Rapid Fire Session 2014 World Cancer Congress

Establishing a translational cancer research program by developing research infrastructure and influencing system changes (#386)

Lena Caruso 1 , Robyn L Ward 1
  1. Prince of Wales Clinical School, UNSW, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Background and Context:

The Translational Cancer Research Network (TCRN) is one of seven Translational Cancer Research Centres funded by Cancer Institute of NSW. The program aims to encourage collaboration between academic and clinical leaders to integrate into interdisciplinary and translational enterprises focussing on cancer control.

The TCRN is based at the University of New South Wales and partners with South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD), the Border Medical Oncology Research Unit (Albury/Wodonga) and the University of Technology, Sydney.


The TCRN is a network formed from the partner institutions to create an innovative and supportive environment for the translation of research findings into improvements in patient care and outcomes.


Our strategy has been four-fold:

1)      develop infrastructure linking health and university

2)      create or influence system changes

3)      develop the 2020 cancer workforce, and

4)      Link members via communication and grants

Underwriting this strategy is the intention that everything we establish is sustainable beyond CINSW program funding.

Programme/Policy Process:

We have used the following investment decisions: Value for money, linked to goals, for the benefit of most to deliver 3 different resource types:

·        TCRN-led projects (in house expertise)

·        Embedded expertise (contracted expertise)

·        Outsourcing (expertise via innovation grants)

Outcomes/What was learned:

In 3 years we have:

·        Established a successful network of 250+ members across 10 different sites.

·        Established a universal consent for Biobanking at 5 NSW public and private hospitals and de-coupled collection of tissue into Biobank

·        Construction of Health-grade data storage for direct linkage to NSW Health systems

·        Automated data transfer of pathology data between Biobank data system and SEALS LIMS

·        Automated acquisition of whole slide images from specimens into Biobank

·        Linkage of Commonwealth data (MBS, PBS) with biospecimens (580 cases to date)

·        Established a Consumer Advisory Committee