New Medical Oncology Research Manager appointed
“The Alfred Cancer Trials unit is progressive, innovative, supportive, and driven – it’s a dynamic environment to be in, and that’s what excites me.”
These are the words of Chris Brooks who was recently seconded into the role of Clinical Research Manager of Medical Oncology.
The Medical Oncology clinical trials’ unit researches new treatment options for cancer/malignant tumours such as breast, colorectal, lung, melanoma and upper gastrointestinal (GI) cancer, prostate, brain and rare cancers.
With more than 25 years’ nursing, research and clinical trial experience, Chris brings a wealth of knowledge to one of our fastest growing trial units.
“We have around 50 open clinical trials at any one time, and my role means I have direct contact with patients, carers, family members, as well as overseeing a team of 20. It’s a unique role in that I get exposure to new information every day, and I can advocate for the patients by enabling access to clinical trials – it’s a nice balance,” Chris said.
Clinical trials are research investigations in which people volunteer to test new treatments, interventions or tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage various diseases or medical conditions.
Chris brings clinical trial Team Leader experience from Monash Hospital, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, and Oncology Practice experience. She is also critical care certified.
“As I look back on the years, there are treatments such as immunotherapy that were in trial phase many years ago and now it’s readily available. This is the best part of research; providing more and more patients with greater access to evidence-based treatment options,” she said.
“Clinical trials are very important for a number of reasons. They allow us to improve the overall treatment of our patients, increase patient access to new treatments that may not be available outside of a trial for a number of years, and the quality of care is always exceptional,” she added. An exciting step for their trials, says Chris, is working with a new initiative TrialHub to take cancer trials out into regional and remote hospitals.
“We know there has been an inequity in patient access to clinical trials between metro patients and regional/remote patients. We’re working with TrialHub to identify what these hospitals need, and suitable trials, so that they can deliver trials to their patients locally,” she said.
She is also now representing Alfred Health on a number of state-based clinical trial expert working groups.
Chris replaces Cheryl-Ann Hawkins who has taken on the role as Chief Executive at Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials.