The Cancer Research Program was formed in May 2014 in an effort to enhance the cancer research focus across the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine’s clinical and public health activities. The program is led by Professor John Zalcberg, a medical oncologist and cancer researcher with over 20 years’ experience.
The Cancer Research Program primarily works to create and maintain clinical quality registries with a view to improving health care and patient outcomes. Within these registries, population-based data on diagnosis, treatment and outcomes is collected and assessed. The information is used to highlight variations in care, and is fed back to health services in benchmarked reports. By identifying areas for improvement, health services can implement explicit practice changes to advance and streamline care.
A key area of the Cancer Research Program’s work is in cancers of the upper gastrointestinal system, i.e. those arising in the pancreas, oesophagus, stomach, liver and biliary system. Another major project is the Victorian Lung Cancer Registry, a clinical quality registry established in 2010. Additionally the Cancer Research Program is currently collaborating with key clinicians in order to establish a pilot clinical quality registry for breast cancer, melanoma, and ovarian cancer quality registries.
The Cancer Research Program enjoys a strong connection with health service providers, patient advocacy groups, policy makers and the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance. It is working at a high level to try to streamline the development of new projects and encourage the integration of research into day-to-day clinical practice. Much of the work of this research unit is complementary to the Clinical Registries Unit.
Registries currently operated by the Cancer Research Program
The Cancer Research Program warmly invites potential PhD candidates interested in cancer health services research to apply to join our supportive group. Scholarships are available for Australian candidates. Information on our current PhD opportunities can be found here:
Professor John Zalcberg – Professor of Cancer Research
Emilia Agalianos – Executive Assistant to Professor John Zalcberg
Ri Scarborough – Cancer Research Program Manager
Jennifer Holland – Project Co-ordinator, Upper Gastrointestinal Cancer Registry
Margaret Brand – Project Manager, Victorian Lung Cancer Registry
Natalie Heriot – Research Officer