March 2017

MPCCC Announces Recipients of the MPCCC Research Grant
Thanks to a funding partnership with Monash Partners and the Victorian Cancer Agency, MPCCC is pleased to announce that we will be supporting two very worthy research projects, with the award of the MPCCC Research Grant.

The MPCCC Research Grant was designed to encourage research collaboration across MPCCC sites and to aid in the delivery of the research objectives from the Victorian Cancer Plan 2016 – 2020. The grants have been awarded following a competitive and independently reviewed process. Continue reading »
SMICS Advances Optimal Cancer Care Pathways with the Help of Patients and Carers
The Southern Melbourne Integrated Cancer Service (SMICS) is taking a proactive approach to the implementation of Optimal Care Pathways (OCPs), by involving a focus group of patients and carers in the implementation process. Optimal Care Pathways (OCPs) are about improving the consistency and quality of cancer treatment and are central to the Victorian Cancer Plan 2016 – 2020. Read more »

New SMICS Dashboard Streamlines Reporting of ICS Audit Data
The Southern Melbourne Integrated Cancer Service (SMICS) has created a new dashboard, using MS Excel, to simplify and standardise the process of reporting Integrated Cancer Service (ICS) Cancer Service Performance Indicator (CSPI) results. The Victorian CSPI program was established to measure progress with the implementation of Victorian Government cancer reform policy, and promotes the timely collection, analysis and reporting of patient data across all ICS. Read more »

Expanding the Role of GP’s in Breast Cancer
In Australia, the General Practitioner’s (GP) primary role is currently in the detection of cancer, management of benign disease and symptom management in palliative care. But GPs could also play a key role in addressing the gap in the management of women’s pre-surgical work up, treatment planning, active treatment and treatment-related side effects, says Dr Alia Kaderbha, Chair of the breast medicine specific interest group for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP). Read more »

Combination of Ground-Breaking Treatments Offer Powerful New Path for Blood Cancer Therapies
Researchers at Monash University and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre have identified for the first time how a new class of epigenetic drug engages with the immune system to kill off cancer cells, offering powerful new pathways for enhanced blood cancer therapies. Read more »

Lung Cancer Patients to Benefit From Clinical Trials at Monash Health Translation Precinct
Monash Health lung cancer patients are set to benefit from the relocation of clinical trials to the state-of-the-art Clinical Trials Centre at the Monash Health Translation Precinct (MHTP) in Clayton. Monash Health receives over 250 new referrals of lung cancer each year, one of the highest patient loads in Victoria. Read more »

Monash Oncologist Leads Shared Care Model to Benefit Gippsland Cancer Patients
Cancer survivors in Gippsland will have access to better post-hospital care as part of a partnership with GPs and oncologists. A new model of care has been developed in Gippsland to assist patients through their cancer journey. The Gippsland Cancer Survivorship Project will ensure patients receive continued support from their GP, their cancer nurse and oncology specialist by using a shared-care model approach. Read more »

Monash Health Acknowledged Internationally as Myelodysplasia Center of Excellence
Monash Health in affiliation with Monash University has been approved as a "Myelodysplasia (MDS) Center of Excellence" by the International MDS Foundation. Associate Professor Jake Shortt said the application was supported by publications from the Grigoriadis/Banerjee lab and from several papers by Dr Zoe McQuilten and Associate Professor Erica Wood using data linkage to ascertain patterns of MDS in Australia. Read more »

Monash Health First in Australia to Open Intraoperative Radiotherapy Trial
Monash Health’s specialist Cancer Centre in Moorabbin is the first Australian site to participate in an international clinical trial offering eligible patients with early stage and low risk breast cancer intraoperative radiotherapy. Read more »

Discovery Reveals How a Gene-Suppressing Enzyme Recognises Genes’ Product
Researchers from Monash University’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI), in collaboration with an international team of scientists, have shed new light on how genes are regulated. Read more »

Finding Boosts Target Hopes For Aggressive Blood Cancers
Australian Centre for Blood Diseases (ACBD) researcher, Associate Professor Jody Haigh's research reported in September 2016 on ZEB2, a protein implicated in certain aggressive leukaemias has since been bolstered by the revelation of a novel partner of ZEB2. Combined, they may form a possible therapeutic target that could potentially have greater efficacy than targeting ZEB2 alone. Read more »

Donation of Hope
Greater Dandenong Rotarians made a $100,000 donation to prostate cancer research. The Dandenong South East and Dandenong Rotary clubs are meeting as one while an official merger is in the works. At their dinner at Dandenong Club on Tuesday 21 March, they presented a cheque for $100,000 to The Alfred’s radiation oncology director, Associate Professor Jeremy Millar. Read more »
Dr Liane Ioannou
Research Associate, Cancer Research Program
Liane has joined Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine as a Research Associate on the Upper Gastrointestinal Cancer Registry (UGICR) and as the registry coordinator of the Australian Thyroid Cancer Registry (ATCR) within the Registries Science Unit (RSU). Liane has a background in genetics and psychology, with her PhD research focusing on genetic screening for inheritable diseases, namely the evaluation of carrier screening programs for autosomal recessive diseases.

