A major focus for the VCCC Alliance is to enable and accelerate the translation of cutting-edge research discoveries into treatments delivered to patients in the clinic. Over the past year, we’ve taken steps to ensure this research pipeline is as effective as possible to transform cancer outcomes for more Victorians.

VCCCA AR 2021 22 page 10 Research text

Centre for Cancer Immunotherapy delivers

The Centre for Cancer Immunotherapy (CCI) – a joint initiative by Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the University of Melbourne and the VCCC Alliance – is an incubator space for 10 research groups totalling around 60 researchers from organisations across the alliance.

In 2021, a ground-breaking study, SAFRON II, became the CCI’s latest achievement. Led by Peter Mac’s Associate Professor Shankar Siva and funded by the VCCC Alliance, the study found that a single dose of Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR) treatment has the same clinical outcomes as multiple smaller fractions of SABR to patients with low volume metastatic (oligometastatic) pulmonary disease.

“The Centre for Cancer Immunotherapy is now delivering high impact studies just 18 months after launching. Its scientists and clinician-scientists have extensive technical and academic experience in cancer immunology and immunotherapy, leading to high-impact studies and ultimately, better clinical care of cancer patients.” – Associate Professor Paul Neeson

Data improving end-of-life care

A landmark data linkage-based project, enabled by the infrastructure and expertise of our Data-Driven Research Hub, is enabling an intricate understanding of the impacts of primary care services at the end-of-life for patients with cancer.

The large privacy-preserving data linkage, incorporating primary care, hospital, emergency, outpatient and mortality data, covers the past ten years and incorporates approximately 20,000 patient records. It is thought to be the largest international data linkage ever undertaken that incorporates primary care and hospital clinical data at the end of life.

"This data linkage allows us to understand the meaningful contributions of general practice to end-of-life care for the first time." – Dr Matthew Grant, Principal Investigator

Launching the Precision Oncology Forum

After ten years, the Molecular Tumour Board has been rebranded as the VCCC Alliance Precision Oncology Forum. This change was made to reflect the monthly meeting’s expanded multidisciplinary content and coverage and provide scope to progress from genomics to include technologies as they emerge.

The Precision Oncology Forum was relaunched in June 2022 and we look forward to revamping this essential component of the genomic pipeline. Meetings average over 50 attendees per month, and the database has grown to over 475 contacts from across Australia.

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