Over time, clinical trials have become increasingly complex, creating a barrier to both participants and those conducting trials. Travel distance, narrow eligibility criteria and technical/logistical gaps can lead to a disparity in representation and access, especially in rural and regional areas. The emerging trial methodologies of registry trials and teletrials challenge these barriers.
No health without a health workforce
Today is International Nurses Day and the global theme - Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Invest in nursing and respect rights to secure global health - is a call to action to protect and elevate the profession for the benefit of us all. Florence Nightingale - considered to be the founder of modern nursing, was born on this day in May 1820.
Something that has always stood out for me is Nightingale’s place in history as a nurse scientist. She was a prodigious leader and an advocate for evidence-based healthcare, collecting and using data to carry out her system-changing work. Long before the age of infographics, she communicated her ideas through charts and diagrams, making data accessible and persuasive.
VCCC Alliance Chair, Emeritus Professor Linda Kristjanson
When I was nine years old, my Icelandic grandmother (Amma), gave me a book for Christmas called Nurses Who Led the Way. That treasured and tattered book has travelled with me across continents.
There are no accounts of women in starched uniforms or obedient handmaidens. These are stories of spirited nurses who cared for the dying, healed shattered soldiers, improved sanitation, and reformed health care.
Professor Meinir Krishnasamy, Director, Academic Nursing Unit, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the VCCC Alliance Research & Education Lead, Cancer Nursing.
The theme of this year’s International Nurse’s Day - Nurses: A Voice to Lead - invest in nursing and respect rights to secure global health - demands an investment be made in nursing to secure equity of opportunity for health - for all people wherever they are and whatever their circumstances. To achieve this, the voice of nurses and nursing must be strengthened at hospital, community, and policy levels.
Trevor Saunders, Clinical Nurse Educator, Academic Nursing Unit at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Trevor Saunders has been leading a committee to refresh Peter Mac’s Professional Practice Model and will be sharing insights at the Cancer Nurses Society of Australia 24th Annual Congress in June.
Health care delivery has changed enormously over the course of this century with increasing complexity, rising costs, inequities in access, the increasing burden of chronic illnesses and health professional workforce shortages.
Andrew Dimech, acting Chief Nurse at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Board member of the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care.
Since its establishment in 1984, the vision of the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC) has been to lead the global nursing community in cancer control, with a mission to maximise the influence of nursing to reduce the global burden of cancer.
VCCC Alliance brand awareness campaign
Have you seen our new VCCC Alliance brand awareness campaign popping up in your social media feeds or on medical news sites?
Last week we launched our first brand awareness campaign: ‘Introducing the VCCC Alliance’ to counter lingering confusion about what we are (a building? a precinct? a new name for Peter Mac? – hint, none of those). The aim is to improve understanding of who is part of the alliance, and our place in the cancer medical research and health system.
Clinical trials: a win-win for patients and the workforce
It is widely accepted that clinical trials medicine is good medicine, but with the ever-increasing scale and complexity of trials in Australia, how can we as a cancer workforce ensure as many patients as possible have access to participate?
To support the capacity building required in emerging methodologies, the VCCC Alliance has adopted a coordinated approach that addresses the needs of consumers, clinicians and sites.
Award recognises a collective effort for cancer research
The Committee for Melbourne’s prestigious 2022 Melbourne Achiever Awards were announced last night, 11 May, with Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and VCCC Alliance jointly awarded the organisational award for an outstanding contribution to Health and Research.
The awards were presented to our executive director Professor Grant McArthur and Professor Shelley Dolan, Chief Executive of Peter Mac, by Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria and Committee for Melbourne Patron.
Cancer community and crises
The cancer community is exceptional in its capacity and determination to work together. As events around the globe seem to lurch from crisis to crisis, and people are faced with war, floods and pandemics, cancer doesn’t go away - although life for people affected becomes even more challenging.
During these incredibly difficult times, we have heard heroic stories of people reaching out to help patients who need urgent care and who have redoubled their efforts to ensure patients are supported despite the most challenging of circumstances.
Support for development of new equity framework
A newly formed Equity Advisory Group (EAG) is a key process project of the VCCC Alliance’s health equity program. Recruited from a broad community and professional base, the EAG's objective is to provide expertise to guide the implementation of the health equity program. At a broader level, the EAG will also support the development of an equity framework to support the Strategic Program Plan.
Highlights from the 4th Victorian Cancer Survivorship Conference
From 24-25 March 2022, 290 delegates heard from international and Australian speakers on how to assist people live through and beyond cancer at the 4th Victorian Cancer Survivorship Conference, presented online from Melbourne.
During the two days, delegates learned about the latest developments in survivorship care and research and how they may inform progress in the years ahead.
Recruitment underway for a regionally-based Cancer Consumer Advisory Committee Deputy Chair.
