CENTRAL Victorian cancer patients will have more opportunities to participate in clinical trials, after Bendigo Health joined a partnership with a statewide research and teaching centre.
Bendigo Health staff say the affiliation with the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre will bring new clinical trial opportunities to the the city.
The partnership will allow regional and rural patients to participate in clinical trials without travel to Melbourne.
It's part of VCCC's efforts to improve cancer outcomes for regional and rural patients.
Bendigo Health cancer research manager Narelle McPhee said the affiliation brought the issues of rural and regional Victorians forward in any discussion of clinical trials.
Rural and regional cancer patients have a four per cent lower five year survival rate than those in metropolitan areas.
Ms McPhee said clinical trials could be part of the solution towards bridging the mortality gap, but a combination of factors were at play.
She said the affiliation would mean more clinical trials could be run from Bendigo Health, including tele-health trials.
Ms McPhee said staff would also be able to work with a new network of doctors, nurses and pharmacists, meaning new opportunities and new learnings.
She said the affiliation formalised an existing relationship with the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.
VCCC executive director Grant McArthur said worse outcomes for cancer patients in regional Victoria were of particular importance to the organisation.
Professor McArthur said the partnership with Bendigo Health would form a strong network between leading cancer researchers, educators and specialists in Melbourne, and regional cancer specialists.
He said a substantial pre-existing relationship had led the VCCC had chosen Bendigo as one of its first two regional affiliates.
Professor McArthur said tele-health programs would allow patients to participate in trials without travelling to Melbourne.
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