Explore educational content from VCCC Alliance lectures, symposia and conferences to be informed of the latest developments.
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. ZERO makes use of cutting-edge technologies to understand the unique characteristics of each patient’s cancer, and uses the latest science to examine the molecules inside the cells to look for the cause of the cancer, and the best treatment methods.
ZERO 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.
Wednesday 17 November 2021
Colorectal Cancer Research Showcase, convened by Professor Peter Gibbs, VCCC Alliance Research & Education Lead - Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer
This session highlights cutting edge research in cancer biology, molecular characterisation, the latest in prognostic and predictive markers, through to supportive care, happening across the VCCC Alliance member sites.
Across the VCCC Alliance there is a broad spectrum of innovative research underway, from preclinical studies through to the management of advanced stage disease.
Wednesday 17 November 2021
Breast Cancer Grand Round with Dr Claire Phillips
Join the Acting Director of Radiation Oncology at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, for an informative overview of the current approach in brain metastases, with emphasis on local therapies including Gamma Knife, and pre and post-operative radiosurgery.
Monday 15 November 2021
Monday Lunch Live with Andrew Smith (Head, Support Services, Leukaemia Foundation), Dr Nienke Zomerdijk (Postdoctoral Research Fellow Psycho-Oncology, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences & VCCC Alliance), Priscilla Gates (PhD Candidate, University of Melbourne and Bone Marrow Transplant/Survivorship Clinical Nurse Consultant, Austin Health) and Tim Eggleston (Consumer Representative, Leukaemia Foundation)
This special panel discussion delves into the lived experience of a stem cell transplant patient.
People living with blood cancer can now expect a longer life thanks to stem cell transplantation. However, treatment can be gruelling and last several weeks with a range of debilitating side effects.
While some stem cell transplant patients recover with a renewed sense of life, others experience negative impacts on their health, functioning, sense of security, well-being, and relationships. It is not surprising that transplant patients experience considerable psychological distress which can affect every aspect of life.
After completion of treatment, the intensive support and observation provided by a transplant team can suddenly evaporate and can lead to a patient feeling alone or abandoned.
Panellists focus on research into the psychosocial impact of a stem cell transplant, survivorship and what support is available.
Wednesday 10 November 2021
Breast Cancer Education Series with Associate Professor Yoland Antill, Medical Oncologist, Cabrini, Peninsula Health, Melbourne Health and Adjunct Associate Professor, Monash University, and Professor Martha Hickey, Chair, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Royal Women's Hospital.
Menopause is a common side effect of endocrine therapy and drugs such as tamoxifen can supress ovary function in premenopausal women. Having a confident grasp on identifying side effects and strategies for management are important for all clinicians across the multidisciplinary breast cancer spectrum.
Associate Professor Yoland Antill and Professor Martha Hickey review the impact and management of a diagnosis and how it affects menopause, with real case presentations.
Monday 8 November 2021
Monday Lunch Live with Liz Ham, Health Promotion Manager from the Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation (ACCF), Laura Philpott (Program Coordinator, Hedland Well Women’s Centre, WA), and Christine Walters, cervical cancer survivor.
Watch this special presentation on the impact of a cervical cancer diagnosis, and the inequities that exist in ensuring access to preventative measures.
It is estimated that there will be 913 cases of cervical cancer diagnosed in Australia in 2021. The risk of a woman being diagnosed by age 85 is 1 in 162. Indigenous women are 2.5 times as likely to develop cervical cancer, and 3.5 times as likely to die from cervical cancer than non-Indigenous Australian women.
This presentation provides information about the steps being taken to increase screening and vaccination rates, and the support available for those living with cervical cancer through the ACCF.
Monday 25 October 2021
Monday Lunch Live with Professor Sean Grimmond, Director of the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research, Head of Melbourne Medical School’s Department of Clinical Pathology, the Bertalli Chair in Cancer Medicine, co-chair of the VCCC Precision Oncology program and leads the UMCCRs Cancers of Low Survival & Unmet Need Initiative (COLUMN).
Over the last decade, genomics has revolutionised our ability to discern the root-cause of malignant cancer and identify its potential therapeutic vulnerabilities, resulting in groundbreaking treatments to fight cancer.
Professor Grimmond reviews how the latest international cancer efforts have provided new foundations for improved cancer-diagnostic tools and discusses how these comprehensive whole genome diagnostic approaches are being tested in challenging cancer cases, with opportunity for discussion.
