WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?
IMPROVING CANCER OUTCOMES IN RURAL AND REMOTE AUSTRALIA
2023 - 2026
Prof. Howard Gurney; Nicola Chapman; A/Prof. Boe Rambaldini; Dr. Kylie Gwynne
Improving cancer outcomes in rural and remote Australia: developing effective, sustainable and scalable models for clinical trials.
Funding by Love Your Sister will be used by Macquarie University to make international standard clinical trials available in regional, rural and remote Australia. Bringing cutting-edge treatment options and much-needed improvements to healthcare will enable better outcomes for our most vulnerable populations, who currently have considerably poorer outcomes with most common cancers than other Australians. This is especially true for Aboriginal people. There has been significant investment by governments for cancer care centres and telemedicine to better meet the needs of people in rural and regional areas, but progress with cancer outcomes has been slow. Typically, tele-trials have been an important contribution to the landscape. However, linking remote satellite sites to experienced city-based researchers can hinder the development of independent rural and remote sites. Using a co-design approach, this research aims to establish fully equipped clinical trial units in regional healthcare centres that are staffed by a local clinical-trial-skilled labour force. Thus, providing a sustainable model for clinical trials in rural and remote areas, and giving cancer patients in these locations access to the latest technologies, drugs, and medical oversight. This will not only increase the number of regional, rural, remote and Aboriginal patients, that are recruited to clinical trials, but will also minimise the need for these patients to travel in order to participate. This pilot model will make a significant contribution to broader research as it will be designed, evaluated and documented so that it can extend beyond this grant, and be used not only by any trial unit within Australia, but also extended to non-cancer indications.