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06 Feb 2019

United Front to Bolster Breast Cancer Research and Education

  • VCCC Alliance
  • Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute
  • Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
  • Royal Melbourne Hospital
  • Royal Women's Hospital
  • University of Melbourne

The Research & Education Lead program is key to the VCCC’s endeavours to systematise collaboration across the alliance, and pivotal to turning the idea of integration of research, education and clinical care, into reality.

The appointment of these two outstanding leaders in this major tumour stream completes a full suite of research and education leadership across the VCCC.

Dr Belinda Yeo and Professor Bruce Mann standing together

Dr Belinda Yeo and Professor Bruce Mann have been appointed joint VCCC Research & Education Leads – Breast Cancer.

Dr Yeo is a medical oncologist and clinician-scientist at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute. Professor Mann is a surgical oncologist; Director of Breast Cancer Services for Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Royal Women’s Hospital, and Professor of Surgery at the University of Melbourne.

As a tumour stream, breast cancer is already a standout model of multidisciplinary care from prevention and screening to genomics and cutting-edge treatments. VCCC Executive Director, Professor Grant McArthur said this joint appointment is a masterstroke solution for an area that is advancing at a rapid pace. “I am absolutely thrilled that these appointments will bring together strong leadership in both breast cancer surgery and oncology. As the emphasis on individually-tailored approaches for breast cancer treatment continues to increase, strengthening the alignment of these key areas will boost progress and further benefit patient outcomes,” he said.

The VCCC members represent a critical mass of intellectual and technical research capability and patient numbers. The alliance creates connections, systems and processes that speed up translation of research into clinical practice.

“I am excited about the opportunity this role presents to drive collaborative programs that leverage the true potential of the VCCC alliance,” said Professor Mann. “Despite recent advances, breast cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Australian women and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths.”

Dr Yeo says we need game-changing innovation to change these statistics.

“Increasing the alignment of surgery and oncology research holds great potential to shift the dial on breast cancer outcomes,” she said. “I’m looking forward to working with Bruce to see what can happen when we work together and tap into the deep pool of knowledge and opportunity the VCCC alliance members represent.”

These appointments bring the total of VCCC R&E Lead programs operating across the VCCC alliance to 12 and completes the planned recruitment to the program. The other tumour streams in the program are Skin Cancer and Melanoma; Lung; Gastro-Intestinal; Gynae; Central Nervous System and Brain; Head and Neck; Sarcoma; Genito-urinary; and Haematology, as well as the cross-cutting areas of Cancer Nursing and Primary Care.

The VCCC Research & Education Lead program aims to address the challenge of timely uptake of new research into widespread, routine practice. The program aims to empower clinician-researchers (the Research & Education Leads) with the skills, knowledge and networks to identity key opportunities plus provide the support and resources to help achieve changes in practice.

Find out more about the Research & Education Lead Program

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