News and Events

News



PAX-1 Study - Southern Adelaide Pallative Services

Wednesday, 17th February 2016

A story on the team at Southern Adelaide Palliative Services and their involvement in the PAX-1 study aired on Adelaide's Channel 9 news last night. For the full story, please click on the video link below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ucbLofN8tw

PaCCSC Members Published on eHospice

Associate Professor Richard Chye, Site Investigator at one of PaCCSC's recruiting sites St Vincent's Hospital Sydney, has authored an article on the Euthenasia issue currently under debate. Please click link below for full article.
Associate Professor Richard Chye - Euthenasia no substitute for Palliative Care

Dr Nikki McCaffrey, PaCCSC Health Economist, was interviewed for the below article by Heather Wiseman "Non-clinical outcomes relevant to value for money equation in palliative care".
Heather Wiseman - Non-clinical outcomes relevant to value for money equation in palliative care


Academy Announces Inaugural Scientific Meeting and Induction of New Fellows

The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences held its first Annual Scientific Meeting at the Australian National University in Canberra at the beginning of October 2015. The Academy announced the induction of 77 new Fellows through ordinary election, adding to the existing Fellowship of 131. Among the new Fellows selected is Professor David Currow.

Professor Frazer, President of the Academy, said: "I am delighted on behalf of the Academy council to welcome the new Fellows to the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences this evening. Their election as Fellows reflects the international standing of their contribution to health and medical science through research, through leadership, and through service. Their future contribution to the field will contribute to ensuring that users of the healthcare system in Australia are offered the best quality care using the latest in advances in health research."

Congratulations Professor Currow.

See full list of new Fellows at this link: http://www.aahms.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/AAHMS-New-Fellows-6-Oct-2015.pdf


2015 Tom Reeve Award Announcement - Outstanding Contributions to Cancer Care

Celebrating the 10th year of this prestigious award, the 2015 recipient of the Tom Reeve Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cancer Care, Professor David Currow.
Summing up David’s contribution to cancer care, one of David’s referees stated in their nomination
“David’s entire professional career as a researcher, clinician, educator and policymaker has been focused on patients at the end of life and with life-limiting illness; he has been particularly focused on people with cancer but his personal commitment to the area had resounded across medicine.”

Professor David Currow is the Chief Cancer Officer, NSW and Chief Executive Officer, Cancer Institute NSW, the NSW Government’s cancer control agency. He was appointed to the position in March 2010. Before that he was the foundation Chief Executive Officer of Cancer Australia, the Commonwealth’s cancer control agency. 

At Cancer Institute NSW David leads a team of people whose expertise and remit include prevention (tobacco control, ultraviolet light protection), screening (BreastScreen, Cervical Screening and Bowel Screening), service performance and development (including the population based cancer registry, Australia’s only population-based clinical cancer registry, eviQ – the world’s major evidence-based protocol website in oncology, and Canrefer, linking general practitioners and consumers with multidisciplinary teams in two clicks of a button), and strategic research and investment.

Speaking of his leadership skills his referees stated “David’s leadership style is a secret to his success. He is visionary and tenacious…and able to draw out the best in people and then ensure that they commit their best to the forward-looking vision. He is exceptional at transitioning “naysayers” into endorsers of the vision and practical contributors to the day-to-day tasks required to ensure success. He is a leader that we want to celebrate and follow.”

David is a past president of COSA (January to July 2006 – a position he had to leave early to take up his role with Cancer Australia) and past president of Palliative Care Australia. He has served on the American Society of Clinical Oncology working party on palliative care education, chaired the working party for the Union of International Cancer Control on Palliative Care for the United Nations summit on non-communicable diseases and has been on faculty for the Australia & Asia Pacific Clinical Oncology Research Development workshops (ACORD).


New Professor of Palliative Care Announced at UTS:Health CCCC

Tuesday, November 17th 2015
Professor Meera Agar
Professor Meera Agar will join UTS Health as Professor of Palliative Care based in the Centre for Cardiovascular and Chronic Care, to commence in December this year. Professor Agar has lead and been involved in extensive research projects and also several roles within PaCCSC. See below link for details.

UTS:Health CCCC article


3rd Australian Palliative Care Research Colloquium 2015

Tuesday, 17th November 2015

The 3rd Australian Palliative Care Research Colloquium was held on 22nd and 23rd October 2015 in Melbourne. Linda Devilee, PaCCSC National Manager and Belinda Fazekas, PaCCSC National Project Officer, were invited to present on "Effectively managing a multi-site study" on Friday 23rd October. The presentation was successful, enlightening many observers of the behind-the-scenes requirements of managing multi-site studies. Congratulations to Linda and Belinda on a successful presentation.

Presentation Page

View Program Here


Palliative Care Australia Conference 2015 "Fit for the Future"
Pre-Conference Workshops Announced

Tuesday, 8th September 2015

PaCCSC and PCNA partnered to deliver two 1/2 day pre-conference workshops at the Palliative Care Australia Conference in Melbourne, held on Tuesday 1st September 2015. These workshops were available to delegates attending the conference. Thank you to all who attended.

 
EHospice Animated Film on YouTube

Wednesday, May 21st 2014

Ehospice was shortlisted for the 2014 Charity Awards in the UK, which recognise and reward organisations doing exceptional work in all areas of charitable activity. The awards were announced on 12th June 2014 and although EHospice was not among the five winners, this was a notable achievement for everyone involved with EHospice, and PaCCSC would like to offer a hugh congratulation to the EHospice team.

Ehospice has produced a short animated film which explains their work. Please help us spread awareness of ehospice and the amazing work happening every day in hospice and palliative care by sharing this video as widely as you can.

Watch the film here

Delirium Article on ehospice

Monday, April 7th 2014

Associate Professor Meera Agar has written an article on delirium for ehospice. Check out the article here:
ehospice article

All PaCCSC members will receive this link in an email message. To become a PaCCSC Member and receive alerts to articles like this one visit our membership page here and follow the instructions.

PaCCSC Research Report Released!

Thursday, March 20th 2014

PaCCSC is proud to announce the release of our first Research Report as part of our 5th Annual Research Forum.
The report details the 8 year journey of PaCCSC from inception in 2006 through to our current position in 2014. Information on the clinical research studies, results and achievements of the Collaborative are all contained in the report. The report will interest both current collaborating Site staff and members, and provide an introduction to PaCCSC for those unfamiliar with the research network.
Hard copies will be available to all Forum attendees on Thursday, March 20th 2014. However, for those of you unable to attend the Forum there is a digital copy available online.

PaCCSC 2006 – 2014 Research Report pdf document (opens in a new window)

We hope you enjoy this report and please consider distributing copies or links to this item to parties interested in learning more about PaCCSC.

NHMRC Grant Success!

It is with a genuine sense of achievement that I write to inform you that an investigator team including:

Chief Investigators
 
Associate Investigators
Professor David Currow
Associate Professor Amy Abernethy
Professor Christine McDonald
Professor John Miners
Professor Miriam Johnson
Doctor Stephen Quinn
Professor Carl Kirkpatrick
Professor Andrew Somogyi
Associate Professor Linda Denehy
Doctor Nikki McCaffrey
 
Associate Professor Meera Agar
Professor Katherine Clark
Professor Patricia Davidson
Doctor Magnus Ekstrom
Ms Belinda Fazekas
Professor Kwun Fong
Ms Aine Greene
Doctor Rohit Joshi
Professor Sharon Kilbreath
Doctor Brian Le
 

Have been successful in being awarded an NHMRC Grant  in the latest round of 2013 Project Grant Funding announced yesterday. The grant will commence in 2014 for a duration of 3 years.
The grant is for PaCCSC to conduct: A randomised, double-blind study to optimise prescribing of morphine for breathlessness OR as we call it internally the OPIOIDS+1 study.
My sincere thanks to the investigator team for their dedicated contribution to the breathlessness work that has been completed to date and which has underpinned the growing body of evidence to inform this next study. I would also like to thank our dedicated and hard-working site investigators and each of their teams without whom the undertaking of multi-site studies in palliative care would not be possible.
 
Congratulations team.

To read more about this grant success click here.

Congratulations! - Professor David Currow, PaCCSC Chief Investigator has been announced as the
2013 Recipient of the Royal College Balfour M. Mount Visiting Professorship in Palliative Medicine Award

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, in collaboration with the Robert Pope Foundation of Nova Scotia, established this professorship in order to bring to the health science faculties in Canada the most distinguished international lecturers in the palliative care community. Awardees are nominated by a subcommittee acting on behalf of the Robert Pope Foundation of Nova Scotia and the awardee chosen by the Awards Committee of the Royal College. The award is bestowed  in alternate years and the recipient will visit the health science faculties of at least two universities in Canada.

 

As part of the award Professor Currow will facilitate the work of the multidisciplinary team that contributes to palliative care expertise in the community and university being visited. Using a variety of teaching tools, the Professor Currow will bring to the host faculties knowledge and research related to the physical, psycho-social, and spiritual needs of patients requiring palliative care. Professor Currow is expected to spend two or three days at each faculty.

Celebrating 6 Years of PaCCSC - The Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative (PaCCSC) is a national multi-centre collaboration of palliative care researchers around Australia, who undertake investigator-initiated medication trials in patients with life limiting illnesses. In 2006, Flinders University received funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing through the National Palliative Care Program for the coordination of the development and implementation of this initiative. As we approach the 6 year anniversary since the official launch of PaCCSC, we look back and acknowledge the advances in palliative care research which have been achieved through undertaking randomised controlled clinical trials.

