Teletrials Program a First for Victoria

Albury Wodonga and Bendigo have welcomed a new Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) Teletrials Program, providing regional patients the opportunity to participate in clinical trials without the need to travel to metropolitan centres.

“Regional cancer patients experience several disadvantages including lower survival rates, due to healthcare access differentials,” Dr Craig Underhill, VCCC Regional Oncology Lead and champion of the program said.

“The VCCC Teletrials Program aims to reduce the barriers for regional patients with cancer to access clinical trials, including travel, cost and social disruption.”

In addition to patients being given the same opportunities as their metro counterparts, the approach will help the health service challenge of meeting recruitment targets and the success of clinical trials, which bring new therapies to the wider community. The program will also address barriers to support mechanisms for regional oncologists, enabling networking and improving capability.

The Teletrials Program will implement trials within a framework based on the principles of the Australasian Tele-trials Model but with specific adjustments designed for the Victorian healthcare system. The program will be closely monitored in conjunction with the Regional Trials Network and Victorian Government. Regional consumers will be consulted throughout the teletrial implementation.

Consultation with the local cancer community has thus far identified three key areas to focus increased capacity activities:

  • Stakeholder training and engagement
  • Roles and responsibilities delegation, with metro support
  • Governance, regulation agreements and standard operating procedures

For more information on the Teletrials Program, contact Hannah Cross, Program Manager. or 03 8559 7058

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