Translation is complex and difficult. So let's do it
Pound for pound, Australia’s track record in medical research innovation is impressive by any standard. It’s not news that translating that to commercial application is our long-standing stumbling block. Yet we know how vital it is to our economy and there’s plenty of evidence to show that we can do it.
There is no evidence that people with cancer are at greater risk of side effects from the COVID vaccine than anyone else
That is one of four key messages being shared in a campaign to encourage people with cancer 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.
All people with cancer of all ages are eligible for vaccination now.
Regional responsibility to improve oncology services
Imagine living in a remote community with volcanic islands, green rainforests, and sandy beaches. Yet there is no cancer screening or population-based cancer registries. There are no cancer specialists.
According to a recent report, small nations such as the Solomon Islands have a lack of trained oncologists and formalised training programs.
About 75 per cent of the population live in rural areas or villages with no steady income. Many are subsistent farmers. By the time patients present with symptoms of cancer, it is usually too late.
Dr Nienke Zomerdijk, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Psycho-Oncology, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, and Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre alliance has won the International Psycho-Oncology Society’s presentation award at this year’s conference.
The conference, held last month in Kyoto, Japan was attended virtually by psychologists, clinicians, and palliative and supportive care professionals from over 50 countries.
Talented, innovative part-time Leads sought
The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) has secured the opportunity to develop a patient-partnered cancer research project across Australia and New Zealand (ANZ).
We are seeking four specialists to join the foundational team with individual expertise in Health Data, Digital Communications, Genomics and Consumer Partnerships. Positions are part-time at approximately 2 to 2½ days per week.
Applications are sought for the following positions by COB Monday 21 June (extended from the previously advertised date of 16 June).
The VCCC Cancer Consumer Advisory Committee (CCAC) is a board subcommittee that participates in the vision and strategy of the alliance. Good governance dictates that representatives must ultimately move on and new people will join. It’s a good thing that ensures diversity, fresh perspectives, and a mix of skills.
But committee turnover comes with a cost. Relationships nurtured over many years and the hard-won nous of knowing how to get things done are not easily captured in a handover document.
Advances in genomic technologies provide clues
Dr Sue Haupt is a Senior Research Fellow from Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Dr Haupt spoke with VCCC’s online audience this week during Monday Lunch Live – a forum that showcases the work of experts from a range of cancer-related fields each Monday lunchtime at 1.00pm.
OUTBACK trial among the most important clinical research advances for cervical cancer in the past year
Professor Linda Mileshkin, VCCC Research and Education Lead, Gynae-oncology, and Peter Mac Deputy Director of Medical Oncology presented at the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting Plenary Session this week in a possible first for a clinical researcher working in Australia. Despite the inhospitable hour - well before dawn in Australia, the presentation was warmly received as one of the most important clinical research advances for cervical cancer in the past year.
Subject Development Coordinators - recruiting NOW
Melbourne MicroCerts are new cancer-specific, multidisciplinary, flexible, wholly online short skill-based courses for cancer professionals.
We are currently developing the Emerging Topics in Oncology Series in partnership with the University of Melbourne.
We have four exciting subject development coordinator positions available for specialists in the following areas. Applications close Monday night 14 June.
Lightening the burden of cancer with strong leadership
Imagine if 20 senior cancer clinician researchers stepped outside their organisational roles to work strategically across multiple institutions to identify and tackle the big issues. Could they galvanise efforts across disciplines? Would that make a difference?
This is the reality of the VCCC’s distributed leadership model and I believe it to be a unique strength of the alliance. With consumers at the heart, it gives structure for us to work across traditional boundaries to focus on the complete cancer pathway.
Since launching in late 2019, the VCCC consumer engagement web-based toolkit has become a popular resource, with a total of 10,000 views recorded to-date. The toolkit assists people to understand and implement consumer engagement processes and practice within their own organisations.
Ten thousand views are just one measure of success for the toolkit.
Strategic roadmaps to tackle cancer on all fronts
The VCCC alliance is making a substantial investment to speed up the pace of the implementation of research evidence into practice in order to improve outcomes for Victorians affected by cancer.
A decade ago, it was reported that it took an average of 17 years to bring implementation research to the clinic. Now, in a world changed by COVID, this lag seems a mighty long time.
