March 2021

Embedding telehealth in cancer care after COVID-19

The uptake of telehealth by both patients and health professionals during COVID-19 presents a unique opportunity to reform the future care of people with cancer and many other health conditions. Published last month in the Internal Medical Journal (IMJ), ‘Telehealth in cancer care: during and beyond the COVID‐19 pandemic‘ provides expert guidance for the routine application of telehealth as a model of optimal and integrated cancer care.  Continue reading »

Starving cancer cells to death

One of the major issues with patients fighting leukemia or cancer in general is relapse, although chemotherapy helps to get rid of most cancer cells. But these cells come back. Dr Cedric Tremblay in the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases at Monash University is first author on a recently published Nature Communications study on a novel approach to weakening, then killing, cancer cells. Continue reading »

Deluge of DNA changes drives progression of fatal melanomas

Melbourne researchers have revealed how melanoma cells are flooded with DNA changes as this skin cancer progresses from early, treatable stages through to fatal end-stage disease. Using genomics, the team tracked DNA changes occurring in melanoma samples donated by patients as their disease progressed, right through to the time the patient died. Continue reading » 

Monash Health leads the way with new cancer research

A new genetic test developed at Monash Health is set to improve identification, diagnosis and personalised treatment for cancer patients, leading to better treatment outcomes. It has already proven vital in patient care, with a rare type of brain cancer identified in a young patient. Continue reading » 

Monash BDI scientists shine in Victorian Cancer Agency grants

Four outstanding researchers from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) have been awarded Victorian Cancer Agency's (VCA) 2020 Mid-Career Research Fellowships. This funding will further progress research into paediatric brain tumour vaccines; combination therapies for breast cancer; bone marrow transplantation treatments for leukemia; and new approaches to tackle gastric cancer drug resistance.
Continue reading » 

Cancer Council Victoria fellowship to help Monash prostate cancer research

Congratulations to Dr Edmond Kwan on receiving a Cancer Council Victoria Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to continue his research aimed at improving longevity and quality of life for patients with prostate cancer. "Immunotherapy treatments work by activating the body’s immune system to better seek out and destroy cancer." 
Continue reading » 

Victorian Collaborative Healthcare Recovery Initiative

The three Victorian Research Translation Centres, Monash Partners, the Melbourne Academic Centre for Health (MACH) and Western Alliance, have formed a collaborative to research and translate evidence to improve the health of Victorians. The centres are committed to leading initiatives that accelerate translation of research into clinical care and deliver improved health outcomes.
Continue reading » 

Dr Andrew Haydon 

SMICS is delighted to feature Dr Andrew Haydon in the first of a series of interviews shining a spotlight on our clinicians at the centre of patient care.

"I went to Monash University, back when medicine was a 6‐year course.  We would spend the first three years at Monash and then the second three years on rotations at the Monash affiliated teaching hospitals." Continue reading »

Friendly farewell leads to cancer diagnosis

A gentle kick to the bottom, from a mate, has led to a potentially lifesaving cancer diagnosis followed by treatment at Epworth Richmond. Mark Osler caught up with some friends for a drink at the pub before Christmas, last year. As one of his mates was leaving, he gave Mr Osler a gentle side-kick to the bottom to say goodbye. Continue reading » 

Launch of new facility providing hope to patients with blood cancer

The Epworth Centre for Immunotherapies and Snowdome Laboratories launched this week, ensuring blood cancer patients at Epworth can gain access to the very best possible care, guided by innovative treatments and technology. 
Continue reading » 

Victorian Integrated Cancer Services 2021-22 priorities

The Victorian Integrated Cancer Services (VICS) have recently published their 2021-22 priorities. This framework will support the achievement of goals identified in the Victorian Cancer Plan 2020-2024 Improving Outcomes for all Victoria. 

There are three overarching priorities:
•    improve access to high quality cancer care; 
•    support the implementation of Optimal Care Pathways (OCPs);
•    improve wellbeing for all Victorians affected by cancer.
Each priority has a number of focus areas which will be developed into a series of initiatives for delivery over the next two years. 

For further information contact Seleena Sherwell at Find out more »

Medical Research Futures Fund (MRFF) opportunities: 

  • Clinician Researchers: Applied Research in Health Grant. Closing 12 April 2021. More information »
  • Rapid Applied Research Translation Grant. Opening 4 March and closing 6 May 2021More information »

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) opportunities:

  • 2021 Ideas Grants: $2.4 million available. Minimum data due date 7 April 2021, closing date 5 May 2021. More information »

New National Cancer Screening Registry Portal for clinicians 

The National Cancer Screening Registry has released a portal for healthcare providers to allow access to information about participant screening. To access the Healthcare Provider Portal you’ll need to register for PRODA (or Provider Digital Access) to enable secure access. Register here » 


Professor Tieman, Palliative and Supportive Services and Matthew Flinders Fellow, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, will outline the Dying2Learn MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) which won the Innovation in Palliative Care award in 2017. Discussion will include the research arising from this MOOC including Australian community perspectives on death and dying. Register here » 

COVID-19 vaccines and cancer

Cancer Australia and Cancer Council Victoria have provided resources for people with cancer who wish to be vaccinated for COVID-19, or have questions about vaccination. These fact sheets are available online, and for more information the Cancer Council Victoria patient hotline is available on 13 11 20. 

Click here to access Cancer Australia resources »

Click here to access Cancer Council Victoria
resources »

Centre for Palliative Care communications skills masterclass
When: 10am - 3pm
Wednesday 7th April 2021
More information and registration

Setting up consumer advisory committees for health services
When: 1-2pm, Thursday 8 April
Where: online
More information and registration
Navigating power imbalances in Consumer and Community Involvement
When: 1-2pm, Thursday 13 May
Where: Online
More information and registration

Australasian Skin Cancer Conference
When: 28-30 May
Where: The Star, Gold Coast, Queensland
More information and registration

Two-stage Study of Familial Prostate Cancer by Whole-exome Sequencing and Custom Capture Identifies 10 Novel Genes Associated with the Risk of Prostate Cancer. Read article »

Spliced Peptides and Cytokine-Driven Changes in the Immunopeptidome of Melanoma. Read article »

A single-domain bispecific antibody targeting CD1d and the NKT T-cell receptor induces a potent antitumor response. Read article »

Immunopeptidomic Analysis Reveals That Deamidated HLA-bound Peptides Arise Predominantly from Deglycosylated Precursor. Read article »

Three little pigs tactic in cancer battle. Continue reading »

Over 130 cancer experts help overcome cancer together. 
Continue reading »
Monash Partners Comprehensive Cancer Consortium (MPCCC) is a strategic alliance of health service and research organisations working in partnership to improve cancer outcomes through integrated, collaborative and innovative research, service improvement and clinical care programs. We are a consortium made up of clinical, research and allied partner organisations. 
Clinical partners
Alfred Health; Monash Health; Eastern Health; Peninsula Health; 
Cabrini Health; Epworth HealthCare

Research partners
Monash University; Hudson Institute of Medical Research

Allied partners
Southern Melbourne Integrated Cancer Service (SMICS); 
Monash Partners Academic Health Science Centre (Monash Partners).
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