Thursday 21 October 2021
Join Dr Vijaya Joshi, Health Equity Manager, VCCC Alliance for an informative workshop hosted by the VCCC Alliance Nurse-led Research Hub that draws on research expertise across a variety of settings to examine and explore critical considerations when conducting research with people from diverse populations.
Representatives discuss approaches, experiences and challenges for a variety of populations including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, paediatrics, adolescents and young adults (AYA), mental health, LGBTIQ+ and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) populations. Key discussion points include:
Monday 11 October 2021
Monday Lunch Live with Professor Dorota Gertig, Medical Director of Population Health Solutions and the National Cancer Screening Register at Telstra Health and John Lee, Head of Engagement and Communications for the National Cancer Screening Register at Telstra Health.
Join an expert team from Telstra Health, to hear about the implementation, key functions and benefits of the National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR), and how it facilitates cancer screening for health care providers and participants.
The NCSR is a national digital platform that connects data across the health care system including laboratories, government digital infrastructure and clinical management systems. It supports the Australian Government's National Cervical and Bowel Cancer Screening programs.
Wednesday 6 October 2021
Breast Cancer Grand Round with Professor Sherene Loi, Head of Translational Breast Cancer Genomics and Therapeutics Laboratory at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Patients with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) typically have a poor prognosis, reflecting high recurrence rates and treatment refractoriness. Recent advances in breast cancer immunology research have yielded potential new therapeutic strategies for this setting.
Join Professor Sherene Lo for a presentation on the recent advances in breast cancer immunology research. Professor Loi shares her findings from the latest major trials of immune-targeting agents in early-stage TNBC.
Monday 27 September 2021
Monday Lunch Live with Professor Sharon Lewin Infectious disease expert and inaugural Director, Doherty Institute, Dr Mohamed Fareh Senior Research Fellow, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Dr Wei Zhao Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Doherty Institute.
Victorian researchers have embarked on groundbreaking research to potentially stop COVID-19 from replicating in infected human cells using advancements in gene editing. This is a major step towards treatment for COVID-19 and its variants. Join Professor Sharon Lewin, Dr Mohamed Fareh and Dr Wei Zhao for front-row insights into fighting novel viruses into the future.
In this presentation hear how CRISPR-Cas13 provides a molecular blueprint of anti-viral therapeutics that could prevent or treat SARS-CoV2 or other new RNA viruses that may emerge in the future.
Wednesday 22 September 2021
Breast Cancer Grand Round with Associate Professor Samantha Oakes.
Join the Director of Research Investment at the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), who will provide an overview of her journey leading to her appointment at NBCF, her vision for the future of breast cancer, and research and funding opportunities currently available.
Monday 20 September 2021
Monday Lunch Live with Dr Ruwan Tennakoon, Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence at RMIT University.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and computer vision are gaining popularity as decision support tools for cancer diagnosis and intervention. As a result, they have opened up innovative opportunities in the early detection of cancer.
Dr Ruwan Tennakoon discusses his latest work on developing an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool for incidental detection of prostate cancer with computed tomography (CT) scans.
Dr Tennakoon’s AI system is capable of analysing CT scans of asymptomatic patients who had a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis for another reason resulting in detection of prostate cancer. The work done in collaboration with St Vincent’s Hospital shows promise in early detection of prostate cancer and has significant implications for future incidental screening for other cancers.
Monday 13 September 2021
Monday Lunch Live Global Health special with Professor Robyn Woodward-Kron and Professor David Story.
Professor of Healthcare Communication, Robyn Woodward-Kron, and Foundation Chair of Anaesthesia, David Story at Melbourne Medical School report on a program of research and development aiming to improve participation of migrant and refugee people in clinical trials.
To address language and cultural barriers in participation, Professor Woodward-Kron and Story’s team has developed short in-language videos about clinical trials using captioning and simple language to promote understanding. They outline a methodology for researchers to raise awareness about clinical trials as well as develop in-language information about clinical trials using digital tools.
Wednesday 8 September 2021
Breast Cancer Education Series with Professor Bruce Mann and Dr Belinda Yeo.
Join for a multidisciplinary discussion on the hot topics in breast reconstruction, including what shapes the approach to breast reconstruction, and the good, bad and ugly side of fat grafting.
