Explore educational content from VCCC Alliance lectures, symposia and conferences to be informed of the latest developments.
Wednesday 18 May 2022
Breast Cancer Grand Round with Professor Gelareh Farshid.
The convergence of modern artificial intelligence with the emergence of digital pathology is yielding advances in medical image recognition. Research, diagnostic and commercial opportunities are being realised, including in breast pathology. These innovations will influence the practice of pathology in fundamental ways.
Learn how machine learning applications can offer improved patient care and more efficient laboratory systems - although many challenges remain along this path.
Monday 16 May 2022
Monday Lunch Live with Dr Vanessa Wong (Clinical Research Fellow and Medical Oncologist, WEHI) and Ms Kylie Shackleton (Deputy Manager, Parkville Cancer Clinical Trials Unit), who summarised the key learnings from running tele-trials, including the operational considerations.
Presenters navigated through the development of a supervision plan (found in the VCCC Alliance tele-trials toolkit) required for both primary and satellite sites to conduct a teletrial.
In conjunction with WEHI, the VCCC Alliance Registry Based Trials Program has four open recruiting trials with many more in the pipeline. There is an increase in the conduct of tele-trials in Victoria with the VCCC Alliance tele-trials project and the statewide collaborative effort to streamline tele-trial operations.
The Registry Based Trials Program combines conventional trial methodology with registry systems to produce real-world clinical evidence. Registry based trials integrate the high internal validity (elimination of bias) of randomised clinical trials with the high external validity (applicable to a clinical setting) associated with enrolling real-world patients through a registry.
Wednesday 11 May 2022
Breast Cancer Education Series with Dr Belinda Yeo, Dr Julia Dixon-Douglas and Jim Siderov AM BPharm MClinPharm BCOP AdvPracPharm FSHP.
Join a panel of experts from across the VCCC Alliance who discussed the new drugs changing metastatic breast cancer. Presenters focused on new data regarding sacituzumab govitecan in triple negative breast cancer and both trastuzumab deruxtecan and tucatinib in HER2 amplified metastatic breast cancer.
Exciting new trials in metastatic breast cancer have led to changing standard of care for patients. The CDK 4/6 inhibitors are an obvious example in oestrogen receptor positive disease in combination with endocrine therapy. Whilst we hear a lot about immunotherapy, in Australia we are still waiting to be able to use this routinely (and in a funded manner) in a subset of patients that may benefit. The “new” kids on the block are the antibody drug conjugates (drugs like T-DM1) which have shown impressive survival benefits for patients in the advanced setting
Monday 09 May 2022
Monday Lunch Live with Dr Ewan St John Smith.
Join international guest and professor of nociception, Dr Ewan St John Smith (University of Cambridge) for a fascinating insight into the cancer-resistant naked mole-rat.
The naked mole-rat (heterocephalus glaber) is a burrowing rodent native to East Africa. It has a bizarre appearance, looking like an elongated cocktail sausage with large protruding teeth. It can live for over 30 years and is highly cancer-resistant, with only a few cases ever observed in captive animals. Researchers have been intrigued by naked mole-rat as a model organism across a range of research fields due to its cancer resistance, healthy ageing and unusual pain phenotype.
Learn more about this fascinating creature and the insights it may offer to our exploration and understanding of cancer.
Wednesday 04 May
Breast Cancer Grand Round with clinical psychologist, Dr Charlotte Tottman, who delved into understanding the challenges faced, and the strategies to help support those affected by a diagnosis of breast cancer.
The VCCC Alliance Research and Education (R&E Lead) Breast Cancer program has developed a learning environment where researchers and clinical care teams can share information to improve cancer outcomes.
VCCC Alliance Breast Cancer Grand Round aims to provide a shared view of what is happening in the development of breast cancer care and is helping to stimulate discussion and collaborations among experienced and novice researchers and clinicians.
Monday 11 April 2022
Monday Lunch Live with Professor Greg Woods (Menzies Institute for Medical Research, and University of Tasmania).
