The Centre for Oncology Education and Research Translation (CONCERT) embeds translational cancer research into clinical practice, encompassing basic science, clinical, psychosocial and health services research. CONCERT brings together a diverse consortium of 200+ professional members spanning all aspects of cancer research, diagnosis, treatment and care.
CONCERT’s NSW institutional stakeholders include UNSW Australia, the University of Western Sydney, the University of Wollongong, the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, and the Illawarra Shoalhaven and South Western Sydney Local Health Districts (LHD), as well as collaborating partner institutions in the ACT (Health Directorate ACT Government, Australian National University and University of Canberra).
CONCERT’s large demographic footprint serves a population of over 1 million, with a large catchment of new cancer cases (16% in NSW), including potentially more vulnerable populations of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds or living in rural/remote areas.
CONCERT TCRC is funded by Cancer Institute NSW (CINSW) to the tune of $6.5m for five years and was launched in July 2014. UNSW and Ingham Institute are responsible for administration and management, respectively, of CONCERT TCRC.
CONCERT is building on the success of the South West Sydney Translational Cancer Research Unit (SWS TCRU), established over the past three years through CINSW funding. The proud achievements of the SWS TCRU include:
Designed the integrated MRI-Linear Accelerator (MRI-Linac), an Australian-first initiative where radiation and imaging of tumours is done both in real-time, more effectively targeting radiation towards the tumour.
Established the Translational CTC facility, unique to NSW. Measuring CTC and their genetic profile has huge potential for improving prognosis and treatment of cancer patients.
Built up an inter-regional biobank for cancer tissue, with more than 3200 bio-specimens now available for tumour research in the SWSLHD and Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD.
Expanded psychosocial research to enhance cancer patients’ and carers’ coping mechanisms.
Developed new preclinical models that more closely resembled the clinical situation, for testing novel therapies for pancreatic cancer.
Developed the first Australian evidence-based guidelines for cancer pain management.
Demonstrated feasibility for smarter decision-making to improve treatment of lung cancer patients.
Reduced medication side effects in cancer patients through electronic record keeping for chemotherapy prescription in the Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD.
Trained the next generation of oncologists and medical researchers through clinical and academic programs.