Funds for research workforce fellowships

The Victorian Cancer Agency has awarded five workforce fellowships worth $300,000 over two years from its cancer health service research program, which includes funds for mobile apps and precision medicine.

This year’s recipients are all women, and they plan to work on projects ranging from the prevention of cancer-associated blood clots to reducing medication errors, developing guidelines for treating cancer-related fatigue and reducing complications from childhood cancer treatment.

Swinburne University clinical psychologist Lisa Grech will use the funds to help develop a nurse-supported mobile health intervention app with integrated supportive telephone consultations to assist patients to take oral cancer medication and manage side-effects.

The project involves Swinburne’s Iverson Health Innovation Research Institute and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and will assess the SAMSON intervention for patients needing to take a high cost medication that can have severe side-effects, including nausea and fatigue.

Dr Grech said this research was critically important to the quality of life and survival outcomes of patients suffering chronic illnesses.

“A World Health Organisation report shows that sub-optimal medication adherence occurs in approximately 50 per cent of patients who need to take long-term medication, including cancer patients,” Dr Grech said.

“A comprehensive program such as the SAMSON intervention is important, because it covers areas such as pharmacy and nurse support, as well as using the mHealth platform, which reminds patients to take their medication and provides detailed side-effect self-management information.”

Marliese Alexander, a pharmacist and researcher from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, will lead research to develop a real-time risk-directed tool to prevent cancer associated thromboembolism among patients receiving anti-cancer therapies.

Other winners in include Peter Mac's Gabrielle Haeusler, who also won the Health Services Researcher Award in the 2018 Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research, who is developing new ways so children with cancer, who also experience infections or fever, receive the best and safest care across all hospitals in Victoria.

Deakin University's Anna Ugalde is partnering with Quit Victoria to improve the cancer care system by embedding evidence-based quit-smoking strategies into routine care, while the University of Melbourne's Elizabeth Pearson’s research aims to improve treatment of cancer-related fatigue by adapting evidence-based guidelines and testing for use in Australia.

Posted in Movers and shakers

Tags: Peter Mac

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