The Next Wave
I was a young post-doctoral scientist when I first encountered the work of Doug Hanahan, internationally-renowned cancer biologist and co-author of The Hallmarks of Cancer. Our lab was collaborating with Doug’s lab at a time when cancer biologists were defining the genetic drivers of cancer. Many of us around the globe were energised by the potential of these discoveries which ultimately laid the foundation for a whole range of new cancer treatments to benefit patients. Doug is the director of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research in Lausanne.
Dr Helen Heslop, Texas Children's Hospital Houston
The Leukaemia Foundation's State of the Nation recently released report found blood cancer is comparable in incidence and mortality to breast, lung and colorectal cancers. As a result of the research, the Australian Government announced a $150,000 taskforce to improve diagnosis, treatment and the understanding of blood cancers.
The Next Wave: the future of cancer care from Victoria and beyond
This year’s VCCC Research Conference will close with a conversation involving not only researchers, clinicians and educators but also local members of our community whose lives have been touched by cancer. Natasha Mitchell, multi-award winning journalist and presenter of ABC RN's science, technology and culture program and podcast, Science Friction will host the Q&A style event in the Grand Ballroom at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins.
Comprehensive Cancer PhD Program
Over 100 students, presenters and postdoc judges from VCCC member organisations attended the 2019 Comprehensive Cancer Student Symposium held at Leopard Lodge in Melbourne Zoo last week.
The annual symposium aims to highlight the exciting research of young scientists from the Comprehensive Cancer PhD Program, across many different scientific disciplines, who are aiming to progress their understanding and treatment of cancer together.
Advancing Comprehensive Cancer Care
In November, the VCCC will host the 5th Victorian Psycho-oncology Conference in Melbourne, bringing together the latest developments in psycho-oncology; understanding the psychological, emotional, social, and behavioural impacts of cancer.
Psychological challenges following a cancer diagnosis are at least as profound as the medical challenges, but the majority of financial and health professional resources are directed to the latter.
Master of Cancer Sciences
VCCC is once again providing generous support to develop Victoria’s cancer workforce.
Australia’s first cancer-specific, wholly online program was launched in February this year and aims to provide an innovative, multi-disciplinary option for health professionals wishing to join the cancer workforce or gain leading-edge knowledge in the rapidly changing field.
Upskill with a free VCCC workshop
If you haven’t come to a VCCC professional development workshop, you may be missing out on a great opportunity to keep pace with leading-edge practice.
In most cases workshops are free for VCCC member staff and are designed to enhance your existing knowledge by introducing the latest practice, evidence and ideas in cancer care and research.
Wednesday 18 September at Woodward Centre
In an era of precision medicine, biological markers of cancer, known as biomarkers are set to play an increasing role in management of the disease. From non-invasive tests that directly measure molecules released from tumours, for example using blood samples, to indicators of the activity of the patient’s immune system, the approach to biomarker research is varied. Increasingly, it seems that combinations of various markers may provide a better picture of the nature and staging of the disease.
Host an intern in 2020
Expanding Victoria's clinical trial activity requires an experienced workforce with good foundations.
Clinical Trial Assistants and Study Coordinators are key positions in an efficient clinical trial unit.
The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre's (VCCC) successful SKILLED internship program will be delivered again in 2020.
Writing the next chapter
Last month we filled the Woodward Conference Centre at Melbourne Law School bringing together leaders from all VCCC alliance members. The meeting was to inform our next strategic plan and business case for consideration in the Victorian Budget 2020/2021. Thank you to the more than 80 participants who invested considerable time and thought into the consultation.
Chair of the VCCC Board Professor Linda Kristjanson opened the meeting and acknowledged the important strides we have made together during the current four-year funding period.
VCCC Research Conference 2019
In the past three decades we have seen a significant increase in cancer survival rates from 50 to 70%. Now, as genomics, personalised medicine, immunotherapy, big data, new technologies and major improvements in patient care come together, we are on the cusp of a new upswing in these numbers. Overcoming cancer is closer than ever to reality.
