Future-ready comprehensive cancer alliance
In our complex world, where knowledge and information are immediate and global, it pays to share.
With very evident support from public and private funding sources, there is optimism that 2021 will usher in a new era of cancer research and development, teamed with commercial collaboration, and a whole-of-Victoria desire to improve cancer outcomes globally.
The right drug to the right patient at the right time
The principle of precision oncology is to give the right drug to the right patient at the right time by using genomic profiling of the tumour to guide treatment. While next-generation genome sequencing technologies are increasingly used in clinical research and to select patients for clinical trials, they are not yet well integrated into routine clinical practice.
VCCC Nurse-led Research Hub finds global audience
Professor Meinir Krishnasamy, the lead of VCCC Nurse-led Research Hub (the Hub), co-chaired the GAP2020 conference nursing concurrent session with Patricia Johnston Executive Director, MD Anderson. Mei spoke about the multi-dimensional approach taken to the development and delivery of the Hub and presented evidence of its success and impact.
Cancer sector response to COVID-19 becomes enduring collaborative network
In March 2020, the VCCC alliance and Monash Partners Comprehensive Cancer Consortium joined forces to create the Victorian COVID-19 Cancer Network (VCCN). As a workforce-led initiative, this provided an agile cancer sector response to the rapidly evolving issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic which affected everything from treatment guidelines to staff wellbeing.
Second annual consumer engagement forum
The second annual consumer engagement forum on Wednesday 9 December, hosted by the VCCC Cancer Consumer Advisory Committee (CCAC) brought together consumers and researchers in equal numbers, as well as those who support these working relationships.
With over 80 per cent of the participants having existing experience, the forum set out to explore ways to enhance consumer integration into research practice, by sharing practical ideas and exemplar case studies.
Researchers: complete survey for a chance at $50 gift-card
A new IIT Toolkit was created in 2020. The toolkit is accessible via the VCCC website and provides the Victorian clinical trials sector with a one-stop-shop to understanding and implementing an investigator-initiated trial.
Toolkit users are invited to complete a short survey, taking around five minutes to identify how the toolkit can be further developed and improved.
Master of Cancer Sciences
The inaugural class of the Master of Cancer Sciences from the University of Melbourne and Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre has completed the groundbreaking new course.
Demand has grown since the first intake of 33 students two years ago, with 184 currently enrolled in a Graduate Certificate, Specialist Certificate or Master’s pathway. The new graduates represent a broad range of disciplines from oncology, neurosurgery, nursing, allied health, pharmacy, dentistry, research and clinical trials.
Annual colloquium for The Lorenzo and Pamela Galli Medical Research Trust
Due to Victoria’s COVID-19 restrictions, the colloquium – like many events in 2020 – went online. But distance couldn’t detract from the transformative research made possible by The Lorenzo and Pamela Galli Medical Research Trust.
The colloquium puts a spotlight on research projects currently receiving support from The Lorenzo and Pamela Galli Medical Research Trust and celebrates their progress. Established in 2017 by Pamela Galli AO, the Trust is uniquely designed to empower collaborative research between four institutions – the University of Melbourne, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, WEHI and the Royal Children’s Hospital – in the areas of developmental disorders and cancer.
Catch up on cancer has begun
The recent drop in active COVID-19 cases in Melbourne is fantastic news, particularly for the respite it gives for those at the forefront of the pandemic response. I really want to acknowledge our partnership with MPCCC and a magnificent team of cancer specialists, administrators, patients, patient advocates, academics and government representatives who generously gave their time and expertise to the VCCN Taskforce and Network during the challenges of the past few months.
A special thank you is also due to the Victorian Cancer Registry (VCR) for the data of statewide cancer notifications enabling us to mobilise recovery initiatives in cancer clinical, workforce and research domains.
Clinical Trial Workforce new online modules
The Australian clinical trials industry is growing exponentially, particularly in Victoria – with that growth comes a greater need for skilled professionals to move into key roles. Who works in clinical trials, and how can people establish a career in this progressive area?
Features innovative virtual-reality teaching module
Effective communication can make all the difference for patients. Many clinicians do this incredibly well but there is always room for improvement. Experts from the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre alliance have designed a new online education program for clinical staff to practice and refine their patient communication skills.
VCCC alliance study results in comprehensive framework and roadmap
A recent VCCC study may be the first of its kind to meaningfully involve cancer consumers in the identification of PRO system requirements, a key first step in the road to PRO implementation in routine clinical care. Members of the VCCC Cancer Consumer Advisory Committee (CCAC) assisted the project team from Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Western Health to uncover critical insights into potential PRO system requirements.
