Multidisciplinary group convenes first strategic meeting
Endometrial cancer is the most common and rapidly rising gynaecological cancer in Australia, yet research into the disease is relatively low. For women over 50, incidence is growing by 1.1% per year. But it is in younger women that the increase of incidence at 2.8% per year is worrying. For these women, the prospect of a potentially cancer-curing hysterectomy may be as devastating as the diagnosis.
In November last year, the VCCC held its first endometrial cancer workshop convened by Professor Linda Mileshkin, VCCC Research and Education Lead, Gynae-oncology. The goal was to assess the latest evidence and gaps in knowledge across the care continuum, share learnings from other successful gynae-oncology collaborations and to collectively workshop ideas for research projects that could address clinical questions. With more younger women presenting with endometrial cancer, the need to find treatments that can preserve fertility and improve the quality of life for these patients and families is becoming more urgent.
Twenty-one organisations including VCCC alliance members, ANZGOG, Cancer Council Victoria, Cancer Australia and industry were represented in the meeting which involved more than 70 clinicians and scientists alongside consumers, allied health and nursing professionals.
Prior to the meeting a survey was completed by delegates to map current data and sample collection and to collect views on the most important areas of need in clinical care, research and education.
Learnings were shared from other successful research collaborations: Australian Ovarian Cancer Study (AOCS), the Australian National Endometrial Cancer Study (ANECS) and models of care from a primary care perspective. Research concepts were subsequently brainstormed within multidisciplinary groups.
The meeting was successful in creating consensus around some key areas of need and for identifying priority areas for future collaborations.
Meetings like these are incredibly important because they compel all in the room to assess the key issues and research opportunities together. What is clear is that new impacts can be made in at least six key areas from prevention through to models of follow-up care with some exciting opportunities achievable in translational research alongside improvements in biobanking and clinical database management - Linda Mileshkin
For more information about the VCCC’s distributed leadership initiatives see the VCCC website or contact Lauren King, Program Manager, VCCC Research and Education Lead Program GI, GU, Gynae-oncology & Sarcoma