Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre has signed a collaborative Agreement with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the United States to advance research and improve diagnosis towards better treatments and potential cures.

The Agreement with Dana-Farber, a Harvard-affiliated Teaching Hospital and one of America’s designated National Cancer Institutes, also promotes excellence in education by providing new opportunities for skill exchange and professional development amongst cancer researchers and clinicians at both sites.

Peter Mac’s Chief Executive Dale Fisher said the Agreement supported Peter Mac’s mission to provide excellence in cancer research and care, and further strengthened Victoria’s international reputation as a leader in biomedical sciences.

“This partnership will encourage and support some of the world’s best clinical researchers and scientists, as they work together in search of breakthrough cancer treatments. 

“International collaborations such as these will be essential in accelerating advancements in life-changing cancer care for Australians and all people affected by cancer,” according to Ms Fisher.

The Agreement makes possible new Peter Mac – Dana-Farber collaborations including:

  • Joint research activities in areas of interest such as cancer genomics, immune-based cancer therapies, cancer imaging and a molecular tumor board

  • Participation in seminars and conferences organised by the respective institutions

  • An exchange program for graduate students and or postdoctoral research fellows, for the purpose of furthering their education and collaboration(s) of mutual interest.

Announcing the partnership at its AGM today, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Chair, Ms Maxine Morand said Peter Mac had identified Dana-Farber as a strategic partner because of its strong expertise in cancer research, and its governance and operating model whereby it had joined with Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School and four of its affiliated hospitals to create the Dana-Farber/ Harvard Cancer Center.

“The model is consistent with the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) alliance - ten leading Melbourne-based organisations collaborating on cancer research and care, of which Peter Mac is a member,” said Ms Morand.

Victorian Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy, said the agreement was an important step forward in the global fight against cancer.

"We are proud to support Peter Mac to partner with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to share our knowledge and work together to find a cure for cancer," said Ms Hennessy.

"Victoria and Peter Mac are home to some of the best and brightest cancer clinicians, researchers and scientists in the world, and this partnership will allow us to build on this expertise and help save more lives across the globe."

Victoria’s International Health Strategy 2016-2020 encourages the State’s research institutions to forge new global ties and research partnerships.

Earlier in November it was also announced Peter Mac had signed a new Sister Institution Agreement with the Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Centre, in China. In 2014 a similar agreement was signed with the MD Anderson Cancer Centre at Texas Medical Centre.

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