“Patients and carers in regional areas are as crucial to improving outcomes for patients as people who live in the city,” says Sophy Athan, Chair of the VCCC Alliance Cancer Consumer Advisory Committee (CCAC).
“To ensure fair and equitable healthcare, we need to involve consumers from all walks of life, experiences and locations in our decision-making,” she says.
Twenty-six new graduates ‘Marie Kondo’ their careers
“I feel inspired to continue to learn with an open heart and open mind.” Dr Simonne Neil, the inaugural Professor Robert Thomas OAM Dux of the Master of Cancer Sciences says her experience undertaking the Masters has reinvigorated her passion for learning and desire to make an impact in cancer.
Regional sites swell to seven
Entering its fourth year, the SKILLED Clinical Trial Internship Program has grown to cover more regional sites than ever in 2022.
Nicole Humphreys, Clinical Trials Research Support Officer at Northeast Health Wangaratta, has witnessed the impact of SKILLED first-hand.
New practical Melbourne MicroCert short course - starts 6 June 2022
As a clinician or researcher tackling cancer, how much do you know about genome sequencing methodology, interpreting molecular reports, the role of targeted panels, and how you might dig deeper to find treatment options for people undergoing treatment for cancer?
R&E Lead Breast Cancer Education program
The VCCC Alliance Research and Education (R&E Lead) Breast Cancer program has developed a learning environment where researchers and clinical care teams can share information to improve cancer outcomes.
“At the medical student and trainee level there is limited scope to take a helicopter view of breast cancer, assess the impacts of collated data, and have interactions with a live audience,” says R&E Co-Lead for Breast Cancer, Dr Belinda Yeo.
Opportunity to shape the future of cancer control
Initial public consultation for Australia’s first national 10-year cancer plan closed last Friday.
Individuals and organisations nationwide were invited to be bold and ambitious in their ideas. The submissions will help to develop strategies to identify and address critical issues in cancer control that need collaborative, coordinated and national action, in a plan to be released by Cancer Australia in April 2023.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the VCCC Alliance submission. I hope Cancer Australia has received input from all quarters to inform this important plan.
Joint appointment in health services research and implementation science
Peter Mac and the VCCC Alliance are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Stephanie Best - Senior Research Lead: Implementation Science, to a leadership position spanning the two organisations. Dr Best will be based in Peter Mac’s Department of Health Services Research from 28 March.
Professor Maarten J. IJzerman leaves strong foundations for future potential
The many and profound impacts of COVID-19 pandemic have been felt again with the announcement that Professor Maarten J. IJzerman, internationally renowned Cancer Health Services research expert, current Chair of the VCCC Alliance Cancer Research Advisory Committee and Chair of Cancer Health Services Research at the University of Melbourne, will be returning to the Netherlands in May 2022. Maarten will be taking up an important new role as Dean of the Erasmus School of Health Policy and Management (ESHPM) in Rotterdam.
Equity is a key pillar of the VCCC Alliance Strategic Program Plan 2021-24
As a step toward fulfilling our commitment to provide information and resources for respectful engagement and communication with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, the VCCC Alliance core staff team recently attended Building Aboriginal Cultural Competency workshops.
Professor David Wiesenfeld on 3RRR’s Radiotherapy program
With World Oral Health Day coming up on 20 March, Professor David Wiesenfeld, VCCC Alliance Research and Education Lead for Head and Neck Cancer recently joined 3RRR’s Sunday morning Radiotherapy program to raise awareness of head and neck cancers.
Workforce initiative to boost expertise across the alliance
Melbourne MicroCert scholarships have been awarded to an impressive cohort of cancer clinicians, researchers, clinical trial study coordinators, postdoctoral scientists and PhD students from VCCC Alliance member organisations. The successful candidates represent many disciplines and research specialties from gynaecology and haematology to genomics, childhood and rare cancers.
Congratulations to Professor Linda Mileshkin
Congratulations to Professor Linda Mileshkin, interim Director of Medical Oncology at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, who has been named the recipient of the 2021 Melbourne Business School (MBS), Jo Leonard Memorial Scholarship.
The $ 8,500 residential scholarship, offered to senior female leaders from the VCCC Alliance working in cancer research, is inspired by Jo Leonard, a long-standing and valued member of the MBS who died from ovarian cancer in August 2016.
MDT review published in Cancer Medicine this week
Multidisciplinary oncology team meetings are crucial hubs for integrated, patient-centred diagnosis and treatment planning. Teams offer the potential to achieve more than any person could achieve working alone; yet, particularly in teams that are cross-disciplinary, it is critical to capitalise on the variety of knowledge, skills, and abilities available. Members of multidisciplinary teams (MDT), which include doctors, nurses and allied health clinicians, are well aware of the real-world constraints of putting principles into practice.