This week’s Guest Post is by James Garland, CEO of Australian Prostate Cancer Research - a relatively new organisation that is breaking new ground in clinical and translational research.
"Australian Prostate Cancer Research (APCR) was founded two years ago as there was no organisation drawing together researchers and resources to run large-scale, multi-partner research projects targeting improved clinical impact for men with prostate cancer. Everything we do at APCR has a measurable outcome and a direct line-of-sight to a tangible impact for patients. It has been a busy past twelve months for us and here are some of the reasons why:
2013 Prostate Cancer World Conference
We hosted the first ever Prostate Cancer World Congress this year attracting over 1,000 attendees, including clinicians and researchers from over 35 countries. Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre hosted the event and we were fortunate to have record support from industry partners and from the Victorian Government. The event is critical in bringing world leaders to Australia to share their knowledge and skills with our local clinicians and healthcare providers. We couldn’t have been happier with the result, it was an unprecedented success, attracting hundreds of submissions of which 170 were short listed for presentation.
Pelvic Floor Exercise Programme
At the 2013 World Congress, we also launched a fantastic new animated educational video providing information about the pelvic floor muscles and how to correctly perform pelvic
floor exercises. These exercises are important in helping men regain continence after treatment for prostate cancer. The DVD also allows men to both learn and try the exercises in the privacy of their own home.
The project was led by Specialist Nurse Practitioner Helen Crowe, who has 20 years’ experience in prostate cancer care, and brought together a number of other practitioners and industry partners to deliver this high quality program, free to clinicians.
The project was funded by Hospira Pty Ltd. To order a copy of the educational DVD, you can contact: Lynette McIntosh on Ph 03 8744 5017.
PROSTMATE – Online Clinical Support Model
We’re really excited about this project. PROSTMATE is a ground breaking personalised support system for men and their families dealing with prostate cancer. It will provide access to the latest information, personalised support, specialised programs and consultations with experienced prostate cancer specialist nurses and allied health practitioners.
PROSTMATE has being developed in partnership with leading cancer agencies, researchers and clinicians. It will be free to join, easy to use and a valuable resource to help make informed choices.
The site is expected to be released to the general public in November, 2013. So not long to go now! Keep an eye on www.prostmate.org.au
Expanding the Collection of Rare Tissue Samples
We continued our funding and coordinating role for the Urological Biorepository Project; a long-standing, unique and critical research resource. We have expanded our staffing footprint in the area of blood and tissue collection as we develop new partnerships in the area of genomics. This year saw plans for expansion in collection to bone and blood samples from new groups of men with prostate cancer.
The increase in scope adds significant value to the resource, which is now one of the leading contributors to the largest global genomics study – The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). We have also collected one of the most accurate, rare sample banks that is actively being studied in the development of new gene tests and targets for treatment.
New Specilaised Prostate Cancer Clinic Model – Coming Soon!
Australian Prostate Cancer Research is supporting three new cancer clinic models this coming year, predominantly for high risk and advanced cancer patients; but one new Clinic in Melbourne will provide a complete service to men with prostate cancer at all stages – the first of its kind in Australia.
Clinicians and patients alike have alerted Australian Prostate Cancer Research to gaps in patient care, stating they need more tailored and focused treatment options at the later stages of the disease and help in avoiding the ‘drop-off’ in support some patients experience following treatment. Australian Prostate Cancer Research is developing partnerships and funding-streams to implement and sustain new holistic clinic models that will research improved protocols and treatment pathways for patients".
James Garland is Chief Executive Officer of Australian Prostate Cancer Research. Research into prostate cancer is not a new phenomenon; but James and the team are focusing on projects that deliver direct impacts for men with the disease and the healthcare sector that supports them. James has been working in the non-profit sector in Australia and the UK for over 10 years and has worked across a range of other areas in the sector including disability, community development, child protection and education.
James received a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne, is currently studying an MBA at Swinburne University and has held CFRE credential since 2008. James Chairs the biannual CEO Forum for non-profit leaders.
You can follow this link to the APCR website APCR