International Clinical Trials Day, held annually on 20 May, holds a special significance this year as we witness the success and continued growth of the VCCC clinical trials program. There is no doubt it’s an exciting time for clinical trials in Australia. We are seeing unprecedented state and Australian government investment in the area and a new emphasis on collaboration – which is particularly important for an alliance such as the VCCC. Despite concerns about Australia’s competitive position in clinical trials in a global environment, I believe the prospects for delivering transformative outcomes from clinical trials in cancer are strong, with an opportunity for leadership from Victoria.
Applications extended to Monday 13 May
Applications have been extended to encourage PhD students to make a submission to receive a prestigious award in the categories of basic science, clinical science and population health.
Up to three $10,000 prizes recognising Excellence in Cancer Research will be awarded to the top PhD students of the VCCC alliance. In 2019, the population health category will incorporate submissions in the area of health services research.
Jonathan Hiller was nearing the completion of his PhD write up when he received an email about the VCCC’s Picchi Awards.
SiteDocs Portal to streamline management of key regulatory documents
Building clinical trial capacity through increased efficiencies will improve quality and consistency, in addition to reducing costs and the administrative burden associated with trials.
SiteDocs Portal is an electronic document management platform, developed by TrialDocs and JeyLabs to streamline management of key regulatory documents. The VCCC is working with Cancer Trials Australia to implement the platform to 15 cancer clinical trial sites in Melbourne and regional Victoria.
To enable a smooth transition, two dedicated project officers will implement the platform, facilitate training and provide support.
Access, processes, innovations and workforce development
The VCCC alliance is leading change in Australia’s clinical trials landscape and increasing access to clinical trials to benefit the Victorian community. Drawing on the collective knowledge, skills, experiences and technologies of the 10 members, the VCCC is uniquely positioned to facilitate creative solutions to a variety of challenges and opportunities in clinical trials. Our strategic approach encompasses all aspects of clinical trials development to:
Efforts across the alliance have positioned Victoria as a trailblazer in our region in research-led, consumer-informed and evidence-based cancer care.
Study Coordinator intern at the Royal Children's Hospital
From a scientific background, Yan Tu wants to see how research translates to patient care.
“This internship allows me to have the opportunity to see the fruition of a lot of the benchside research. What this internship has offered, is to open up doors to working with patients and seeing them benefit from the research and having an impact on their life.”
Abstracts now open
Following the outstanding success of the inaugural research conference in 2017 this unique event promises to be a dynamic experience for cancer researchers, clinicians, nurses, allied health professionals, students and the general public alike, promising to bring together the best minds, best ideas and latest research in an innovative and thought-provoking conference.
This event will showcase emerging and high-potential research directions in a special two-day program.
Making it easier for patients
Patients with cancer living in regional locations experience several disadvantages including lower survival rates than their metro counterparts.
Deficiencies can include socioeconomic issues, access to treatment or therapies, and clinical trial availability.
Congratulations to Associate Professor Sue-Anne McLachlan
Congratulations to Associate Professor Sue-Anne McLachlan, Director Oncology and Cancer Services, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne. A/Prof McLachlan is the recipient of a $12,000 scholarship to undertake the Leading for Organisational Impact: The Looking Glass Experience program at the Melbourne Business School (MBS).
The power of personal experience
Being an expert in cancer research or clinical care is a very different experience to being diagnosed with the disease. For this reason, people who have been affected by cancer play a critical role in helping others to understand their experience, so that their insights can contribute to improved cancer research, education and clinical care.
Thankfully basic science research in Australia is alive and well
It was a full house at the 2nd Comprehensive Cancer PhD Program Grand Debate at the VCCC this week. The negative team, led by dynamic, young PhD student Carolyn Shembrey, Department of Clinical Pathology, the University of Melbourne defeated the positive team led by a surprisingly youthful-on-the-night Prof Grant McArthur, Executive Director, VCCC to prove that basic science research in Australia is alive and well.
Special Monday Lunch Live to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day
Are you a postdoc, emerging researcher, junior clinician or an allied health practitioner? Do you have a clear understanding of the path from early career researcher to co-investigator? Are you aspiring to become a principal investigator?
Early career researchers are instrumental in expanding Victoria’s investigator and clinical trial workforce.
With access to support, you can lead the entire process from protocol development to data collection, analysis, and importantly, interpretation and translation of results into further research questions and proposed clinical application.
Saturday 25 May, 9am-2pm
Learnings from the leading-edge of cancer care
This collaborative, interactive session will enable discussion with like-minded professionals from a range of disciplines keen to deliver best-practice care for cancer patients during and after treatment.
The workshop will provide an overview of cancer survivorship, an understanding of the shared care model as well as tools and resources for supporting patients with cancer in the community.
Applications close Monday 13 May, 5pm
Do you have an idea for a project or study that is generated from nursing practice? Three projects will be supported with grants of up to $50K to cover salary and/or costs of nurse-led research. VCCC alliance nurses are encouraged to apply.
