The Clinical Network administers the Cancer Trials Management Scheme. It's been in operation since 1988 and retrospectively awards funding to hospitals coordinating clinical trials.
Over this time Cancer Council Victoria has provided nearly $20 million to support clinical trials research in Victoria. Currently 45 clinical trials sites (hospitals) across Victoria receive support. The purpose of this funding is to grow clinical trial capacity by financially supporting clinical trial sites.
In return for this funding, sites submit comprehensive data on types of trials, recruitment figures and full time equivalent employees (FTE) working in clinical trials research. This is the only comprehensive collection of such data undertaken annually in Victoria.
Currently the CTMS only funds treatment intervention trials. These are trials relating to radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery.
Read about 25 years of the CTMS - Victorian clinical trial activity 1988-2013
After a review of the CTMS in 2015, four competitive grants have been awarded to support initiatives to improve patient access to clinical trials. We acknowledge the support of the Victorian Cancer Agency in funding the one of the grants ($630K) over the three years. In its new form, we will continue to provide some financial support to 45 clinical trial sites across Victoria to assist the data management associated with running investigator led clinical trials.
The four funded grants are as follows:
"Equitable, convenient and efficient access to novel cancer therapies for all Victorians: A Phase 1 outreach program"
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre - Medical Oncology, Dr Jayesh Desai
This proposal will implement initiatives aimed at improving access to Phase 1 cancer clinical trials for metropolitan patients, rural patients and patients from private hospitals in Victoria. This is important because new cancer drug (Phase 1) trials are largely restricted to larger academic cancer hospitals, with many patients currently unable to access these trials.
"Victorian Regional Cancer Clinical Trial Network (VRCCTN)"
Border Medical Oncology Research Unit, Dr Craig Underhill
This proposal will establish a trials network to connect the entire Victorian regional cancer community. It will streamline clinical trial processes and improve regional patient's access to high quality cancer clinical trials.
"Accessing Cancer Clinical Trials for People of the West"
Western Health, Professor Michael Green
This project will centre on expanding their internal capabilities and building linkages with other organisations to maximise the number and types of trials their patients can access including patients from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
"Equity of access to state of the art clinical trials for every patient"
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre - Radiation Oncology, Professor Michael MacManus
This proposal will focus on improving the state-wide patient accessibility to world-class radiation oncology cancer clinical trials, by using a hub and spoke model, collaborating with partner health services. The improved infrastructure will give more patients the opportunity to participate in clinical trials in suburban and regional cancer centres.
Adolescent and young adult recruitment into oncology clinical trials in Victoria
AYA cancer patients have poorer survival outcomes in comparison to other age cohorts for a number of cancers. With clinical trials significantly contributing to our understanding of disease states and the method by which new treatments ultimately become available for patients, it is prudent to examine AYA clinical trial participation due to these considerations. In recent years the Clinical Network has collected data to estimate the state-wide rate of AYA participation in oncology clinical trials in Victoria, and identify any important trends.