Clinical trials project set to expand

A CLINICAL trials project led by the Border Medical Oncology Research Unit has received a $18.6 million boost to improve access for rural and regional cancer patients.

The Regional Trials Network – Victoria has been granted the funding over five years as part of the Federal Government’s Medical Research Future Fund.

The project involves eight clinical research sites in regional Victoria, and partners with metropolitan specialists and academics to deliver a number of projects specific to regional and rural health care needs.

Albury Wodonga Health Director of Cancer Services, Dr Craig Underhill, said the program would cover a population of about 1.7 million people in regional Victoria, including patients of the Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre.

“The funding will result in more cancer clinical trials in regional Victoria resulting in improved health outcomes for regional Australians, and bridging the metro-regional trials gap by 2025,” he said.

“The Regional Trials Network – Victoria while focused on cancer, could be scaled up to support non-cancer trials as well.

“This is a game changer for regional cancer patients and their carer givers.”

The ReViTALISE program that was the subject of the funding will extend the clinical trials network to another two sites in Mildura and La Trobe.

The project aims to focus on areas of need including geriatric oncology, palliative and supportive care, registry trials, immunotherapy, Indigenous access and health economics.

The project to expand the Regional Trials Network is proudly supported by the Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre Trust Fund, which provided $7000 as part of the grant application process.