Dr Elizabeth Moore
Dr Elizabeth Moore, from Monash School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine was successful in obtaining a $30,000 grant from Gilead for a pilot randomised trial to test the feasibility of real-time reporting of Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs) to clinicians treating patients with multiple myeloma in order to improve care. This is a Myeloma and Related Diseases Registry sub-study.

Zoe Marks
Zoe Marks, PhD student at the Hudson Institute’s Centre for Inflammation, Infection and Immunity, won a poster prize at the 29th Lorne Cancer Conference for her poster describing work from her PhD on the anti-cancer properties of a distinct type I interferon, IFNε, and its therapeutic potential in ovarian cancer.

How New Hepatitis C Drugs Could Tackle Liver Cancer Too
Wider availability of newer hepatitis C drugs may not only lead to fewer cases of this blood-borne disease, but may also slow the rise in related liver cancer. But these so-called direct acting antiviral drugs have not been widely available in Australia or overseas for long enough for us to confirm this long-term trend. Read more »

Victorian Oesophagogastric Cancer Summit Progress Update
Oesophagogastric cancer multidisciplinary teams across Victoria are working collectively to review variations in patient care and identify opportunities to improve the outcomes and experiences of care. Read the March 2017 Newsletter for a review of the progress and latest initiatives from the summit.

Prostate Cancer Summit Progress Update
Victorian prostate cancer clinicians from various disciplines are working to prioritise state-wide reform aimed at reducing variations in practice and improving cancer outcomes for men with prostate cancer in Victoria. Read the March 2017 Newsletter from the clinical working party co-chaired by Jeremy Millar and Damien Bolton for a review of current activities.

Victorian Cancer Performance Monitoring Framework (VCPMF) Phase II Pilot Project Invites Feedback
Phase II of the development of a Victorian cancer performance monitoring framework for evaluating the quality and outcomes of cancer care is well underway and is now inviting feedback from data users at the health services and integrated cancer services. Read more »

Advanced GIST Study – Many Lives Changed
The impending closure of the Advanced GIST Study, a randomised phase III international study of imatinib in metastatic or locally advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST), reflects a critical milestone in the management of this disease.   The AGITG was fortunate to be involved at the outset in this important study, which saw patients with incurable GIST benefit from access to a new drug which dramatically changed the lives of so many patients with no remaining treatment options. Read more »

Faster Access to New Drugs Doesn’t Always Mean Better Treatment
US President Donald Trump recently chose an adviser to a large pharmaceutical company to lead the country’s drug regulation agency. Scott Gottlieb – who reportedly sits on the boards of several small drug companies and is an adviser to GlaxoSmithKline – is expected to introduce greater flexibility to the evidence standards used by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to evaluate the benefit and risks of new medicines. Read more »

Delays And Confusion Cloud Roll-Out of New Cervical Cancer Screening Program
Australia’s new national cervical cancer screening program has had a bad week. The government announced it would delay the May 1 roll-out of its new program until Dec 1, 2017. And a petition opposing the new program swept social media. But it’s not all bad news. The delay gives the Standing Committee on Screening, which is responsible for implementing the new program, the chance to engage with the public and communicate why the changes are being made and what they mean. Read more »

Live Life Get Active Has Teamed up with GenesisCare and Frankston City Council 
Olympian Jane Flemming and co-founder of Live Life Get Active launched the exercise program in Frankston on Wednesday 22 February, 9.30am, Victoria Park. Research has shown that exercise has a positive effect on a person’s physical and mental well-being and for that reason, GenesisCare Radiation Oncology Centre Frankston ve partnered with Live Life Get Active to deliver free exercise camps (classes) and tailored nutrition plans for the entire Frankston community. Locals are encouraged to have fun while getting fit in the beautiful surroundings of the park. Read more »

The International Journal of Biotechnology and Bioengineering (IJBB) is inviting contributions for upcoming issues. IJBB welcomes and acknowledges theoretical and experimental research articles, review articles, clinical review articles, practice articles, editorials, short communications, case reports, blogs, letters(rapid responses), personal views, clinical management guidelines, research methods and reporting articles. Articles can be submitted online at

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has this month released Cancer in Australia 2017, a report presenting the latest available information on national population screening programs, Medicare data, cancer incidence, hospitalisations, survival, prevalence, mortality and burden of disease. Cancer is the leading cause of disease burden in Australia.

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance is an online educational and support resource for cancer patients and caregivers. We have a range of information on our site including the different types of mesothelioma, guidelines for treatment, and preventative measures. We also provide information about survivorship, ways to navigate a diagnosis, and survivor stories to spread hope. It is our mission to continually provide relevant, timely, and factual information so that we can support those who are suffering.

Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund
The aim of the fund is to support the translation of early stage health and medical research into health and economic outcomes.  Closes 14 April More information »

Postdoctoral Fellowship Applications
Postdoctoral fellowships are offered to provide Victorian scientists who have recently completed a PhD with support for an additional year of research based on their thesis work. Due by April 7 More information »

National Breast Cancer Foundation Grants Scheme
The Investigator Initiated Research Scheme represents an amalgamation and simplification of the numerous grant schemes offered in the past (i.e. pilot study, innovator, infrastructure, accelerator) and fellowships (career development etc). Applications open 3rd April More information »

Better Care Victoria Innovation Fund
Better Care Victoria (BCV) aims to enable and support timely and appropriate access to the highest quality care for Victorians through the identification, scaling and embedding of innovative practice across the Victorian health system. Expressions of Interest open 14 March More information »

Emerging Researcher Fellowships
The primary purpose of the Fellowship is to invest in early research career individuals, with significant potential for a research career and for whom a fellowship would contribute to that end. Applications now open. More information »

NHMRC Funding Opportunities: January – April 2017
More information » 

2017 Palliative Care Regional Forum: Expanding the Possibilities
Call for abstracts by 15 April 2017 More information » 
Biomedicine Discovery Seminars
Held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12-1pm
Where: Monash University
More information

Monash Health Research Governance 2017 Seminar Series
Date: Various Dates
Where: Monash Medical Centre, Clayton
Information and bookings

Australian Telehealth Conference 2017
Date: 27-28 April
Where: Rydges on Swanston
Information and bookings

13th Behavioural Research in Cancer Control Conference
Date: 2-5 May
Where: The Langham, Melbourne
Information and bookings

Australian Lymphology Association 2017 Biennial Symposium
Date: Saturday 6 May
Where: Rydges Melbourne
Information and bookings

VICS Conference
Date: 11-12 May 2017
Where: Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre
Information and bookings

Immunotherapy Conference
Date: 10-12 May
Where: RACV Cape Schank
Information and bookings

2nd Australian Cancer and Metabolism Meeting
Date: 15-17 May
Where: VCCC Melbourne
Information and bookings

Cell Signalling and its Therapeutic Implications
Date: 17-19 May
Where: RACV Cape Schank
Information and bookings

Stata Workshop for Registry Science
Date: 18-19 May
Where: Sydney
Information and bookings
Date: 3 May, 19 May, 8 June
Where: CSIRO Parkville
Information and bookings

2017 Partnering with Consumers Series: An Experience Based Co-design Masterclass
Date: 25 May
Where: Riverside Quay, Melbourne
Information and bookings

Intensive Ethics in Medicine Course
Date: 4-8June
Where: Peppers Resort, Bowral NSW
Information and bookings

Cancer Nurses Society of Australia 20th Annual Congress
Date: 15-17 June
Where: Adelaide Convention Centre
Information and bookings

International Lymphoedema Framework Conference
Date: 21-24 June
Where: Siracusa Sicily, Italy
Information and bookings

Victorian Cancer Survivorship Program Community of Practice
Date: Wed 21 June or Thur 23 November
Where: Melbourne
Information and bookings

Oncology study days available at Alfred Health for Nurses
Introduction to Oncology study day 2
Wednesday 18 October

Transfusion study day
Thursday 15 June

Haematology Study day
Tuesday 27 June

BMT study day
Tuesday 21 November

These study sessions are available at no cost for all SMICS member health services nurses. Information and bookings

Venetoclax and obinutuzumab in chronic lymphocytic leukemia Read article »

The Patients' Perspective: Hematological Cancer Patients' Experiences of Adverse Events as Part of Care  Read article »

An appraisal of analytical tools used in predicting clinical outcomes following radiation therapy treatment of men with prostate cancer: a systematic review.  Read article »

Peptide-functionalized gold nanoparticles: versatile biomaterials for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Read article »

Histone deacetylase activity mediates acquired resistance towards structurally diverse HSP90 inhibitors. Read article »

Follistatin attenuates radiation-induced fibrosis in a murine model. Read article »

Limiting Thymic Precursor Supply Increases the Risk of Lymphoid Malignancy in Murine X-Linked Severe Combined Immunodeficiency. Read article »

Bayesian model of signal rewiring reveals mechanisms of gene dysregulation in acquired drug resistance in breast cancer.  Read article »

Menopause is a determinant of breast aromatase expression and its associations with BMI, inflammation and systemic markers.  Read article »
MPCCC is the Cancer and Blood Disease Theme of the Monash Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre and represents a formal alliance of the Monash Comprehensive Cancer Consortium (MCCC) and the Southern Melbourne Integrated Cancer Services (SMICS). Our partner organisations include Monash University, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Alfred Health, Monash Health, Peninsula Health and Cabrini Health and Eastern Health.
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