Funding sustains health research through challenging times
Victoria’s position as a national leader in health and biomedical research was certainly highlighted in the recent NHMRC Investigator Grants.
With 62 of the 105 Victorian grants awarded going to outstanding researchers within VCCC Alliance member organisations, there is good reason to feel optimistic and proud of the work and innovation happening here and the multi-faceted benefits this offers to the community, our state and the country.
The DURATION Study
An NHMRC-funded investigator-initiated trial has commenced in Victoria with around 100 patients recruited from across VCCC Alliance hospitals.
The study is evaluating novel assays to detect circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) before and after lung cancer surgery.
4th Victorian Cancer Survivorship Conference
How can our health systems adapt to better meet the needs of the growing community of people living with and beyond cancer? What are the recent advances in cancer survivorship research and care? What are the changes to practice and new models of care resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic?
These questions will be considered at the 4th Victorian Cancer Survivorship Conference, Shifting Gears: Rethinking Survivorship to be presented by the VCCC Alliance and the Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre (ACSC) on 24-25 March 2022 in Melbourne.
Flexible academic and skill-based learning
With the rising incidence of cancer across the globe, there is a projected shortage of skilled practitioners in the oncology workforce. The Master of Cancer Sciences, Australia’s first cancer-specific, multidisciplinary, and wholly online program, was designed to meet this growing need.
In addition to the Masters program, short courses that provide access to leading oncological experts have just come online through the University of Melbourne. These courses are the Melbourne Microcerts Emerging Topics in Oncology series. The first subjects in the series are Clinical Trial Protocol Design and Drug Commercialisation Fundamentals. They are designed to provide skill-based credentialled learning, completed in 6 weeks.
First symposium this month
The Australian Brain Cancer Research Alliance (ABCARA) is a new alliance of brain cancer focused researchers and clinician scientists with an interest in adult brain cancer research.
The alliance is seeking to develop a national research collaboration to accelerate developments in brain cancer research and patient outcomes. A first step is to understand the scope of research and use of technology among peers nationwide. A full day symposium will precede the COGNO Annual Scientific Meeting later this month to discuss challenges and opportunities for building a collaborative adult brain cancer network.
Research Australia showcases consumer involvement
Research Australia is a national alliance representing the entire health and medical research pipeline from the laboratory through to the patient. It is a unifying platform for the sector’s collective voice to ensure health and medical research maintains a national priority.
In the September issue of their publication INSPIRE, researchers nationwide shared examples of how involving consumers enriches research. Significant responses received on the topic mean that the next issue, due later this month, will deliver Part II of the special feature.
Effective Communication in End of Life Care
In November 2020, experts from the VCCC Alliance launched a new online education program for clinical staff to practice and refine their patient communication skills.
The education program - Effective Communication in End of Life Care virtual reality training module has received an Honorable Mention in the International E-Learning Awards 2021 from the International E-Learning Association.
This is the second E-Learning award for VCCC Alliance education, with the Master of Cancer Sciences receiving an Honorable Mention in 2019.
RACGP newsGP has recently published three perspectives
Almost 150,000 Australians are diagnosed with cancer each year. While the medical impact of the disease is well documented, the financial pain is perhaps less well understood.
Three different people, including Professor Jon Emery, VCCC Alliance Research & Education Lead, Primary Care Integration and Academic Lead - who commented from a primary care researcher perspective - recently provided their unique personal view on the issue to newsGP about how to address the hidden ‘toxic’ costs of cancer treatment.
We are seeking a research and education leader in Gynae-Oncology
With the ongoing objective of enhancing relationships across the VCCC Alliance, the position of Research & Education Lead for Gynae-Oncology is offered as an opportunity from within a VCCC Alliance member organisation to join our expert Distributed Leadership team.
The primary purpose for the appointment of the Research & Education Lead (R&E Lead) for Gynae-Oncology is to champion the systemisation of collaboration across the alliance and the broader cancer sector, to integrate cancer research, education and clinical care in the continuous improvement of patient outcomes.
Lisa Somerville GAICD joins the VCCC Alliance staff team
Strategic, system level thinking and an inclusive mindset are some of the qualities that our new Head of Quality and Strategic Initiatives will bring to the table when she starts in November. Lisa Somerville GAICD, formerly Director Allied Health and Chief Allied Health Officer at Alfred Health and Adjunct Associate Professor at Latrobe University, is a strong addition to the VCCC Alliance Senior Leadership team.
Making our mark despite widespread disruption
This week, we hosted two gatherings that gave a real sense of the progress we are making on the strategic vision for this world-class cancer alliance.
The Annual General Meeting held this morning was a great chance to take stock of what has been achieved in a challenging but exciting year for us. And earlier this week, the Distributed Leadership Summit was a rare chance to get a helicopter view of how our collective impact model works in practice.
