cancers, that's eventually doomed to failure.
And the prognosis hasn't changed much in decades.
That's prompted some researchers to argue for a complete re-think oriented around the concept of game theory, which is about decision making in the face of an opponent of some kind.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report released
In 2019, the rate of new cancer cases in Australia is expected to reach 483 new cases per 100,000 people, while cancer-related deaths are expected to decrease to 159 per 100,000 people. From 1982 to 2019, thyroid cancer and liver cancer incidence rates increased more than for any other cancer. Although liver cancer survival has improved since 1982, with the increasing liver cancer incidence rate, liver cancer mortality rates also increased more than for any other cancer.
Prominent South Australian oncologist Professor Dorothy Keefe has been appointed the new chief executive of Cancer Australia.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the appointment came as ministerial board appointments in the health portfolio topped more than 50 per cent female for the first time.
This month began with a visit to the annual Lorne Cancer Conference. Congratulations to all who have shared in the 30-year history of the meeting, and to the organising committee for yet another successful event. It was great to see strong representation from throughout the alliance and to share conversations and learnings across the cancer spectrum.
Improve treatment standards and increase patient care knowledge
More than 6,000 patients with cancer in Victoria, nationally and internationally, will benefit from four new clinical trial projects to be supported by the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre’s (VCCC) Investigator-Initiated Trial Capacity Building Program with an investment of $3.7 million.
Underpinned by three decades of scientific determination and collaboration
A new targeted treatment option for patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL) will be available from 1 March 2019 through the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Major diseases have a severe impact on the quality of life for Australians and their families
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology of the Australian Government is providing more than $22 million for important early stage research that will lead to new interventions, cures and treatments of major diseases.
Parliamentary Secretary for Health Anthony Carbines today launched the University of Melbourne Master of Cancer Sciences Course, in partnership with the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Alliance.
A new specialist university Masters degree will upskill researchers and professionals working in the cancer field, and has been developed with the support of the Victorian Government.
The Albury-Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre Trust Fund has launched annual scholarships of up to $10,000 for the centre's nursing staff to keep them up to date with research and best practise. [paywall]
New type of super-precise radiotherapy promises to transform the way we treat certain types of lung cancer
When Maureen Chrul was diagnosed with inoperable stage-one lung cancer 10 years ago, she told her family she didn't have the patience or the ability to fight it.
Ms Chrul, who is now 76, had raised six children as a single mother after her husband died in an industrial accident in the 1970s, all while working many different roles in hospitals around the city.
This week many of you will have celebrated the success of friends and colleagues who were awarded an Australia Day honour.
Dr Belinda Yeo and Professor Bruce Mann have been appointed joint VCCC Research & Education Leads – Breast Cancer
The Research & Education Lead program is key to the VCCC’s endeavours to systematise collaboration across the alliance, and pivotal to turning the idea of integration of research, education and clinical care, into reality.