Monash-Gippsland Tele-trials Project 2020-03-31T12:20:11+00:00

Monash-Gippsland Tele-trials Project

Why are tele-trials important for cancer patients?

Clinical trials are a fundamental part of cancer research, potentially setting future standards of care. Participation in clinical trials is recommended as the best options for many cancer patients, and international analyses clearly associate trial participation with better outcomes for patients. Cancer patients who live in MPCCC’s neighbouring region of Gippsland currently need to travel long distances to access clinical trials, and some have significantly poorer outcomes than cancer patients in metropolitan Melbourne. The Monash-Gippsland Tele-trials (MGTT) Project addresses inequity in cancer management and outcomes for patients in rural and regional areas.

How are Monash Health and Latrobe Regional Hospital improving access to clinical trials in Gippsland?

Monash Health and Latrobe Regional Hospital began working together on this project in February 2019 to address these inequalities by improving access to clinical trials for patients in the Gippsland region through a tele-trials model and the establishment of Latrobe Regional Hospital as an independent trials site. The project will leverage the experience of Monash Health trials coordinators and oncologists to mentor clinical trials staff at Latrobe Regional Hospital in setting up a clinical trials facility, and recruiting and managing patients involved in oncology clinical trials. In October 2019, Latrobe Regional Hospital opened its first oncology clinical trial, DYNAMIC Rectal, which is now recruiting patients.

How will the MGTT Project benefit patients and clinicians in the Gippsland region?

The Monash-Gippsland Tele-trials Project will improve equity in cancer care by reducing barriers to clinical trials for patients in the Gippsland region. Additionally, collaboration and networking between rural/regional and metropolitan health service centres will be established through the project, delivering greater engagement in research activities and contributing to workforce development. This will drive improvements in evidence-based practice in clinical trials resulting from an increase in the rate of recruitment and participation of patients in clinical trials.

For more information about this project, contact James Kinder on james.kinder@monash.edu. See here for details of the project team and steering committee.