Monash University’s cancer research spans biomedical research, translational research, clinical research, patient oriented research, epidemiology, behavioural and outcomes studies and health services research, and is dedicated to improving cancer patient outcomes through understanding the mechanisms of cancer, prevention and early detection, improved diagnostics, advancing personalised therapies, drug development and safety, clinical trials (Phase 1 through to V), improved radiotherapy treatment (including brachytherapy), clinical quality cancer registries and quality of life and survivorship studies.
Over twenty of Monash University’s Schools and Institutes are at the core of cancer research. Some of the largest are highlighted below.
Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences
MIPS is Australia’s largest, most experienced and successful group of pharmaceutical scientists. MIPS undertake basic and translational drug discovery, drug delivery and drug development with a focus on oncology, infectious disease, pain and inflammation, neuroscience and metabolic disease. MIPS is a foundation research partner of the Cancer Therapeutics Cooperative Research Centre which is designing new cancer drugs.
Monash Institute of Medical Engineering
The Monash Institute of Medical Engineering (MIME), fosters and coordinates translational medtech research across Monash University faculties, partner hospitals and collaborating medical research institutions. Our clinician-led research programs focus on major clinical and health system needs, and integrate expertise from across engineering, IT, science, biomedical and clinical research to develop to develop new devices, diagnostics, therapeutics, delivery systems and clinical tools. We work in close partnership with industry and hospitals to accelerate the development of new technologies through development, trials, commercialisation and adoption.
MIME’s two major clinical nodes are based at the Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct and the Monash Health Translation Precinct.
Monash Biomedical Discovery Institute
In 2015 Monash University established the Monash Biomedical Discovery Institute (BDI) in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. Mirroring the structure of the MPAHSC and MHTP, the BDI discovery programs will be organised by disease related themes, including cancer, immunity and infection, development and stem cells, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease and obesity with the aim of facilitating collaboration across scientific research groups and with clinical partners to accelerate and coordinate the translation of scientific breakthroughs. The Biomedical Discovery Institute will have a focus on increasing interactions with funding agencies, industry, government and philanthropy.
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine
Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine (SPHPM) is a centre of excellence in registry science. SPHPM has led the development and application of clinical quality registries nationally since the late 1990s and now hosts more than 30 national and state registries. The service is pivotal in linking clinical cancer outcomes to best practice treatment and research priorities (ref section 3.1). It can also be a tool to inform policy and allocation of health resources. SPHPM is also associated with research focused on prevention of disease including: chronic disease prevention; health promotion; increasing the evidence base of healthcare; improving quality and safety of healthcare; advancing health information technology; improving cost-effectiveness; prolonging disability free survival amongst the elderly; Improving the care of the critically ill and injured; reducing adverse health impacts of the environment and the workplace; and maintaining good research practice, including multicentre ethics and agreements.
Central Clinical School
The Central Clinical School (CCS) is co-located with The Alfred hospital and is a centre for clinical and biomedical research and education, offering undergraduate and postgraduate study programs. CCS is a core hub for translational research and medicine, covering a great breadth of subject areas. CCS’s research is highly collaborative, and the School is an integral part of the Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct (AMREP), where world leaders partner in biomedical and clinical research. With such close links to health care providers we are able to rapidly move towards health outcomes in improved patient care.
Australian Centre for Blood Diseases
The Australian Centre for Blood Diseases, in Monash’s Central Clinical School, aims to provide excellence in the diagnosis and treatment of blood conditions as well as play a leading role in the advancement of knowledge in this increasingly important area of Medicine. The ACBD is affiliated with The Alfred’s Haematology Department.
School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health
The School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health is a vibrant hub of teaching and translational research with a strong collaboration between Monash University and Monash Health, Victoria’s largest hospital network. SCS sits within the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, and seeks to provide an innovative approach to research, education, teaching and clinical practice. The school provides a diverse range of specialities and prides itself on being at the forefront of medical, clinical/translational research and education.
SCS cancer researchers tackle the mysteries of cancer from a number of different perspectives. Some carry out research into specific cancers, such as cancer of the lung, bowel, endometrium, brain, bladder and stomach. Others investigate the role that innate immunity, specific proteins and cancer stem cells play in the onset and development of the disease.
Importantly, our Phase I Clinical Trials Program provides researchers with the potential to translate laboratory findings into new cancer therapies for patients.