Join the VCCC and support clinical trials workforce development
The VCCC is offering an excellent opportunity for a highly organised and efficient person with strong program coordination and administrative support experience to support the Clinical Trials Workforce Development Program. The successful candidate will enjoy multi-tasking and working across simultaneous priorities in a changeable environment.
Joint appointment of Head of Clinical and Translational Immunotherapy
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.
Online tutor for 2021 - Terms 1 and 3
We are seeking a casual Teaching Assistant in the Foundations of Cancer subject to support a tutorial group of up to 25 online graduate students.
This is a Teaching Assistant, Level A casual role for 13 weeks during the 2021 Term 1 and Term 3 teaching periods, at an approximate time commitment of around 5-7 hours per week.
Two award winners and three honourable mentions
MPCCC has announced the prize winners of its inaugural statewide search for outstanding cancer research along with the highly ranked nominees who received an honourable mention.
Investment to improve cancer outcomes in Victoria’s regions
I was delighted to see the $125 million investment from the Australian Government budget for the Rural, Regional and Remote Clinical Trial Enabling Infrastructure Program to improve access to clinical trials that are vital to reduce disparity in outcomes for rural and regional patients with cancer.
Within this, VCCC Regional Oncology Lead, Dr Craig Underhill will head an $18.6 million grant to Border Medical Oncology Research Unit and Regional Trials Network Victoria for the ReViTALISE Project to bridge the metro-regional trials gap by 2025. This investment builds on a great team effort in the VCCC Strategic Research Plan to innovate in the design and delivery of clinical trials in regional Victoria.
Cancer care on your iPhone - science fiction or strategic?
Did you know that in the United States, you can purchase Digital Doctor Gift Certificates? They can be bought in different dollar amounts, like a JB Hi-Fi or Bunnings gift card, only you exchange them for a video chat with a doctor via phone, tablet, or personal computer.
2021 applications close Wednesday 14 October
Clinical trials provide a vital link between scientific discovery and effective new therapies. With better funding, awareness, and access, the clinical trials sector in Australia is growing and provides exciting career opportunities for recent graduates.
Study development provides a good model for engagement
Learning that you have cancer can be a confronting and frightening experience, and the variation in prostate cancer treatment options can be particularly confusing for men, their families, and carers.
VCCC consumers are assisting researchers to understand the impacts of a diagnosis on those affected and how tests and treatments can be improved.
Library of online resources
If you are studying, or work in any of the disciplines that relate to helping people overcome and be well with cancer, the VCCC has a library of online resources for you to learn more about research developments, clinical trials, psycho-social, and palliative care developments, and much more.
It is your ‘VCCC on-demand’ and provides free access to recordings of online educational webinars and collaborative events.
Learning and development opportunity
Whether you're a recent graduate, keen to extend your skills, take a leadership role or explore new ideas for quality improvement, the VCCC Nurse-led Research Hub educational webinars will give you the confidence to take on the challenges and improve competency at the same time.
Subject Development Coordinators: Cancer Across the Lifespan
Do you have a degree in medicine, nursing, allied health, or the sciences? Do you have a demonstrated commitment to excellence in teaching? We are looking for passionate educators to take overall responsibility for the design, implementation, and delivery of the Cancer Across the Lifespan subject (childbearing years, AYA, paediatric) within the new Master of Cancer Sciences program.
Strategies for dealing with moral stress
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Victoria's health care workers are likely to encounter moral distress, anxiety, and regret arising from ethical challenges in cancer care.
Professor Clare Delany, Clinical Ethicist and Chair of the Victorian COVID-19 Cancer Network (VCCN) Clinical Ethics Expert Advisory Group, explains that moral distress typically occurs when a clinician has to implement a decision made by somebody else, and which they believe is wrong. It is different to “ordinary” distress about a tragic situation, such as the death of a patient despite everyone’s best efforts. Moral anxiety refers to a state of being worried or afraid of a decision that may have to be made in the future, and moral regret refers to a feeling that an important value was not fulfilled.
Public awareness campaign to encourage people to clinic
Within a week, Victorian COVID-19 Cancer Network campaign videos, encouraging doctor visits and referrals have been viewed by tens of thousands of people on social media.
The campaign was initiated as a response to recent data from Cancer Australia and Cancer Council Victoria that shows a significant drop in cancer pathology notifications, screening, appointments, and procedures during the pandemic.