Prof Jennifer Philip
University of Melbourne
2022 - 2024
What is the project?
The Community Supportive Care Trials (COMET) Program will provide new access to cancer trials and to supportive care for people with cancer who currently miss out on these opportunities.
The COMET Program will build a community palliative care workforce with clinical trial capacity by providing mentorship to clinicians and community palliative care teams.
Throughout the program trials will be adapted to ensure they are relevant and readily delivered to people at home including via telehealth.
"Everyone, at any phase of their cancer care deserves access to the best treatment based on the most up to date research. Clinical trials are a key part of ensuring this access to best care is available across the whole cancer experience."
What is the need?
Currently there are a large number of people living with a cancer diagnosis who are cared for by community palliative care services. Many of these people are missing out on participating in clinical trials because of their age, having other illnesses or find it difficult to travel for frequent appointments at treatment centres. However, if given the opportunity, many people in this setting are very interested in being involved with clinical trials.
Many people living with cancer have significant needs for symptom relief and supportive care. However, for many of the problems they encounter, such as pain, nausea and fatigue, there is limited research to underpin how best care should be provided.
The COMET Program will ensure that trials are designed and delivered appropriately to enable people at home with cancer and their families to participate. This will address two important gaps; equitable access to clinical trials and evidence to inform best care.
Community palliative care sector receive training in clinical trials delivery and supportive care trials open to community dwelling people with cancer.
Community dwelling people with cancer are enrolled in clinical trials and regional community palliative care services become engaged with COMET program.
Development of targeted consumer facing information regarding trials and delivery of annual concept development workshops.
The Cancer Trials Management Scheme is funded by Cancer Council Victoria and the Victorian Government through the Victorian Cancer Agency.