The objective of the VCCC Clinical and Research Programs is to create a world-class centre of excellence in cancer research and to facilitate translation research findings into clinical practice. Both the Comprehensive Cancer Centre model and co-location within research precincts facilitate multi-disciplinary collaborations that have been shown to drive highly cited research, which can be directly linked to impact through societal benefits.
The VCCC has been working to facilitate new multi-disciplinary, multi-site grant applications. A recent success is the ACRF Grant ($2m) for clinical proteomics led by Professor Paul Waring with colleagues from VCCC member organisations and facilitated by Dr Meredith Layton.
A specific strategy for growing research income will be to build on areas of current research strength, in particular the tumours streams that have already demonstrated research excellence,, and to grow disciplines that could attractmore research income (eg. psycho-oncology, health services research, health economics). In addition, specific focus will be given to growing philanthropic support for the cancer program and to industry engagement.
Personalised Medicine Program
Personalised medicine is a medical model in which healthcare ( medical decisions, practices, and/or products) are tailored to the individual patient. The VCCC Personalised Medicine Program sits under the VCCC Research Program and is chaired by Prof. Grant McArthur.
Molecular Tumour Board
This monthly multi-disciplinary meeting provides a forum for clinicians and scientists to examine and discuss patients’ genomic test results, and how these results may influence clinical care. In addition to promoting best clinical practice, the MTB provides a valuable opportunity for clinicians and scientists to work together to rigourously test the clinical utility of new genomic technologies. The Whole Exome Sequencing project was seed funded by the VCCC to compare whole exome versus targeted sequencing for clinical decision making.
The VCCC Personalised Medicine Program has also seed funded collaborative projects focused on translation of personalised medicine research. The Australian Ovarian Cancer Assortment Trial (ALLOCATE) is developing Next Generation Sequencing assays of a gene panel that is clinically relevant to ovarian cancer to allocate patients to clinical trials from which they will derive maximum benefit.