Collaborative efforts underway
A new initiative driven by the Research and Education Lead (R&E Lead) Sarcoma program is seeking to improve access to novel sarcoma diagnostic pipelines leading to better diagnoses and treatment options for patients with sarcoma.
The Great Reset
The theme for the VCCC Alliance’s Annual Report 2020-21 is The Great Reset, reflecting the progression from our Strategic Research Plan 2017-20 to our new Strategic Program Plan, overlaid by our experiences and lessons as research, health and academic institutions during a pandemic.
In FY 20/21, the remaining objectives for the Strategic Research Plan 2017-20 were realised and the final evaluation was submitted to the Victorian Department of Health in October 2020.
Research and Education Lead in Aboriginal health has a role to play
A recent article, Diversity in clinical trials: an opportunity and imperative for community engagement has been published in The Lancet.
The authors propose a community engagement model that may prove useful when addressing similar problems in Australia.
Collaborative forum for early and mid-career researchers
The 4th VCCC Alliance Postdoctoral Symposium: Advances in Cancer Research this Friday will showcase some of the most exciting developments from early and mid-career researchers in basic, translational, and clinical research nationwide.
Victorian COVID-19 Cancer Taskforce
Throughout the pandemic, the Victorian COVID-19 Cancer Taskforce has been providing advocacy, guidance, support and education to ensure the needs of the cancer workforce and patients stay on the radar amidst all the other pressures and priorities.
Working in cancer clinical trials in regional Victoria
Applications for the VCCC Alliance 2022 SKILLED Clinical Trials Internship Program closed this week and the selection process is underway for regional and metropolitan Clinical Trial Assistant and Study Coordinator placements for 2022.
Jacqueline Lake is currently a Clinical Trials Assistant Intern in the clinical trials team at Northeast Health Wangaratta and featured in a video for Research Week this week.
Latest achievement for the innovative collaboration
A groundbreaking study emerging from the Centre for Cancer Immunotherapy (CCI) – a joint initiative between the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the University of Melbourne and the VCCC Alliance – has become the latest achievement for the innovative collaboration.
We are seeking a research and education leader in Aboriginal health
This newly created role will be a member of our distributed leadership team and will be instrumental as we embark on an ambitious program of work to identify and address inequity within cancer patient outcomes across Victoria and Australia.
In particular, the lead will focus on inequities experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in their cancer journey.
What gets measured gets done
The VCCC Alliance is seeking an Evaluation Manager to join our team to further develop and lead the operationalisation of our program logic-based evaluation framework.
The framework has been developed to monitor progress and evaluate the impact of strategic goals and specific programs of work to enable effective monitoring and evaluation of the VCCC Alliance Strategic Program Plan, 2020-24.
Discovery, Acceleration, Equity and Leadership
Discovery, Acceleration, Equity and Leadership are the four pillars of the VCCC Alliance Strategic Research Plan (SPP) 2021-2024 released last week.
I’m inclined to add a fifth pillar of flexibility given the plan’s development during the height of the pandemic and at a time when patients and the healthcare workforce have been challenged in so many ways. It is the most extraordinary achievement, and I am grateful to everyone who has held the vision and persisted in the development of the plan in difficult circumstances.
Publication forerunner to system-level change
Findings from the VCCC Alliance’s Strategic Research Plan relating to cancer clinical trial access have the potential to change the game for adolescents and young adults (AYA) in Australia.
An important paper, published in the Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology and co-authored by VCCC Alliance Associate Head of Research, Associate Professor Justine Ellis, seeks to implement system-level change to improve access to clinical trials for this cohort.
Launch of the VCCC Alliance Strategic Program Plan 2021-24
“This plan is different. We started by asking why this work is important for patients, consumers and community. Putting that question first makes a real difference to the prioritisation of work and the nature of the programs being developed. It means the direction stays focused on patient benefit.”
These words from Ms Sophy Athan, Chair of the VCCC Alliance Consumer Advisory Committee, kicked off the launch of the VCCC Alliance Strategic Program Plan 2021-24 (SPP) last Friday 6 August, highlighting the strategic, purposefully different approach this new plan takes to delivering system-level change.
Join the VCCC Alliance senior leadership team
Due to a long-term member of our team relocating out of Victoria, the VCCC Alliance is offering a rare opportunity to join the senior leadership team as Head of Quality and Strategic Initiatives.
The position provides a wide range of variety and rich involvement across the organisation and alliance, covering strategic and business development, overseeing consumer involvement and equity initiatives and leadership for program management frameworks and evaluation.
Professor Andrew Scott AM appointed Research Translation and Commercialisation Lead
The VCCC Alliance is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Andrew Scott AM in the newly created role of Research Translation and Commercialisation Lead.
Professor Scott’s 20-year career as a cancer clinician/scientist features a host of leading research roles, including as Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (Austin Branch) and President of the World Federation of Nuclear Medicine and Biology, as well as Professorial appointments at the University of Melbourne, La Trobe University and Monash University.