This is the third year that the VCCC has marked World Cancer Day, an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control.
Held on 4 February each year, World Cancer Day is a great opportunity to add our voice to an international chorus speaking out about a disease that affects almost everyone. The premise of this awareness day aligns strongly with our efforts as an alliance and this year’s activities have been a particularly good illustration of our focus on meaningful consumer inclusion.
Special issue of the Journal of Global Oncology
Menzies School of Health Research is one of Australia’s leading medical research institutes, dedicated to improving Indigenous, global and tropical health. Two years ago, Professor Gail Garvey, Head of the Cancer Research Group at Menzies and a Kamilaroi woman from New South Wales, co-authored an open letter to the Lancet Oncology calling on the World Health Organisation (WHO) and governments to prioritise improvement in cancer control for Indigenous people globally.
Scholarship for progressive program
The Melbourne Business School is offering a leadership scholarship valued at $12,000 for a woman working in the cancer field in a VCCC alliance organisation. Women aspiring to, or engaged in a leadership role are encouraged to apply for the MBS Leading for Organisational Impact: The Looking Glass Experience program scheduled for early May 2020.
The scholarship is provided in honour of Jo Leonard who was a long-standing and valued member of the Melbourne Business School.
Efforts to reduce the disparity for people living outside the city
Patients with cancer living in regional and rural Victoria experience lower five-year survival rates (66 per cent) than those living in metropolitan areas (70 per cent).
In 2019, the number of patients with cancer living in a regional area who received clinical trial treatment close to home increased by 34 per cent, with growth across Bendigo, Albury Wodonga, Ballarat, Shepparton, Warrnambool and Geelong, according to Victoria’s Regional Trials Network.
Major multidisciplinary meeting
Dame Olivia Newton-John was a special guest at the VCCC Research Conference last year, identifying herself as person who is not only surviving but thriving, despite cancer.
The 3rd Victorian Cancer Survivorship Conference has harnessed a similar energy, bringing all ten VCCC alliance members together with international leaders in the field. Survivorship is everything that happens after a cancer diagnosis and initial treatment, so opportunities to influence improved patient outcomes and wellbeing are enormous.
A speedy way to share mutual respect
The Woodward Conference Centre felt like the foyer of one of Melbourne’s concert venues on Tuesday evening.
But it wasn’t War Horse or the latest MTC play creating the buzz, it was the first-ever VCCC speed networking event between cancer consumers, clinicians, researchers, allied health and nursing professionals hosted by VCCC and the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.
An international team has completed the most comprehensive study of whole cancer genomes to date, significantly improving our fundamental understanding of cancer and signposting new directions for its diagnosis and treatment.
University of Melbourne Professor Sean Grimmond, who holds the Bertalli Chair in Cancer Medicine, led the Australian efforts which contributed approximately 10 per cent of primary samples from a broad range of tumours including pancreatic, melanoma, neuroendocrine, and ovarian cancer.
Metro Melbourne and regional Victoria
The expansion of clinical trials in Victoria is offering the prospect of a fulfilling career for young science graduates. Last year, the VCCC, with the Parkville Cancer Clinical Trials Unit, launched its internship program to assist candidates to embark on a career as a clinical trial assistant. A month after the program concluded, 100 percent of the participants were fully employed in the clinical trial sector in Victoria.
Monday Lunch Live - International Women's Day 2020
Traditionally invitations to the board room were the privilege of the C-suite: chief executives, finance and legal officers. Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre is a unique alliance which spans health, research and academic domains and its leaders require an understanding of the complexity and opportunities inherent in bringing disparate groups together. And inevitably, they need to know how to play well together.
New toolkit is proving to be popular
One of the significant achievements for VCCC was the launch of a Consumer Engagement Toolkit just before 2019 year-end. Despite the seasonal break, traffic to the toolkit on the VCCC website has been constant ever since.
The toolkit is enabling the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of VCCC consumer engagement to be shared broadly, with close to 2,400 pageviews and 144 sample documents downloaded since the portal opened.
Multidisciplinary group convenes first strategic meeting
Endometrial cancer is the most common and rapidly rising gynaecological cancer in Australia, yet research into the disease is relatively low. For women over 50, incidence is growing by 1.1% per year. But it is in younger women that the increase of incidence at 2.8% per year is worrying. For these women, the prospect of a potentially cancer-curing hysterectomy may be as devastating as the diagnosis.
Apply for a 2020 leadership development scholarship
The VCCC has partnered with Marlow Hampshire, a progressive and dynamic leadership development group, to provide a sponsored leadership opportunity for up to 10 talented researchers in 2020. Each scholarship is valued at $2,000 and the program will take place over four days with modules in April and May this year.
Lead the way towards better treatments and cures for childhood cancers
An exceptional opportunity is offered to work in partnership with world-leading organisations to drive research, teaching and training, and clinical care delivery.
The Children's Cancer Foundation Chair is a new leadership position made possible by generous funding from the Children’s Cancer Foundation in collaboration with key Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) partners: The University of Melbourne, The Royal Children’s Hospital, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI). Applications close 5 March 2020.