February 2019 – June 2020
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. Monash Health and Latrobe Regional Hospital have identified an opportunity to work together 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 Monash-Gippsland tele-trials project will leverage the experience of Monash Health trials coordinators and oncologists to mentor cilnical trials staff at Latrobe Regional Hospital in setting up a trials site, and recruiting and managing patients involved in trials.
In October 2019, Latrobe Regional Hospital opened its first oncology clinical trial, DYNAMIC Rectal. There are two other clinical trials currently being assessed for suitability to the new site.
A clinical trials coordinator has been appointed, who will coordinate trials between Monash Health and Latrobe Regional Hospital. Tele-medicine communications technologies will be used to facilitate data exchange and to encourage capacity building at Latrobe Regional Hospital leveraging the expertise of experience clinical trials staff at Monash Health.
Impact of the Project
The Monash-Gippsland Tele-trials Project will increase access to clinical trials for people in the Gippsland region and reduce the need for people with cancer to travel to large metropolitan centres in Melbourne to undertake trial-related visits and procedures. 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.
See here for full details of our Project Team and Steering Committee.
MPCCC acknowledges the support of the Victorian State Government.