Scoping of cancer clinical trials in Victoria

Project Type - Public health, Research

Description

The overall aim for the scoping study was to investigate current cancer clinical trial activity in Victoria, with the intention of better understanding what was required by those currently working in this area. Areas of need were identified and approaches ascertained through which these could be addressed, thereby increasing the capacity of researchers and others undertaking clinical trials to do so effectively.  

The project objectives were as follows: 

  • To undertake comprehensive consultation with organisations presently engaged in clinical cancer trials or supporting clinical cancer trials, directly or indirectly;
  • Determine to what extent these organisations presently collaborate and investigate current linkages;
  • Identify areas where current knowledge of cancer clinical trial activity is incomplete, and determine approaches to address this; and
  • Investigate areas of need and mechanisms by which these may be addressed.

The applied study methodology as outlined in HOI’s Project Plan which was approved by the Agency comprised of three stages.  In summary, the approach involved:

  • A situation analysis which included a review of the published and unpublished literature was undertaken to gain an understanding of the environment and key issues for cancer clinical trials activity that is currently being undertaken internationally and in other Australian states. In addition an information paper was prepared which was used as the basis of the first round of consultations with stakeholders involved in cancer clinical trials to identify the key issues with respect to workforce and infrastructure needs; organisational linkages; barriers and enablers to conducting cancer clinical trial activity.  The information collected was then synthesised and a discussion paper was prepared outlining the findings.  This discussion paper was used to gain further stakeholder input into the study. 
  • Broadly based stakeholder consultations were also undertaken which included conducting a series of workshops and interviews with groups of nominated stakeholders in Victoria to gather information on gaps in knowledge and opportunities to increase cancer clinical trial activity.  The findings from the situation analysis and the stakeholder consultations were then analysed and a report prepared which addressed the study objectives.

The scoping study identified a number of key issues to be considered by the Agency in the development of the cancer research strategy for Victoria. System wide issues were identified as a result of this project. The stakeholders identified a number of issues concerning the type of cancer clinical trials that should be the priority focus for Victoria and required support. A number of issues relating to regulation and ethics approval processes relating to the conduct of clinical trials that will need consideration in the development of the strategic plan were also identified. The study also identified a range of organisational requirements with respect to the workforce required to undertake cancer clinical trials.