Prostate, melanoma and rare cancer clinical trials will soon be available for patients in Gippsland thanks to a new partnership between Alfred Health and Latrobe Regional Hospital.
Latrobe Regional Hospital is one of the first hospitals to partner with Alfred Health’s TrialHub, a federally-funded initiative to provide better access to clinical trials for regional and remote patients by establishing local clinical trial units.
Two prostate clinical trials and a multiple myeloma trial were announced at the partnership launch at Latrobe Regional Hospital this week.
Latrobe Regional Hospital’s Director of Oncology Services, Tricia Wright, said launching these new cancer clinical trials marked a milestone in treatment options for local cancer patients.
“Clinical trials provide the answers to research questions about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Patients participating in clinical trials can get access to new medicines and therapies that might not otherwise be available, as well as contributing to the development of future life-saving or life-enhancing treatments,” Dr Wright said.
“Expanding our cancer clinical trial program means Gippsland cancer patients will have greater access to a wider range of cancer treatments as well as contributing their unique cancer experience to cutting edge research.”
TrialHub, based within Alfred Health’s clinical trial units, works alongside partner hospitals to identify gaps and opportunities to then work together in establishing their own clinical trial centre.
Anne Woollett, Director of TrialHub, commended Latrobe Regional Hospital for reaching today’s milestone.
“A big focus of the initiative is on workforce development, and training and mentoring for regional staff who are keen on building their expertise in clinical trials without relocating to a city hospital. Leveraging Alfred Health’s clinical trials excellence, we provide a range of education and training opportunities for staff to upskill in a range of clinical trial areas of expertise,” Ms Woollett said.
“From the start, Latrobe has been committed to the program and this is an example of how well this partnership can work. This is a step forward for regional patients who will start to see better access to clinical trials, locally and closer to home.”
In 2019, the federal government awarded Alfred Health $24.6 million to oversee and lead the new initiative to improve access to cancer clinical trials in regional and remote parts of Victoria.
Specifically, TrialHub’s initial focus is on enabling more melanoma, prostate and rare cancer trials in regional Victoria.
Within its first year, TrialHub has partnered Latrobe Regional Hospital, Bendigo Health, Peninsula Health (Rosebud Hospital) with further regional hospitals in the pipeline.
This investment is through the Federal Government’s Community Health and Hospitals Program. Patients wanting to find out more about local trials should speak to their GP or oncologist.