"There's no doubt I'm more attuned" - Professor Grant McArthur on empathy, equity and what drives him
The Oncology Podcast, is presented by Oncology News Australia and is hosted by Professor Eva Segelov from Monash University, Dr Craig Underhill, VCCC Regional Oncology Lead and Professor Hans Prenen. In a very special episode this week, VCCC alliance Executive Director, Grant McArthur shared his personal story about cancer in a candid interview with Eva Segelov.
Help us to coordinate a dynamic research and professional development program for nurses
We are excited to be offering a program assistant role for a person with health sector experience with a strong interest in nursing and cancer research and who has good people skills and enjoys relationship building.
VCCC Alliance expertise contributing to next generation researchers
An educational program is connecting honours students with patients to understand the importance of career-long relationships between researchers, their research, and those who are set to benefit from it.
Consumer engagement is becoming a mainstay of research, particularly in the health and medical space. Dr Joanne Britto, Manager of Consumer Involvement says that the term consumer engagement refers to an approach of developing meaningful relationships with a shared focus.
New oral cancer learning hub
In an average week, more than 16 Victorians will be diagnosed with oral cancer. But early detection can save lives, and oral health professionals have a vital role to play.
Dental Health Services Victoria has just launched an online resource for oral health professionals to assist in the early diagnosis of oral cancer. It has been developed in partnership with the University of Melbourne, the Australian Dental Association (Vic Branch), La Trobe University, and the Department of Health, as part of the Victorian Oral Cancer Screening & Prevention Program. Oral cancer is an increasing problem in Victoria, the key to management is an early diagnosis which both saves lives and reduces the disfigurement and disability of both the disease and its treatment. The site is a wonderful learning tool for practitioners in oral health.
Celebrating world-class, data-driven research program
This month marks three years since Victoria started developing a world-class data-driven research program as part of Melbourne School of Population and Global Health (Centre for Health Policy), the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research (UMCCR), the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Three years into this endeavour, read about the significant progress.
2020 a year half empty or half full?
For some, it may feel as though we can put some distance between the uncertainty of 2020 as we enjoy current freedoms. These past weeks, I’ve heard many people say that they didn’t fully appreciate how deeply they had been affected by the events of last year and it’s taken time to process all that has occurred.
Patients undergoing cancer treatment should feel confident about being vaccinated
Under Phase 1B of the Australian COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, patients with cancer are now eligible for priority vaccination. In reality, a number of practical and psychological barriers remain, which may impact take-up of this critical vaccination program.
Intimacy and sexual health
Cancer can be devastating in all its forms. There may be much to mourn. Head and neck cancers can be among the most distressing, not only for their obvious ability to alter a person’s appearance but for their capacity to affect a person’s sense of self.
Celebration of 2020 Picchi Award winners
It has been a long year for the 2020 Picchi Award winners who finally received their trophies last week. Matthew Grant is in the Netherlands experiencing the global pandemic from a European perspective. French-national Deborah Meyran completed her PhD with a young family, has forged new frontiers with her research, and France is suddenly much further away. Stefan Bjelosevic has been bunkered down at Peter Mac at the Johnstone Lab as a key member of the team.
Regional clinical trials workforce
Nine study coordinators and 12 clinical trial assistants have been officially mobilised across both regional and metropolitan sites after completing an intensive two-week orientation at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.
First joint Australian and New Zealand Consumer Experience and Leadership in Health Summit
According to Vincent Dumez, Centre of Excellence on Partnership with Patients and the Public, the University of Montreal, we are in the middle of a patient-led innovation revolution. Does that make the 800 people who attended the first joint Australian and New Zealand Consumer Experience and Leadership in Health Summit last month revolutionaries?
Uniquely qualified graduates to boost cancer workforce
Australia’s first Master of Cancer Sciences graduates are gearing up to present their research projects at a celebratory virtual event hosted by the VCCC alliance next month. If you are looking to build cancer expertise in your organisation – tune in.
Cancer and the Older Person
Ray Kelly, Chair of the NEMICS Consumer Reference Group and a member of the NEMICS Governance Committee recently road-tested a new, four-week, part-time massive open online course (MOOC), Cancer and the Older Person, earning a certificate of achievement and giving it the thumbs up.