A vision for architecture as more than the sum of its parts
On Friday 6 August, The Hon Martin Foley, Minister for Health will join us at a special virtual event to launch the VCCC’s Strategic Program Plan 2021–24, which is supported by the Victorian Government through a $27 million investment over the next three and a half years.
Over the past 18 months, hundreds of experts from 35 organisations have actively contributed to shaping and forming this new plan. They have come together with shared agenda, bringing leadership, expertise, knowledge and determination to make things better.
Scientists join celebrated cohort for excellence in cancer research
The VCCC Alliance and Picchi Brothers Foundation are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2021 Picchi Award for Excellence in Cancer Research.
Each year three talented researchers from VCCC member institutes are recognised with a $10,000 award to assist them in expanding their research and collaborate internationally, thanks to the Picchi Brothers Foundation.
New research shows patients with blood cancer experience higher psychological distress from risk of COVID-19 infection and unmet needs
New research highlighted in a recent edition of Pursuit from the University of Melbourne shows that for over 110,000 people in Australia living with blood cancer – including leukaemia, myeloma, and lymphoma – the challenges they already face have been exacerbated during the pandemic.
Data and dedication to better outcomes for patients represented in new initiative
A landmark project is leading the way in understanding patients’ end-of-life care, with the new findings promising to drive systemic change to improve the quality of care for patients with cancer, particularly use of primary care services. The large privacy-preserving data linkage incorporates primary care, hospital, emergency, outpatient and mortality data.
Statewide collaboration acknowledged in name change
In 2009 the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre was incorporated as a multi-partner joint venture with the aim of “delivering greater value in education, research and clinical services than each member organisation could achieve alone”.
Now this is a functional reality with the VCCC Joint Venture operating as a dynamic, progressive, system-changing alliance of 10 member organisations working together to deliver benefits across the Victorian cancer sector and ultimately to patients.
Australia's first ever, purpose-built comprehensive cancer centre
“This is Australia’s first ever, purpose-built comprehensive cancer centre, built with the vision to save lives by connecting the world’s best cancer research, education, treatment and care under one roof.”
Those were the words of Premier Daniel Andrews on 17 July 2016 as he officially opened the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre. Since then, the vision has become an exciting reality with a multitude of achievements notched up under its amazing glass roof.
Global trial for rare and aggressive cancer
Associate Professor David Gyorki, VCCC Research and Education Lead, Melanoma and Skin Cancers and Consultant Surgeon Peter Mac and Austin Health has successfully secured a grant from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) for the STRASS 2 trial in Australia.
The questions that keep us awake at night
A series of three online ethics seminars have been developed by the VCCC Research and Education Lead, Head and Neck Cancer program to look at ethically tough cases in the management of patients with the disease.
Led by Professor David Wiesenfeld and facilitated by Professor Clare Delany, a clinical ethicist at Peter Mac and Royal Children’s Hospital, the series is bringing people from multiple disciplines together to discuss and share experiences of ethically tough cases and to increase awareness of the ethical dimensions of clinical decisions for patients and clinicians.
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.
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).
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.