Associate Professor Clare Scott is convening a symposium that brings together medical professionals, researchers and patient advocates to discuss how to improve the treatment and quality-of-life of ovarian cancer patients.
The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) Ovarian Cancer Symposium will be attended by cancer specialists from Australia, the US and Canada and demonstrates the collaborative approach to cancer care that is now regarded as the gold standard in cancer detection and treatment.
Ovarian cancer is the sixth most common cause of cancer-related death in Australian women. Because most cases of ovarian cancer are detected at later, harder-to-treat stages, women with ovarian cancer urgently need better treatment options. More than 800 Australian women die from ovarian cancer each year.
Victorian Health Minister David Davis MLC will open the symposium tomorrow (Monday 5 August) at Melbourne’s Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.
Symposium convener Associate Professor Clare Scott, who is an ovarian cancer researcher at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, and a cancer specialist at The Royal Melbourne and Royal Women’s Hospitals, said the symposium was important for ensuring that all those involved with treating ovarian cancer patients were aware of the latest advances in the field.
“Genomic science and personalised medicine are making enormous changes in how we are thinking about ovarian cancer treatment,” she said. “The field is rapidly moving towards tailoring treatments to an individual’s cancer, to improve outcomes. This week’s symposium, led by colleagues from The Royal Women’s Hospital and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, will include local, national and international ovarian cancer experts discussing new developments in detection and treatment, and it is vital that this information is shared with the whole ovarian cancer treatment team.”
Ms Alison Amos, CEO of Ovarian Cancer Australia, congratulated the VCCC for bringing together health professionals from across the spectrum to reflect on and debate the challenges presented by ovarian cancer. “Ovarian cancer is a complex and challenging disease that requires considerable passion, skill and resolve to reduce the impact on women’s lives and the many ripple effects on families and communities,” Ms Amos said. “Concerted national and international research efforts are required across the spectrum of prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship and palliation. The ‘ovarian cancer team’ is large and diverse, comprising women with ovarian cancer as well as their family members, friends and carers; multidisciplinary treatment and supportive care teams; clinical and basic science researchers. Together they can improve the outlook for women with ovarian cancer.”
Mr Duncan McPherson, whose wife succumbed to ovarian cancer in 2010 and who is now on the board of the Women’s Cancer Foundation, will speak to the symposium delegates about his experiences as a husband, carer and fundraiser for ovarian cancer research nurses. “Research is the only way to improve the management and treatment of this terrible disease,” he said “Ovarian cancer has such a devastating effect on families. I am passionate about improving outcomes for women and their loved ones.”
The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre is a powerful alliance of eight successful Victorian organisations committed to cancer control: Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne Health (including The Royal Melbourne Hospital), The University of Melbourne, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, The Royal Women’s Hospital, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Western Health and St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne.
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