Cancer Survivorship for Primary Care Practitioners
A regional GP has just become the 2,000th person to join a 4-week online course to better help people living with or recovering from cancer. The course, Cancer Survivorship for Primary Care Practitioners was launched just over a year ago and is accessed on the FutureLearn platform as a MOOC – massive open online course.
Next generation of cancer researchers
One of Australia’s most prestigious prizes for excellence in cancer research was awarded for 2019. The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre 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.
St Vincent's team provide insights for future planning
VCCC Town Hall meetings kicked off this week at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne followed by a combined meeting at the Royal Children’s Hospital for RCH and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute staff.
The objective of meetings is to provide staff, researchers, educators and administrators in the cancer workforce, as well as consumer representatives, the opportunity to provide feedback to VCCC on planning for its next strategic research plan.
Congratulations to newly skilled nurses
Congratulations to the VCCC Nurse-led Research Partnership Post participants who completed a 12-week training course last week aimed at providing nurses essential research knowledge and skills.
Year one of oncology registry-based randomised trials
New approaches to cancer clinical trials aim to support rapid, cost-effective studies that effectively answer clinical questions to improve patient care. Registry-based randomised trials (registry trials) combine conventional trial methodology with registry systems to produce real-world clinical evidence.
New ways to learn about Cancer in Society - Master of Cancer Sciences
Two leading experts from across the globe have shared their deep knowledge of cancer to help students studying Cancer in Society – one of the subjects in the new online Master of Cancer Sciences developed by Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre and the University of Melbourne.
Advancing Comprehensive Cancer Care - Friday 8 November
This event will showcase cutting-edge research, education and practice and is an essential forum for healthcare professionals, researchers and consumers interested in gaining an understanding of emerging issues in psycho-oncology; new ideas, insights and future opportunities.
Representatives from the clinical trials sector including alliance members, partners, government, consumers and pharma joined us to celebrate our graduating Clinical Trial Assistant interns. The VCCC Development of Clinical Trials Workforce Capacity and Capability Program has established internships to provide theoretical and practical learning, increasing employability and opportunities.
Alliance supports primary care practitioners
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.
New Centre for Cancer Immunotherapy opensThe opening of the Centre for Cancer Immunotherapy last month cemented Melbourne's position as a global leader in immunotherapy research in cancer. The event provided the opportunity to acknowledge some internationally-recognised Melbourne-based immunologists whose achievements helped to build these strong credentials for Victoria.
With the new Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos, centre director Joe Trapani, University of Melbourne Assistant Vice-Chancellor Professor Shitij Kapur and in the company of Olivia Newton John Cancer Research Institute medical director Professor Jonathan Cebon and Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty we were witness to a new era.
VCCC Building Trial Group Capability Program
Austin Health clinician Dr Aaron Wong and research nurse Joyce Chua are passionate about palliative care and clinical trials. "Palliative care is about a team approach towards providing the best quality of life for the patient, incorporating good symptom management and ensuring that the patient and carer are aware of what is happening. Clinical trials in palliative care is essential for establishing and creating new standards for what we do, that are backed by robust evidence," Dr Wong said.
2019 Picchi Award presentation
A special Monday Lunch Live will be held on 22 July for this year's Picchi Award recipients to present their award-winning research work and future goals.
Supervisors, mentors, colleagues, collaborators, friends and family are encourage to attend the prestigious event and be inspired by the next generation of cancer research leaders.
Dr Simone Park was the 2018 Basic Science Picchi Award winner.
Extensive professional development program
Since October last year the VCCC Education and Training program has presented close to 100 professional development events to nearly 5,000 participants face-to-face and online.
The educational program represents a significant investment into professional learning across the VCCC alliance and impacts on clinicians, researchers, students, cancer patients and carers.
Dr David Kok and Daniel Sapkaroski medical radiation practitioner collaborate on virtual reality simulation model
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.