Peter Mac News

Cancer care on the global cutting-edge  

01 February 2024

WCD Clinical Trial Image

Victorians - including many who live in regional areas - have access to treatments on the cutting-edge of cancer care globally thanks to clinical trials.

Patients just like Kerry Robertson (pictured above), who lives in Eaglehawk just outside of Bendigo.

Kerry was diagnosed with prostate cancer when he was 59. Now aged 76, Kerry has been involved in several international clinical trials while being treated for cancer.

He is now enrolled in a trial assessing a novel treatment for metastatic prostate cancer that has spread to bone. 

“Clinical trials have been particularly good for me – otherwise I’d not be here!” says Kerry, who makes the trip into Peter Mac regularly to receive an infusion.

Peter Mac is home to the Parkville Cancer Clinical Trials Unit (PCCTU) which encompasses cancer clinical trials run by Peter Mac, the Royal Melbourne and Royal Women’s hospitals.

It is Australia's largest cancer clinical trials unit, with over 110 staff members and 70 investigators.

The PCCTU stages clinical trial across the spectrum from initial “first-in-human” through to large cohort Phase III clinical trials – the final step before a new drug can enter routine use by doctors.

Currently, the PCCTU has 229 international clinical trials in progress - 127 of these open to recruiting new patients. 

International trials are often run on behalf of the world’s major pharmaceutical or biotech companies, and hundreds of Victorian patients take part in these trials every year.

Via the PCCTU, Peter Mac is helping Victorians – many of whom have exhausted conventional treatment options – to access the world’s latest discoveries in cancer treatment.