The Tasmanian devil is dying at an alarming rate from a transmissible cancer called Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD). New research is revealing why the Tasmanian devil appears to be susceptible to this particular transmissible cancer with promise of a potential cure.
Join principal research fellow, Professor Greg Woods to learn about the vaccine research and field observations that has cured some Tasmanian devils from DFTD, providing hope for the animal’s population future. This knowledge has positive implications for other species, including humans.
Master of Cancer Sciences Student Showcase 2022
Join Associate Professor David Kok and be inspired by graduate academic excellence showcasing the latest cohort of Master of Cancer Sciences alumni and their cancer research projects.
Professor Robert Thomas OAM will explore the evolution of cancer care, and Deputy Chair of the VCCC Alliance, Professor Sanchia Aranda AM will present on the many career prospects of cancer health care professionals.
Awards for best monograph, best presentation and the inaugural Bob Thomas Award for Dux will be presented.
Wednesday 6 April 2022
Breast Cancer Grand Round with Dr Camille Short, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences and Melbourne School of Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne.
Join behavioural scientist and Senior Research Fellow, Dr Camille Short, for an overview of her innovative intervention studies focused on supporting breast cancer patients to adopt and maintain regular exercise.
Digital health interventions delivered via apps, websites and wearable sensors have the potential to improve the scale and scope of exercise oncology services in Australia. However, innovative research is needed to embed tailored exercise prescription and supervision options into digital models of care, and to encourage sustained participation in the prescribed exercises. This will require multi-disciplinary input, drawing on evidence and theory from both exercise and behavioural science and the lived experience of cancer survivors.
Monday 4 April 2022
Monday Lunch Live with Yvonne Panek-Hudson and Sharon de Graves.
Join Yvonne Panek-Hudson (Associate Director of Nursing, Haematology and Medical Oncology
Lead, Haematology, Late Effects and Paediatric Specialist Nurse, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre) and Dr Sharon de Graves (Program Manager, Nurse-led Research, VCCC Alliance) along with nurses from the VCCC Alliance, for a captivating insight into the breadth and complexity of what cancer nurses do.
Complex care coordination in a nurse led clinic
Paula Swannock, Cancer Nurse Coordinator, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne
Joshua Hart, Nurse Unit Manager -Radiotherapy, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Day Oncology Nursing
Louise Roberts, Acting ANUM-Day Oncology, Western Health
Wednesday 30 March 2022
Breast Cancer Education Series with Dr Wei Ling Ooi, Dr Jennie Gu, Dr Kate Rapson, Dr Nicole Taylor and Dr Maree Kekeff.
Recent advancements in sentinel node biopsy mean that many patients can avoid lymphoedema, a common side effect of axillary lymph node dissection (ALND). Surgical de-escalation has also proven to have equivalent oncological outcomes with reduced complications. Currently axillary radiotherapy is increasingly used as an alternative to ALND, however the increasing use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy adds further complexity.
Join an expert panel of surgeons from across Australia and New Zealand for a close look at axillary dissection and de-escalating axillary surgery after neoadjuvant chemotherapy, with opportunity for discussion.
This event was hosted in conjunction with the Breast Surgeons of Australia and New Zealand (BreastSurgANZ).
Monday 28 March 2022
Monday Lunch Live with Professor Clare Scott, Chair in Gynaecological Cancer at the University of Melbourne, Joint Division Head of Clinical Translation and a laboratory head at WEHI, medical oncologist at the Royal Melbourne and Royal Women’s Hospitals and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Learn about recent advancements in ovarian cancer research helping to match ovarian cancer patients with the right treatment for their cancer. Researchers have made a discovery that could help more Australian women with ovarian cancer gain access to game-changing treatments called PARP inhibitors.
A PARP inhibitor is a type of targeted cancer therapy that is effective in cancers that have acquired faults in the way they repair DNA, making them particularly sensitive to DNA-damaging drugs. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are well-known DNA repair genes that, when faulty, make cancer cells susceptible to PARP inhibitors.
Monday 21 March 2022
Monday Lunch Live with Leah Marhsall, Cancer Services Improvement Coordinator, Grampians Integrated Cancer Service (GICS), providing an overview on the improvements in care coordination, survivorship and supportive care for people in regional Victoria. This new quality improvement program is designed to formalise a post-treatment referral process in survivorship and supportive care to enable access to services closer to home.
Followed by a panel Q&A facilitated by Ian Collins, with Carmel O'Kane (Cancer Nurse Practitioner and Manager, Wimmera Cancer Centre), Jinu Andrews (Nurse Unit Manager, Ballarat Austin Radiology Oncology Centre) and Michelle BrayBrook (Clinical Trial Co-ordinator, BAROC).
Wednesday 9 March 2022
Breast Cancer Grand Round with Professor Erik Thompson
Join Professor Erik (Rik) Thompson, Translational Research Lead from Queensland University of Technology (QUT), exploring innovative new therapies available to reduce breast cancer risk. These ground-breaking therapies may also assist in early detection, as well as better treatment for patients already diagnosed with breast cancer.
Monday 7 March 2022
Monday Lunch Live with Dr Kuan-lin Huang.
Cancer is the leading cause of death in the adolescent and young adult (AYA) population. Due to the unique differences in tumours, AYA’s often require different treatment types to older patients.
A study led Dr Kuan-lin Huang and his team at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, compared the genomes of 14 different types of cancers that affected both AYA's and older adults. The results suggest that several genetic hallmarks may play key roles in identifying precise treatment options for AYA patients.
Wednesday 2 March 2022
Breast Cancer Education Series with Professor Christobel Saunders (Chair of Surgery, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Surgeon, The Royal Melbourne Hospital), Dr Jane Fox (Director of Breast Services, Monash Health), Professor Bruce Mann (VCCC Alliance Research & Education Lead – Breast Cancer, Breast Surgeon, The Women’s, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Director Breast Tumour Stream, Peter Mac) and Professor Farshad Foroudi (Director of Radiation Oncology, Austin Health)
Presenting your patient at a multidisciplinary meeting (MDM) is standard of care when they are first diagnosed with breast cancer and it is at the MDM where some of the most lively - and sometimes controversial - discussions arise as to what treatment approach to take. This is particularly the case for those complex patients and presentations where the type, extent or order of treatment is not always clear.
This webinar covers some tricky case presentations put to our expert panel comprising surgical, radiology and oncology know-how from the Austin, RMH, Monash Health, The Women's and Peter Mac.
Wednesday 23 February 2022
Breast Cancer Grand Round with Dr Elizabeth Mittendorf
Join international guest Dr Mittendorf, co-leader of the Breast Program for the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, for an educational lecture informing the use of immunotherapy in the treatment of patients with early-stage breast cancer.
Dr Mittendorf focuses her clinical and laboratory efforts on the study of breast cancer with a specific interest in immunotherapy. She has been the principal investigator on several trials investigating CD8+ T cell eliciting vaccines based on preclinical data generated in her laboratory. More recently she led the phase III IMpassion031 study that showed an increase in the pCR rate when the immunotherapeutic agent Atezolizumab was given in the preoperative setting for triple negative breast cancer patients. Her current laboratory work is investigating the impact of standard and experimental therapies on immunologic aspects of the tumour microenvironment.
Monday 21 February 2022
Monday Lunch Live with Professor Brian Abbey, La Trobe Institute for Molecular Sciences, and Associate Professor Belinda Parker, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Professor Brian Abbey and Associate Professor Belinda Parker's team have been trialling a new alternative technology for cancer detection - NanoMslide: a cutting-edge nanotechnology to transform the humble microscope slide into a potential new tool for cancer diagnosis.
Accurate staging of very early-stage breast cancer can be challenging because abnormal cells may be morphologically similar to healthy cells. Having recently completed the first proof-of-concept study, the team are now working towards larger scale studies as well as testing their technology with a range of different types of tissues and diseases.