Dr Dean Trotter
Head, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Unit, The Women’s
Dr Vendela Grufman
Plastic Surgeon, The Women’s
Reconstructive Surgeon, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Monash Health and Cabrini
Reconstructive Surgeon, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, The Alfred and Epworth
Dr Belinda Yeo
Medical Oncologist, Austin Health
VCCC Alliance Research & Education Lead – breast cancer
Professor Bruce Mann
Director, Breast Cancer Services, The Royal Melbourne Hospital and The Women’s
VCCC Alliance Research & Education Lead – breast cancer
Wednesday 8 September 2021
Breast Cancer Grand Round with Associate Professor Kylie Gorringe.
Breast cancer develops in an evolutionary process through a series of pre-invasive intermediates. Genetic events accompany many of these stages, but what about when a breast ductal lesion becomes invasive? Join Associate Professor Kylie Gorringe who will answer the question: is this a genetic process, and could we use paired pre-and post-invasive samples to find better biomarkers of cancer risk?
Tuesday 7 September 2021
The Victorian COVID-19 Cancer Network (VCCN) Cancer Nursing Report with Suzanne Bartlett, Chair of the VCCN Oncology Nursing Expert Group.
The VCCN Oncology Nursing Expert Group, in collaboration with the Victorian Integrated Cancer Service (VICS), conducted a survey to understand the current capabilities of cancer services likely to be affected by the deferral of care that occurred during the pandemic.
Suzanne Bartlett, Chair of the VCCN Oncology Nursing Expert Group, presents this important data and discusses the workload burden on the nursing workforce due to the pandemic.
The report aims to inform contingency plans supporting affected service providers to manage the anticipated surge of patients requiring treatment, therefore reducing future strain on these services.
Sue provides an overview of data on the volume of undiagnosed cancers.
Monday 6 September 2021
Monday Lunch Live Global Health special with Dr Nikki Shelton, Dr Mei Ling Yap and Dr Iain Ward
Radiation oncologists in low to middle income Asia-Pacific countries have minimal local or international peer support. To address this, the International Atomic Energy Agency - Project RAS6096 - supported by the United Nations, started a monthly virtual tumour board to educate and support oncologists in this area.
Join radiation oncologists, Dr Nikki Shelton, Dr Mei Ling Yap and Dr Iain Ward, who together will summarise the evidence behind the need to expand radiotherapy services in low-and middle-income Asia-Pacific countries, while outlining the current challenges. They will also review their experience of the first 10 months of Project RAS6096.
Monday 30 August 2021
Monday Lunch Live with Associate Professor Shahneen Sandhu, medical oncologist and early-career researcher Peter MacCallum Centre.
Join for a presentation on the recently approved drug, Olaparib, an oral medication used to treat men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) and underlying DNA repair issues.
Alterations in DNA repair genes such as BRCA1/2 occur in about 20 percent of men with metastatic prostate cancer. Recent Phase III trials have shown the positive effects of the drug, Olaparib, and based on this data the drug has been approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Therapeutic Goods Administration Australia (TGA).
In this presentation Associate Professor Shahneen Sandhu reviews the DNA gene alterations in advanced prostate cancer that can be targeted with the drug, and discusses how these genetic alterations can be identified. She also highlights the implications and safety of the drug, with opportunity for discussion.
Wednesday 25 August 2021
Breast Cancer Grand Round with Associate Professor Carolyn Nickson and Dr Pietro Procopio.
Tools for risk assessment play a critical part in breast cancer screening. It is important to consider the structure, funding and guidelines of relevant health services, and how risk-based screening might impact different population groups over time.
Drawing from studies within their teams, Associate Professor Carolyn Nickson and Dr Pietro Procopio present an overview of clinical services related to risk-based breast screening. This presentation includes findings from the Australian life-pool cohort, and insights from modelling Australian populations and health services.
Tuesday 24 August 2021
Head and Neck Cancer Symposium Facilitated by Professor David Wiesenfield, VCCC Research and Education Lean and presented by Professor Clare Delany, Professor of Ethics at the University of Melbourne.
Seminar two will focuses on healthcare professionals working in a specialist cancer care setting where encountering tragic situations is inevitable.
Four approaches to supporting healthcare professionals to recognise and respond to moral distress are highlighted:
Each approach aims to acknowledge ethically complex situations and the emotionally intensive nature of cancer care. The first two approaches provide a structured approach to reflecting on these types of work experiences. The latter two use reflective approaches and may open up and unsettle beliefs about clinical, ethical and professional roles, ultimately leading to professional growth.