Monash Health recognised for outstanding commitment to clinical trials

Monash Health was awarded the Outstanding Site Award at the AGITG Annual Scientific Meeting on Friday 28 August for its commitment to conducting GI cancer clinical trials.

The clinical trial team at Monash Health received the award in recognition of their long-standing commitment to gastro-intestinal (GI) cancer research. They currently have more than 60 clinical trials open, with 20 of these treating GI cancers. These include several trials sponsored by the AGITG, offering new treatments in three GI cancers: colorectal cancer, gastro-oesophageal cancer and neuroendocrine tumours.

The staff at the Monash site received the award in recognition of their commitment to ensuring that all clinicians working there are aware of the clinical trials that are available, and that they are offered to patients wherever appropriate. The team ensures that integrity, compassion, accountability, respect and excellence are at the core of their work.

Karen Gillett, Unit Manager of the Oncology Clinical trials unit at Monash Health, accepted the award on behalf of the team.

“Clinical trials in oncology are a central component. We have central triage for referrals that come in and recruiting trials are one of the first options that we look at. A high percentage of our medical staff are investigators and we’re able to offer consultant-lead care. Monash uses a dedicated clinical trials unit where all aspects of treatment and assessment are undertaken, so this makes it a one-stop-shop for patients, and an environment which they are quite often reluctant to leave,” says Karen Gillett.

Pictured – The Monash Health clinical trials team. 

For people with GI cancer, the option to join a clinical trial means they have access to new treatments which may not otherwise be available to them. This is particularly important in GI cancers, where the survival outcomes are much poorer than for other types of cancer. Patients who participate in clinical trials often receive immediate access to the latest treatments before they are made widely available to cancer patients.

The Outstanding Site Award is awarded each year to a clinical trial site that has shown exceptional enthusiasm and dedication to conducting clinical trials into GI cancer. Dr Lorraine Chantrill, Chair of the AGITG, says, “The dedication of the staff at Monash Health to giving GI cancer patients the option of a clinical trial means that their patients have the opportunity to directly participate in GI cancer research.”

Pictured – Karen Gillett accepting the Outstanding Site Award from Dr Lorraine Chantrill at the 2020 AGITG Annual Scientific Meeting.