Evaluation of Cancer Outcomes (ECO) project

Lead researcher

Professor Graham Giles, Helen Farrugia

Years funded

Victorian Cancer Outcomes Network (VCON) a clinical data collection scheme for cancer patients treated in Victoria

Victorian Cancer Outcomes Network (VCON) is helping to lead research efforts to discover more about cancer, through the Evaluation of Cancer Outcomes (ECO) project being conducted in partnership with the Barwon South Western Regional Integrated Cancer Service (BSWRICS).

This revolutionary project involves the collection of clinical cancer data across the entire BSWRICS region for all cancers and from all available medical repositories and sources. The project will provide, for the first time, the ability to report on first line clinical treatment and outcomes as well as any recurrences, to support current incidence and surveillance data that the Victorian Cancer Registry (VCR) publishes.

It will also enable a model for clinical data collection to be created and eventually rolled out across the State. Outcomes will also influence discussions around the collection of tumour speciality datasets essential for clinical management. The model of data collection will apply not only to cancer, but also to other disease specialities.

The BSWRICS catchment area can be viewed as a microcosm of Victorian cancer healthcare provision. It features one densely populated urban area with a comprehensive cancer treatment facility, and a large rural region with smaller health services delivering varying levels and modalities of cancer care.

Two thirds of the 330,000 population are in the urban area of Geelong and the proximities of Bellarine Peninsula and Surf Coast. Seven percent of all cancer diagnosed in Victoria occurs in individuals resident in BSWRICS. The care of cancer patients relies heavily on the collection and management of information for the patient's medical record and on effective communication between health professionals and services.

Recent Federal and State initiatives in cancer have identified collection of clinical cancer data as a major unmet need. BSWRICS and the Cancer Council Victoria (CCV) which hosts the VCR recognise the need to collect accurate cancer information and to use this to inform cancer treatment, service development and research, with the aim of improving survival and quality of life outcomes for cancer patients.

The collection of this data will permit the rigorous evaluation of regional differences in cancer outcomes, particularly survival. This project is being funded by the Department of Human Services through the Cancer Council Victoria. For more information on the VCON ECO project, please contact Dr Meng Tuck Mok, VCON Project Manager, Cancer Council Victoria on (03) 9635 5159 or email mengtuck.mok@cancervic.org.au, or Ms. Linda Batson, ECO Project Manager, BSWRICS on Tel (03) 5260 3152 or email lindabat@barwonhealth.org.au.


Professor David Hill, Professor Richard Bell, Dr Ray Snyder, Dr Adam Broad, Ms Karen Kelly

Funding Body

Department of Human Services