Latrobe Regional Hospital (LRH) is the first health service in Gippsland to open an oncology clinical trial, owing to the MPCCC’s Monash-Gippsland Tele-trials (MGTT) project collaboration.
“Participation in clinical trials is directly linked with better outcomes, but Gippsland patients have often missed out because participating means travelling long distances to a major metropolitan hospital,” said Dr Sachin Joshi, a Medical Oncologist from LRH and co-investigator for the MGTT project.
“Opening our first clinical trial at Latrobe Regional Hospital is a big deal! It represents a step towards improved equity and access in Victorian cancer services, because the barrier of distance is being removed,” Dr Joshi said.
DYNAMIC Rectal is the inaugural clinical trial now open at LRH. It is an investigator led trial, sponsored by the Australian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group (AGITG) and is also open at several other Australian sites, including Monash Health. It involves a simple blood diagnostic test and aims to determine which colorectal cancer patients will benefit from chemotherapy treatment post-surgery.
“It is a good trial to start with as it multidisciplinary, is not too complicated and it will explore LRH’s recently implemented clinical trial infrastructure,” said Professor Eva Segelov, chief investigator of the MGTT project and Professor and Director of Oncology at Monash Health and Monash University.
Working together, the MGTT project team has developed the infrastructure and workforce capacity required for LRH to function as both a primary site and tele-trials site in collaboration with Monash Health.
A trial-naïve site, LRH staff have now completed Monash Partners’ accredited Good Clinical Practice training, and have been guided by mentoring and administrative support from Monash Health’s highly experience oncology trials team, since February 2019.
In October, LRH appointed its first ever Clinical Trials Coordinator, Ms Joanne Parr. Ms Parr will work across Latrobe Regional Hospital and Monash Health, facilitating the exchange of patient data and expertise that will build capacity for future trials.
“I’m looking forward to working closely with the local community through this role, which will enhance our understanding of the cancer burden in Gippsland and inform our priorities for future oncology clinical trials,” Ms Parr said.
DYNAMIC Rectal is now recruiting patients and those interested in knowing more can contact Ms Parr on (03) 5173 8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The MGGT project has been made possible with funding from the Victorian Government and Gippsland Regional Integrated Cancer Service (GRICS), which were represented at the opening of DYNAMIC Rectal on Monday 14 October (pictured).