“Don’t stay silent”

Cancer patients urged to demand affordable & timely access to Precision Medicine

Canberra: Lead cancer experts have applauded the arrival of cutting-edge ‘Precision Medicine’ technologies but urge patients, facing high costs and delayed access, to voice their concerns direct to Government.

The launch of the third podcast in Private Cancer Physicians of Australia’s (PCPA’s) Cancer Patient Management series comes with the Government’s highly anticipated review of the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and its funding pathways for new diagnostic technologies and treatment therapies.

The nation’s peak body of private cancer specialists has joined other oncology and patient groups, along with its Strategic Alliance Partners, to advocate for the removal of the cost and regulatory barriers for patients with cancer, accessing up front molecular profiling.

In the podcast ‘Precision Medicine for Australian Patients with Cancer’, host and PCPA Treasurer, Professor Desmond Yip, unpacks the future of Comprehensive Genomic Profiling (CGP), the challenges of cost and the shared mission to make it a funded clinical solution for all cancer patients.

Professor Yip,  a senior Medical Oncologist at the Canberra Hospital, is joined by Professor Lorraine Chantrill, Medical Oncologist at the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) and Area Director of Clinical Trials and Dr Vivek Rathi, Group Molecular Pathologist at LifeStrands Genomics.

The cancer care experts all agree that Australians with cancer, should have equitable, timely and affordable access to Precision Medicine or CGP.

Professor Chantrill says progress is happening, albeit slowly, with Government subsidies offered for limited mutation profiling of common cancers, such as lung and bowel. However, she says the CGP sequencing on rare cancers is very important and should also be funded.

“To my colleagues, if you find an actionable mutation with an unreimbursed treatment, seek a clinical trial or access program. Ask your patient to advocate to Government. Don’t stay silent!”

“Fast turnaround times that inform molecular profiling for unwell patients is important to decide treatment options,” Dr Vivek said. “CGP is complex but results are now available, from some labs, in under two weeks.”

The PCPA Cancer Patient Management podcast series is produced by PCPA’s Education Partners, ScienceToLife as part of the PCPA’s Strategic Alliance Partnership Program, aimed at strengthening education and collaboration to ensure cancer patients are at the forefront of all decision making.

Precision Medicine for Australian Patients with Cancer is supported by AstraZeneca. ENDS

Download the latest PCPA podcast from Apple or Spotify 

Media contact:

Jannette Cotterell. Executive Counsel Australia. jcotterell@executivecounsel.com.au

Mobile: 0419 204 059

About Us

The Private Cancer Physicians of Australia (PCPA) is a not-for-profit member organisation dedicated to the improvement of the health system for all cancer patients, but particularly for private cancer patients in Australia. Our members are medical and radiation oncologists and haematologists.

Our mission is to promote and work towards a health system that provides high quality, fair, integrated cancer treatment that benefits patients and supports medical practitioners.

PCPA’s Strategic Alliance Partnership

Through our immersive Strategic Alliance Partnership program, we are bringing together the best minds in cancer care diagnosis and treatment, hospital and clinical trial innovation, advanced technology and equitable health policy to the long term benefit of our patients.

Founding Partners: