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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

National boost for melanoma care and research

The Paula Fox Melanoma and Cancer Centre – a partnership between Monash University, The Alfred and Minderoo Foundation – is set to revolutionise care for Victorian patients.

Based at The Alfred on St Kilda Road, the world-class melanoma and cancer treatment and research centre was officially opened on Friday by Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese and Victorian Premier, Jacinta Allan.

The new $152.4 million facility is set to deliver lifesaving clinical trials, research and care under one roof, heralding a new era in cancer care.

Professor Sharon Pickering, Monash University Vice-Chancellor and President, said Monash has a proud history of partnering with The Alfred in medical research that changes lives.

“This is research that is delivering solutions to some of our country’s greatest health problems,” said Professor Pickering.

“Melanoma is one of Australia’s biggest killers. Standing alongside our partners, Monash is here to change that.

“The Paula Fox Melanoma and Cancer Centre will be the home for pioneering research. It’s where our leading researchers will continue their fight against Australia’s deadliest disease. It’s where clinical researchers at The Alfred will work with our scientists to understand and respond to the changing nature of cancer so we can save lives.

“By integrating technology – utilising cancer registries, medical imaging, genomics and other large data sets – we can support The Alfred’s melanoma specialists to detect, diagnose, treat and ultimately prevent cancer.

“By having clinical trials, translational research and patient care all under one roof, people with melanoma and other skin cancers will have access to the most cutting-edge and evidence-based care possible.”

Alfred Health Chief Executive, Professor Andrew Way AM, said the centre combines advanced medicine and precision technology to give specialists the best chance of defeating ‘Australia’s cancer’, melanoma.

“Since we opened the Victorian Melanoma Service close to 30 years ago, The Alfred has been at the forefront of melanoma care, research and clinical trials – with a real focus on early detection, diagnosis and cutting-edge treatment,” said Professor Way.

“With the Paula Fox Melanoma and Cancer Centre we now have a purpose-built space to continue this level of care and further improve access to clinical trials, new technology and emerging therapies.

“Having our clinicians working so closely with researchers and scientists from partners, like Monash University, will save lives and support Australia’s fight against melanoma and other cancers.”

The Paula Fox Melanoma and Cancer Centre includes:

  • Modern and welcoming treatment and consultation spaces for patients, including day therapy treatment chairs overlooking Melbourne’s iconic St Kilda Road and tranquil gardens.
  • A Wellness Centre, providing a dedicated home for respite, education and support services for patients, their families and carers.
  • A hub for clinical trials – enabling patients to receive access to cutting-edge treatment in the same location.
  • Integrated precision technology, promoting early detection of melanoma and connecting regional and rural patients with the very best of care.
  • On-site research laboratories, allowing patients to benefit from advancements in medicine as soon as possible; and
  • World-class research and training facilities, attracting the brightest and best minds in cancer care.

Director of the Victorian Melanoma Service at The Alfred, Professor Victoria Mar, said the centre’s unique co-location with The Alfred meant patients would have access to the comprehensive health care they need to live well.

“The future of cancer care is bright. With rapid advances in therapies, cancer has, in many cases, become a chronic disease. Living well has therefore become much more of a focus,” said Professor Mar.

“Cancer treatment can also be complex, requiring access to the full suite of medical and surgical specialities, including a world class intensive care unit, which is what they’ll get here at The Alfred.

“Thank you to Paula and the Fox family and all of our philanthropic partners for thinking big with us and for bringing this centre – a new place of healing and inspiration – to life.”

The development of the centre was driven by Alfred Health patient and philanthropist Paula Fox and is the result of significant support from the Victorian Government and Australia Government, the Fox Family Foundation, Minderoo Foundation and Monash University, along with many other donors and supporters.

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