Wednesday 9 February 2022
Breast Cancer Grand Round with Dr Ciara Metcalfe
Join Dr Ciara Metcalfe, Principal Scientist at biotechnology company Genentech, for an exciting presentation on the key learnings from three generations of estrogen receptor (ER) clinical candidates, and the future of this area.
Monday 14 February 2022
Monday Lunch Live with Dr Noushin Nasiri
Join Head of the NanoTech Laboratory at Macquarie University for an informative look at SunWatch, a personalised technology platform to measure sun exposure. This innovation has the potential to save lives and dramatically reduce treatment costs for melanoma and other skin cancers.
A special Monday Lunch Live event with VACCHO to discuss the World Cancer Day theme - February 7, 2022
In 2022, the Union for International Cancer Control began a new three-year 'Close the Care Gap' campaign designed to raise awareness about the numerous barriers that exist for people around the world in accessing the cancer care they need.
In this special online event, Prof Sanchia Aranda, past president of the UICC and Deputy Chair VCCC Alliance and Dr Kalinda Griffiths, new VCCC Alliance Research and Education Lead for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health led an important discussion.
Additionally, the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) launched the Menzies Desktop Review of the cancer care system.
Monday 6 December 2021
Monday Lunch Live with Professor Vanessa Tyrrell, Co-Head of the Personalised Medicine Theme, and Program Leader of the Zero Childhood Cancer National Precision Medicine Program at Children’s Cancer Institute.
Every year in Australia, more than 1000 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer - more than any other disease. Sadly, many survivors of childhood cancer suffer serious side effects, sometimes for the rest of their lives.
ZERO is Australia’s first-ever personalised medicine program for children and adolescents with high risk cancers. It is a joint initiative of the Children’s Cancer Institute, and the Kids Cancer Centre, Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick. This presentation reviews the data from previous cohorts of children with aggressive cancers and the future direction of the program. It will cover the programs long term vision to revolutionise the children's model of care and provide more effective treatment options, resulting in better outcomes for all.
VCCC Alliance Consumer Engagement Forum 2021 - Consumer Advocacy: An Untapped Resource
Friday 3 December 2021
In 21st century Australian healthcare, consumer advocacy is increasingly regarded as an effective stimulus for improving our health system, influencing research priorities, and ensuring better, safer patient care for all.
Researchers, clinicians, consumers and those who work with them are invited to join our annual Consumer Engagement Forum on 3 December 2021 to learn about the potential for consumer advocacy, why research funding will continue to be conditional on consumer involvement, and how effective consumer partnerships are shifting the paradigm – revealing exciting opportunities – in both cancer research and education. Hosted by VCCC Alliance Cancer Consumer Advisory Committee.
Wednesday 1 December 2021
Breast Cancer Grand Round with Professor Otto Metzger, Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School.
Professor Metzger discusses his interest in invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC), the second most common type of breast cancer in the US, that affects more than 180,000 American women per year.
This special presentation reviews ILC's unique biological features and the challenges in the translation of research findings into clinical practice.
Thursday 2 December 2021
Reading Clinical Studies with Associate Professor Nathan Cherny.
Taking off the rose-coloured glasses - and the peril if we don't.
The generalisability and veracity of research findings from clinical studies can be undermined by issues in design, implementation, and analysis. Join Associate Professor Nathan Cherny, visiting from Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, for a structured, rational and guideline-driven approach to the interpretation of clinical trial results.
The presentation highlights the perils of not using this approach in terms of scientific, societal, and reputational harms. This presentation is followed by a panel discussion, chaired by Grant McArthur with Professor Cherny, Professor Eva Segelov and Dr HuiLi Wong
Monday 15 November 2021
Monday Lunch Live with Professor Karin Thursky, Associate Director of Health Services Research and Implementation Sciences at Peter MacCallum Cancer Hospital.
Join Professor Thursky in an informative presentation of the design and implementation of clinical pathways for the management of sepsis and neutropenic fever in both adult and paediatric cancer patients, including implementation strategies and the important roles that nurses play in patient care.