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25 Jun 2019

Accelerating immunotherapy research to patients

  • VCCC Alliance
  • Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
  • University of Melbourne
  • Department of Health and Human Services

Victorian Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos opened the Centre for Cancer Immunotherapy today, she said, “this world-leading research institute is bringing together about 100 researchers to engage in cutting-edge clinical trials as we continue to combat cancer.”

The Centre is a joint initiative of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, University of Melbourne and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC); supported by the Victorian Government.

Professor Joe Trapani is the centre director, he has led Peter Mac’s Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Program since 2000. Professor Trapani said, “The Centre provides structures, expertise and collaborations that will accelerate research.

“Our ability to expand the scope of cancer enterprises is improved by the Centre, which will facilitate rapid translation of research discoveries to the clinic, and ultimately to patients with cancer.”

Victoria demonstrates high-performing, collaborating biomedical sector

Integrating immunotherapy-related research and clinical trials, VCCC Executive Director Professor Grant McArthur said the Centre is already attracting new opportunities, he said, “The VCCC enables our critical mass of expertise to drive novel biomedical research.

“The Centre draws together Peter Mac’s immunotherapy research experience and clinical translation knowledge with leading academic and scientific immunology programs of the University of Melbourne and Doherty Institute. This is where Victoria demonstrates its prominence in high-performing, collaborating medical research institutes, hospitals and universities.” 

Currently researchers and PhD students from Peter Mac, the University of Melbourne, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Austin Health/Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, the Royal Children’s Hospital and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute are working in the collaborative space.

Vision to provide immune-based cancer therapy to all patients with advanced cancer

The VCCC is a powerful alliance of 10 leading research, academic and clinical institutions working together to meet unmet needs through the integration of cancer research, education and clinical trials.

Professor McArthur said, “Together with the Victorian Government and our alliance members, a vision of the VCCC’s is to provide access to an appropriate immune-based cancer therapy clinical trial for Victorian patients with all types of advanced cancer within five years.”

Jenny Mikakos talking to key contributors to the Centre for Cancer Immunotherapy opening

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