Collaborative Platform 2: Improving cancer outcomes through innovative research

Collaborative Platform 2: Improving cancer outcomes through innovative research 2019-07-10T16:35:13+00:00

MPCCC Precision Oncology Program

September 2018 – September 2020

Research breakthroughs, particularly in genomics, are opening up exciting new pathways for personalised cancer treatment, including targeted therapies, immunotherapies or referral to appropriate clinical trials, that offer new hope for vastly improved outcomes for cancer patients. These breakthroughs are establishing a new paradigm in cancer management, Precision Oncology.

To enable cancer patients across south-eastern Melbourne to access more equitably the latest technologies involving extended genomic tumour profiling and discussion of their genome profiling along with other clinical test results at multidisciplinary molecular tumour board meetings (MTB’s), the MPCCC identified a need to work collaboratively across MPCCC partner organisations to establish a network of precision oncology molecular tumour board meetings.

Program Overview

This pilot program aims to establish a network of Precision Oncology Molecular Tumour Board (MTB) meetings, in order to provide an integrated, comprehensive and co-ordinated multidisciplinary platform for clinicians to apply precision medicine in a manner that supports excellence and innovation in patient care.

Extensive consultation with internal and external stakeholders preceded the implementation of the MPCCC’s pilot tumour board scheme, which involves a network of tumour stream-specific boards, and utilises video-conferencing technology to encourage cross-site participation.

Whilst the establishment of Molecular Tumour Board meetings across MPCCC affiliate sites is the primary aim of the precision oncology program, capacity and capability mapping has identified gaps that need to be addressed, including;

  • Workforce development and education around precision oncology, particularly in molecular pathology and haematology/oncology
  • The need for extensive capacity and capability mapping across geographically disparate MPCCC-affiliate sites
  • Mapping current molecular pathology ‘standard of care’ testing across public and private services, as well as comprehensive tumour molecular profiling activities (generally conducted using next generation DNA sequencing (NGS) technologies)
  • The need for effective communications across MPCCC affiliate sites
  • Understanding and application of compliance and regulatory standards, including NATA accreditation of new clinical tests involving NGS and the need for RCPA-accredited molecular pathologists to interpret findings of NGS-based tests.

Regular seminars are held across partners under MPCCC Precision Oncology Seminar Series, which facilitates cross-disciplinary education and knowledge sharing.

See here for details of the Project Team and Steering Committee.

For more information please contact Vikki Marshall at