More people are surviving cancer than ever before with the five-year survival rate for Victorians diagnosed with cancer, having increased from 48 per cent in 1986 to 68 per cent in 2016, thanks to investments in cancer prevention, treatment and research.

Today, the next generation of up-and-coming researchers have received the first ever health services research workforce fellowships valued at $1.5 million to continuing the fight against cancer and revolutionising care for patients.

From mobile apps to precision medicine, researchers work on developing ground breaking new approaches and technology to deliver the highest quality and safest cancer care, while improving patient outcomes.

The five all-female winning researchers each received a grant of up to $300,000 over 2 years, to look into the prevention of cancer-associated blood clots, reducing medication errors, better supporting rural patients to quit smoking, developing guidelines for treating cancer-related fatigue and reducing complications from childhood cancer treatment.

Dr Gabrielle Haeusler, who also won the Health Services Researcher Award in the 2018 Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research, is developing new ways so children with cancer, who also experience infections or fever, receive the best and safest care across all hospitals in Victoria.

Another ground-breaking research fellowship, led by Marliese Alexander, is developing a life-saving, real-time, risk-directed tool, to prevent cancer associated thromboembolism – or blood clots – among patients receiving anti-cancer therapies.

Other winning researchers include Dr Lisa Grech, who is developing a nurse-supported mobile health intervention app, with integrated supportive telephone consultations to assist patients to take oral cancer medication and manage side-effects.

Dr Anna Ugalde, partnering with Quit Victoria, aims to improve the cancer care system by embedding evidence-based quit-smoking strategies into routine care for better health outcomes.

Finally, Dr Elizabeth Pearson’s research aims to improve treatment of cancer-related fatigue by adapting evidence-based guidelines and testing for use in Australia.

The Victorian cancer plan 2016-2020 outlines the Victorian Government’s long-term vision to improve cancer outcomes. Research is one of the priority action areas to achieve the ambitious goals of the plan and includes a focus on health services research.

Since being established in 2006, the Victorian Government through the Victorian Cancer Agency has invested over $190 million into translational cancer research, that will improve outcomes for cancer patients.

For more information, see the media release on the Premier of Victoria website.

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