COVID-19 and cancer
In past weeks, we have seen extraordinary efforts by cancer health professionals, seeking to do their utmost to provide care and support for patients. I would like to thank you for your commitment in the face of COVID-19 events, and for your support for people who are undergoing cancer treatment within the greater ripple of a global pandemic.
The Victorian cancer community has really stepped up and come together. Your dedication to not only reducing the spread but supporting others across the state to provide equity of care is to be admired. In particular, the unselfish commitment of our clinical staff is awe-inspiring and something we should all be grateful for.
Leadership scholarship announced
Associate Professor Ngaire Elwood, Director, BMDI Cord Blood Bank and Head, Cord Blood Stem Cell Research Lab, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) is this year's recipient of a $12,000 scholarship to undertake the Leading for Organisational Impact: The Looking Glass Experience program at the Melbourne Business School (MBS).
Our collaborations with Monash Partners Comprehensive Cancer Consortium (MPCCC) promote a whole of Victoria approach
Cancer alliances on both sides of the Yarra are working together to face the COVID-19 pandemic by providing support and advice to clinicians and health care services treating patients with cancer.
Monash Partners Comprehensive Cancer Consortium is strategically placed to take a lead role in the Victorian COVID-19 Cancer Taskforce and Network (VCCN) initiative launched last week, by linking in its expansive network of leading cancer healthcare professionals and providing expertise from across the MPCCC partnership which includes the Monash Partners Academic Health Science Centre and the Southern Melbourne Integrated Cancer Service.
Extensive resources for clinical trials professionals
Clinical trial participation can extend and improve a patient’s quality-of-life. Trials provide patients with the opportunity to access new treatments, therapies and technologies.
However, regional patients face several barriers to access clinical trials, including time, cost and social disruption.
Clinical trial design in an oncological context
Dr Robert Mahar is a postdoctoral biostatistician who splits his time between the University of Melbourne, School of Population and Global Health and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.
Along with medical oncologists based at St Vincent’s Hospital, Associate Professor Sue-Anne McLachlan and Dr Melissa Moore, Dr Mahar is supervising Dr Wei Hong, a medical oncologist who is undertaking a PhD to explore how to better use and understand Bayesian clinical trial designs in an oncological context.
New subject Supportive Care and Palliative Care
At the end of Term 1 2020, there are 122 students immersed in the Master of Cancer Sciences program developed by University of Melbourne and the VCCC.
Term 2 will get underway on 20 April showcasing a new subject in the Masters suite: Supportive Care and Palliative Care. The subject takes into account the importance of communication skills in this area and incorporates a Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Communications Program developed by course convenor Dr David Kok and clinical psychologist Justine Diggins.
Add your voice to survey
The Primary Care Collaborative Cancer Clinical Trials Group (PC4) is based at the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research (UMCCR).
The group is funded by Cancer Australia to help develop new clinical trials focused on the role of primary care across the cancer care continuum. They support research into cancer prevention, diagnosis, survivorship and palliative care.
Victorian COVID-19 Cancer Network
The COVID-19 pandemic has required adaptation and innovation on a number of fronts to ensure optimal healthcare for all during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is particularly so in the care of patients with cancer. The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre alliance and Monash Partners Comprehensive Cancer Consortium (MPCCC) have joined forces to tap into the collective expertise of the cancer workforce throughout Victoria.
Picchi Award 2020 – applications now open
In 2019, VCCC and the University of Melbourne undertook a study to learn how small grant funding might facilitate early career development of cancer researchers - hoping to understand whether there is evidence that small philanthropic funds play a role in supporting flourishing careers in cancer research. Initial results have shown the importance of opportunities being available; collaboration and networks, and that there is an impact which is notable for small grants… and a genuine value in philanthropic funds.
Lowering the age eligibility of relevant adult cancer trials
Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has adopted the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) guidance for including adolescents and young adults (AYA, 15-25 years) into adult cancer clinical trials.
Almost all cancer clinical trials open for recruitment in an adult care setting have an age eligibility of 18 years or greater. Adolescents can develop adult-type cancers but are often excluded from participation in such trials based on age.