The 3rd annual Postdoctoral Symposium: New Frontiers in Cancer Research
Featuring speakers Associate Professor Alicia Oshlack, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Dr Paul Beavis, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Dr Marina Pajic, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, the symposium will deliver plenary lectures, poster sessions and networking opportunities focusing on all aspects of cancer research, including basic biology, translational research, molecular pathology, bioinformatics, stem cells, epigenetics, clinical trials, genomics and immunology.
Investing in Excellence
Tumour streams are the core of our research–led clinical care. I am thrilled that in an announcement this week, over $8m has been allocated for prostate cancer research from the Australian Government and the Movember Foundation. Congratulations to Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the University of Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne Hospital, and to Associate Professor Arun Azad, Professor Michael Hofman and Associate Professor Niall Corcoran, VCCC R&E Lead, Genitourinary Cancer. This provides a good example of how the R&E Lead programs can be a successful vehicle for nurturing the type of multi-site, multi-disciplinary, collaborative research that correlates with research excellence and impact. The research covering the cutting edge-areas of genomics, radionuclide therapy and immunotherapy offers real hope for prostate cancer patients.
VCCC Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancers: role of dental and medical practitioners
The newly established VCCC Research and Education Lead - Head and Neck Cancer program led by Associate Professor David Wiesenfeld met a need for professional development among oral health professionals with its first forum in March. Around 240 participants and speakers attended the full-day event at the VCCC.
AML in 2019 and Beyond - Current Research, Future Directions
As part of our Research & Education Lead - Haematology program, the VCCC co-hosted a full day scientific symposium with the Australasian Leukaemia & Lymphoma Group (ALLG) in March with visiting guest speaker Bob Löwenberg. Professor Löwenberg, (pictured centre) is Professor of Haematology at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and editor-in-chief of Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Haematology. The forum attracted over 160 participants from across Australia and New Zealand, and was a catalyst for productive discussion among VCCC member organisations alongside Monash Health and Monash University, Alfred Health and other major Melbourne-based institutes and organisations.
The Next Wave
These are just some of the big questions our line-up of national and international speakers will be tackling at the VCCC Research Conference 2019.
Monday 16–Tuesday 17 September, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins.
Save the date. Registrations open soon.
Special rates for VCCC member staff.
Who is involved and what is planned?
Can palliative care patients contribute to clinical trials in Victoria?
Leeanne Pasanen wants clinical trials to become part of standard practice in palliative care, “I want palliative care patients to know that they too might be able to participate in a clinical trial and have access to new ways of improving care.”
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report released
The latest data on cancer in Australia has just been released. Even though cancer survival rates have increased and cancer mortality rates continue to drop, cancer accounts for around 3 of every 10 deaths in this country. Notable in the report is that just under 50,000 people will die from cancer in 2019 and over half of them will be male (56%). Variations of outcomes exist throughout the community with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people in lower socioeconomic groups both having lower cancer survival rates than other Australians.
Supportive Care and Palliative Care
We are looking for a passionate educator to take overall responsibility for the design, implementation and delivery of the Supportive Care and Palliative Care subject within the Master of Cancer Sciences program.
Showcasing the latest exciting developments in basic, translational and clinical research - register now
All postdoctoral researchers throughout Victoria are invited to register for a symposium showcasing the latest achievements in cancer research, including basic biology, translational research, molecular pathology, bioinformatics, stem cells, epigenetics, clinical trials, genomics and immunology. Featuring plenary lectures, poster sessions and networking opportunities, the conference will provide an excellent forum for postdoctoral researchers to share data and interact with colleagues.
VCCC new initiative: Nurse-led Research Hub
Around 160 nurses attended Nurse-led Research Hub information sessions during February and March to learn more about how nurses can contribute to research. As a nurse in the VCCC network, you are uniquely positioned to develop your ability to undertake research. Think about the area of work that you enjoy most, or the improvements that could be made in your workplace to better support patients. Can you use that interest to contribute to a research project and perhaps initiate one yourself? You may be proficient in research – or you may not have thought about it before. More than 70 nurses working in cancer care across the VCCC have recently registered in the Hub, enabling them to share challenges and opportunities, participate in workshops and more.
Internship program contributes to clinical trials workforce development
The VCCC Education and Training team has joined with APR.Intern to deliver a Study Coordinator internship.
Eight Study Coordinator interns have now been placed in clinical trial units across Victoria to gain on-the-job experience. To start, the interns participated in a two week induction to understand the basics, including trial file management with the Parkville Cancer Clinical Trials Unit (PCCTU).
Apply to study Cancer Research subject, starting soon in Term 2
Are you interested in developing your research capability? In Term 2, the Master of Cancer Sciences program, delivered online through the University of Melbourne will focus on cancer research. The subject will introduce a variety of methods for investigation including experimental and clinical trial design, methodology for population-based studies, ethical considerations and statistical analyses. Enrolments are open now for Masters, Graduate and Specialist Certificate options or you can grow your professional development with a single subject.