Explore educational content from VCCC Alliance lectures, symposia and conferences to be informed of the latest developments.
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.
Monday 23 August 2021
Monday Lunch Live with Dr Laura Forrest, Senior Research Fellow and Lead Researcher at the Psychosocial Cancer Genetics Research Group at the Parkville Familial Cancer Centre.
Join Dr Laura Forrest for a presentation on the psychosocial needs of adolescents and young adults (AYA) with inherited cancer syndromes.
Adolescence and young adulthood are major developmental life stages characterised by identity exploration, formation of relationships, childbearing, and career development. AYAs with an inherited cancer syndrome have increased cancer risks compared to their peers, and require youth-friendly health services that support physical, cognitive, emotional, and social transition into adulthood.
In this presentation, Dr Forrest will review her studies on the psychosocial implications that a diagnosis of an inherited cancer syndrome has for AYAs, and will discuss the benefits of the Parkville Familial Cancer Centre program that specialises in age-appropriate care for this cohort.
Monday 16 August 2021
Monday Lunch Live with Professor Mark Rosenthal, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and Joseph Lukaitis, Chairman Picchi Brothers Foundation.
The 2021 winners of the Picchi Awards for Cancer Research present their award-winning research in the areas of population health, clinical and basic science, explaining their focus and future direction.
The awards, supported by the Picchi Brothers Foundation, are presented to PhD students who are undertaking cancer-related research training with a VCCC Alliance member.
Wednesday 11 August 2021
Breast Cancer Grand Round with Professor Grant McArthur.
Supported by a $27 million investment from the Victorian Government, the new VCCC Alliance Strategic Program Plan 2021-24, sets out a roadmap of integrated, innovative and ambitious programs that tackle the complexities of this challenge.
Hear from Professor Grant McArthur, Executive Director of the VCCC Alliance, who will delve into the plan and find out what expanded programs such as Data Linkage and new ones including Value-based Health Care, could mean for research, clinical trials, education and improving outcomes for patients with breast cancer.
Monday 9 August 2021
Monday Lunch Live with Professor Michael Hofman, Nuclear Medicine Physician at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Professor Michael Hofman presents findings and outcomes from the Lancet (2020) published and ACTA (2021) award-winning proPSMA study in which 300 men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer participated.
Each participant had a whole-body 3D scan using a radioactive substance that detects a molecule called prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), which is readily found on the surface of prostate cancer cells. This was then followed by a PET/CT scan that produced detailed images of the cancer spread. The trial team found that PSMA PET/CT had an accuracy of 92% compared to 65% accuracy achieved with conventional imaging.
Monday 2 August 2021
Monday Lunch Live with Professor Dorothy Keefe, CEO Cancer Australia, Dr Vivienne Milch, Medical Director, Cancer Australia and Professor Eva Segelov, Professor and Director of Oncology, Monash Health and Monash University.
In an Australian first, Monash Health and Cancer Australia have established an important clinical study, SerOzNET, that will help build vital global evidence about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines in people with all cancers.
Principal Investigator of the study, Professor Eva Segelov, is be joined by Professor Dorothy Keefe, and Dr Vivienne Milch to discuss how the SerOzNET study is providing vital insights into how patients with different types of cancers, including blood cancers, respond to the vaccines and the impact of timing of the vaccine for patients on cancer treatment.
Monday 26 July 2021
Monday Lunch Live with Professor Desmond Yip, Clinical Director, Department of Medical Oncology at The Canberra Hospital and Dr Andrew Soma, Oncology Registrar, National Referral Hospital, Honiara and VCCC Master of Cancer Sciences student.
This presentation outlines the work of Professor Desmond Yip and a team from The Canberra Hospital in scoping cancer services, providing initial equipment, mentoring, training and upskilling medical, nursing and pharmacy staff to support and develop this unit to provide cancer care to the people of this island nation.
Dr Andrew Soma is on the ground at the National Referral Hospital working to establish Solomon Island's first oncology unit.
Wednesday 21 July 2021
Breast Cancer Education Series with Dr Belinda Yeo.
Presenting a patient case at a multidisciplinary meeting (MDM) is a standard procedure in a new diagnosis. Often controversial discussions arise with differing treatment approaches. This is common in complex cases where the cancer type, extent or order of treatment is not clear..
VCCC Research & Education Leads, Dr Belinda Yeo and Professor Bruce Mann, and a multidisciplinary panel of experts who navigate participants through real life case presentations of tricky cases in breast cancer.
Monday 19 July 2021
Monday Lunch Live with Professor Gail Garvey, Menzies School of Health, John Willis, Group Manager Inclusive Health at St Vincent's Health and Darlene Dreise, Torres Strait Islander woman and Chair of the Reconciliation Action Plan Steering Committee for St Vincent’s Health Australia.
The trio discuss the importance of improving cancer care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people followed by live Q&A discussion.
Every day around five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are diagnosed with cancer. Indigenous Australians have a slightly higher rate of cancer diagnosis and are approximately 40 per cent more likely to die from cancer than non-Indigenous Australians.
Wednesday 14 July 2021
Breast Cancer Grand Round with Professor Robin Anderson.
Hear from the Head of the Translational Breast Cancer Program at Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute who will present studies aimed at understanding how the BMP4 gene acts to suppress metastasis in breast cancer.
Professor Anderson presents her recent studies that are aimed at developing new therapies that activate the same signalling pathways as BMP4. Her research identifies genes that regulate the process of metastasis and develop new therapies that can effectively control metastatic disease.
Monday 12 July 2021
Monday Lunch Live with Professor Simon Harrison, Associate Professor Dominic Wall and Dr Gretchen Poortinga.
Hear from the team at the Centre of Excellence in Cellular Immunotherapy who will provide an update on the current program of activities including the rollout of a unique rapid pilot clinical trial program for CAR-T and other novel cellular immunotherapies.
The Centre of Excellence in Cellular Immunotherapy (CoE CIT) was developed to deliver globally competitive breakthroughs in chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies (CAR-T) and other cell-based immunotherapies for cancer. In doing so, it facilitates early and affordable access to practice-changing therapies in Australia and the wider Asia-Pacific region.
Monday 5 July 2021
Monday Lunch Live with Professor Jill Francis and Associate Professor Niall Corcoran.
Delivery of low-value care is a problem across all health systems. The body of knowledge in implementation science includes methods and frameworks for investigating and addressing this problem.
Together Jill and Niall present examples of implementation science frameworks and how their application is exemplified through the challenges associated with the de-escalation of prostate cancer therapies. These methods are transferable to addressing low-value care in other clinical contexts.
Wednesday 30 June 2021
Breast Cancer Grand Round with Dr Alexandra Murphy.
Hear from Dr Murphy, a Cardiologist at Austin Hospital in the Cardio-Hematology Clinic where she manages patients with cardiac issues who have cancer
Heart disease and cancer are the two leading causes of death in the developed world. There are numerous common risk factors, and many patients are living with both conditions. Due to advancements in modern cancer therapy, we are now seeing higher rates of survival and the conversion of terminal illness into chronic disease. As a result, cardiovascular disease has become a leading cause of death in cancer survivors.