The primary goal of the research conducted by PaCCSC is to test the effectiveness of various medications, currently used off indication, in order to improve symptom management and quality of care in patients living with a terminal illness. Since the commencement of PaCCSC, the Collaborative now has 14 sites actively participating in Phase III and Phase IV studies, and this number is continuing to grow. In addition, PaCCSC also facilitates the coordination of a number of competitively funded studies and actively seeks to source ongoing competitive funds for this purpose.

At present, the Collaborative has several studies open to recruitment which assess a variety of symptoms including; delirium, loss of appetite, pain, breathlessness, nausea and constipation. To date, PaCCSC has completed two clinical trials, for pain and bowel obstruction and has auspiced with over 50 peer reviewed publications. The total number of participants recruited is now over 1180, which is a tremendous achievement.

As we mark the 6 year anniversary of launch of PaCCSC and celebrate the successes of this Collaborative, we must also keep in mind that palliative care research is still fairly new in Australia and more awareness is needed to promote the correct use of medications in the terminally sick.


PaCCSC sponsors/supports a number of capacity building events aimed at health professionals working in palliative care.

Current PaCCSC Events

PaCCSC Annual Scientific Meeting, the Annual Research Forum was held on Thursday 5th and Friday 6th March 2015 in Sydney. Please refer to the Research Forum tab for more information.

PaCCSC Research Report Released!
Thursday, March 20th 2014

PaCCSC is proud to announce the release of our first Research Report as part of our 5th Annual Research Forum.

The report details the 8 year journey of PaCCSC from inception in 2006 through to our current position in 2014. Information on the clinical research studies, results and achievements of the Collaborative are all contained in the report. The report will interest both current collaborating Site staff and members, and provide an introduction to PaCCSC for those unfamiliar with the research network.

Hard copies will be available to all Forum attendees on Thursday, March 20th 2014. However, for those of you unable to attend the Forum there is a digital copy available online.

PaCCSC 2006 - 2014 Research Report

We hope you enjoy this report and please consider distributing copies or links to this item to parties interested in learning more about PaCCSC.

COSA Conference 2014 - PaCCSC was present as exhibitors and attendees at the 41st Clinical Oncology Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting from 2nd to 4th December 2014. Many members of PaCCSC were also in attendance and it was heartening to see our community growing within the wider palliative care research community.




Right: Louise Fazekas-Giles at the trade stand at the COSA Conference 2014







Australian Palliative Care Conference, September 3rd to 6th 2013 - The Palliative Care Clinical Studies (PaCCSC) staff and members were  pleased to be a part of the Australian Palliative Care Conference 2013  as exhibitors, presenters and  as attendees.
PaCCSC hosted two pre conference workshops: one offered independent of the conference organisers and the other in conjunction with the pre-conference program offerings
The first was a professional development workshop in partnership with ACORD prior to the APCC on Monday, September 2nd 2013. The PaCCSC/ACORD Concept Development Workshop focused on providing attendees with new skills in developing a palliative care research proposal from idea conception to a complex  multi-layered proposal capable of fuelling grant applications and informing team work. The evaluation feedback received from attendees indicated that the day was a great success with many commenting on how much they learned and how applicable this new knowledge will be to their research careers.
PaCCSC also facilitated a Critical Appraisal Pre-Conference Workshop through the APCC. Here Dr Narinder Gosall, a medical education specialists from SuperEgo Café, worked with attendees to hone their critical appraisal skills using examples from relevant palliative care articles. Once again, the day was a terrific success and many who couldn’t attend have already requested a second workshop in their eagerness. One attendee summed up the day very well: “The knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm of the presenter … made critical appraisal accessible. No changes [to the workshop] - A great job of meeting the needs of a varied audience.” PaCCSC and SuperEgo Café are thrilled to have such a positive response and hope to be able to collaborating again in the future.
 
As a collaborative PaCCSC had never exhibited at such a large event before but found the APCC to be the perfect platform to promote the Collaborative and the research being undertaken. The focus of PaCCSC on clinical trials in palliative medicine was well reflected in the APCC theme of “Palliative Care – Everybody’s Business”. Over the three days of the conference exhibition PaCCSC gained many new members, forged new contacts and welcomed the opportunity to engage more generally with the wider palliative care community  The networking opportunities provided by such a gathering cannot go unnoticed and PaCCSC was able to widen it’s membership as a result. PaCCSC are very proud of the work of our members and staff who presented at APCC including: Nikki McCaffrey; Belinda Fazekas; Christine Sanderson; Carol Hope; Gillian McCarthy; Natalie Cutri; Odette Spruyt; Brian Le; Naomi Byfieldt; Jennifer Philip; Gregory Crawford and David Currow. These presentations spanned a wide range of palliative care research and all were valued additions to the APCC schedule.
 
Overall the Australian Palliative Care Conference 2013 was a fantastic and successful experience for  PaCCSC. We look forward to be able to return and engage with the wider palliative care community in 2015.

                                                          

The PaCCSC Team at APCC 2013 (from Left to Right):
Nikki McCaffrey, Linda Devilee, Stacey Williams, Natalie Cutri, Belinda Fazekas