Latrobe Regional Hospital (LRH), located in the regional area of Gippsland, Victoria, is set to open as a primary site for the AGITG-sponsored DYNAMIC-Rectal clinical trial. This will be the first ever clinical trial to open at the Health Service.
The trial will open as part of the “Monash-Gippsland Teletrials Pilot”, funded as a special project provided by the Victorian Cancer Agency (VCA), with project management support funded by the Gippsland Regional Integrated Cancer Services (GRICS). The pilot aims to increase trial access for patients in Gippsland, both on site with Latrobe Regional Hospital as a Primary site, and as a satellite site within a structure derived from COSA Teletrials model. Professor Eva Segelov, Director of Oncology at Monash Health/Monash University and Principal Investigator on the Monash-Gippsland Teletrials Pilot commented that “having the first ever clinical trial open at LRH is a huge event. We look forward to opening another two trials in rapid succession, as well as offering rural patients access through the Teletrials model where part of their consent, staging, treatment and/or follow up can be done locally, to reduce the burden of travel for regional patients”.
Dr Sachin Joshi, Medical Oncologist and Clinical Director of GRICS, is the co-Principal Investigator on the Pilot and comments that the Victorian Cancer Plan (2016-2020) recommends that 15% of cancer patients be involved in clinical trials. “Currently in my opinion, less than 1% of patients in our local region take part in clinical trials”, he says. “I believe having opportunity for local patients to be a part of clinical trials will expand their treatment options that may result in better health outcomes. There is evidence to suggest that patients receiving even standard treatment in clinical trials do better than those outside the clinical trials setting.”
The Pilot Project aims to enhance offering clinical trials to regional patients using a two-pronged approach. The first is development of LRH as an independent Primary Site, with mentorship through the Project. The second arm is implementing a modified version of the COSA Teletrials model, using a hub and spoke approach between the primary site (Monash Health) and the satellite site (LRH).
“The Teletrials Pilot project is an important and valuable stepping stone and we look forward to an ongoing partnership with Monash Health for the benefit of the community,” says Dr Joshi.
DYNAMIC-Rectal is a multicentre randomised study that aims to demonstrate the utility of a “liquid biopsy’ to direct adjuvant therapy to those most likely to benefit. Patients with locally advanced rectal cancer treated with curative intent are eligible to join the study.
For more information on the study, visit the trial webpage or email the trial team at DYNAMIC-RECTAL@mh.org.au.