Joseph R Biden Jr, Vice President of the United States of America, today toured Victoria’s landmark $1 billion Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) ahead of its official opening.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, Victorian Minister for Health Jill Hennessy and Commonwealth Minister for Health Sussan Ley opened the world-class centre that will drive future innovations in cancer research, treatment, care and education.
To mark the historic occasion, an agreement has been signed that will see Victoria and USA join forces in the fight against cancer and work together on ground-breaking research to find a cure and save lives.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the USA’s National Cancer Institute and Victoria will strengthen international ties and encourage greater cooperation and sharing of knowledge in cancer research and patient care.
As part of this MOU to share information on cancer research, prevention, control and management, the Victorian Cancer Agency will establish a new Victorian USA Cancer Fellowship Exchange Program.
The program will support the exchange of up to four senior researchers a year between Victoria and National Cancer Institute sites in the USA to undertake research in cancer for between six to 12 months.
This sharing of knowledge will further enhance Victoria’s expertise in translational cancer research and build upon our reputation as a world leader in health and medical research.
“Today’s historic VCCC opening is a momentous step forward in the fight against cancer.” Premier Daniel Andrews
Mr Biden, whose son died of brain cancer, is renowned for his passion for improving cancer care through research. He is leading the USA’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative to cure cancer, launched earlier this year by President Barack Obama.
The initiative aims to make a decade of progress in preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer in five years, ultimately striving to end cancer. As chairman of the initiative, the Vice President is travelling the world to meet cancer experts and survivors, philanthropists and government leaders.
The VCCC is inspired by the USA Comprehensive Cancer Centre model where cutting edge patient services and research come together under one roof. There are 45 Comprehensive Cancer Centres in the USA, and the VCCC is the first in Australia.
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre patients, doctors and nurses last month moved into their modern new home at the VCCC, which includes 160 inpatient beds, 110 same-day beds, eight operating theatres, two procedure rooms and eight radiation therapy bunkers.
The VCCC will host up to 1200 cancer researchers, featuring cancer research and clinical facilities for Peter Mac, Melbourne Health, research facilities for the University of Melbourne and education facilities.
The facility includes a world class 42-bed intensive care unit based at the Royal Melbourne Hospital caring for critically ill patients from the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the Women’s and Peter Mac.
The 13-storey VCCC, located in the heart of Melbourne’s biomedical precinct in Parkville, was funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments. It also includes four new floors on top of the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said, “This is Australia’s first ever, purpose-built comprehensive cancer centre, built with the vision to save lives by connecting the world’s best cancer research, education, treatment and care under one roof.
“In this iconic, state-of-the-art building, the best and brightest medical minds will work side-by-side to fast-track future cancer breakthroughs and deliver first class care and treatment to patients.”
Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy welcomed the Victorian-US partnership plans – “we are proud to partner with the USA to share our expertise and work together to find a cure for cancer.
“In addition to the new facilities, 10 world leading cancer organisations have come together to form the VCCC Partnership to share knowledge and resources and drive the next generation of cancer discoveries. The VCCC will accelerate discoveries into clinical practice so all Victorians touched by cancer can receive the very best care and treatment sooner, and have a better chance of survival.”
[hr] Source: VCCC