5 Minutes with Maria Gonzalez
20 May 2016
This International Clinical Trials Day (20th May) we reflect on the importance of clinical trials and the people who dedicate their lives to helping melanoma patients today and in the future. We've sat down with MIA's Clinical Trials Manager, Maria Gonzalez to discuss.
What does a Clinical Trials Manager do and how did you get here?
In my role I work with a team of highly dedicated and caring trial co-ordinators who are responsible for looking after our trial patients. I completed a degree in nursing at The University of Sydney and worked at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital before deciding to work in clinical trials in the hope that I may contribute to life-saving research. I have been at MIA for 6 years now.
What are clinical trials so important?
Clinical trials provide patients with access to unavailable new treatments and are also the vital step in making discoveries that will enable us to find a cure for melanoma. Clinical trials are also an opportunity for patients to receive very specialised care from clinical trial co-ordinators who are available at every step along the way to support patients and their families.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
As a nurse I am most rewarded by making a difference in the lives of those suffering with cancer. It is a privilege to be part of a patient support network at MIA and also wonderful to share in the good news when a trial treatment is successful. Although we have made significant progress and the future is positive, it is important we keep working together to find the cure.
Two publications co-edited by MIA Co-Medical Director Professor Richard Scolyer are now available to healthcare professionals. They aim to provide assistance in the care and management of patients with skin cancer, including melanoma.
Melanoma Institute Australia has introduced a new educational program to teach teenagers about the dangers of melanoma and the importance of sun safety.
"International collaboration remains the key to ensuring this pioneering research continues so we can increase survival rates for advanced melanoma patients and move us closer to achieving our goal of zero deaths from melanoma," says Professor Georgina Long, of the clinical trial results presented at ESMO 2018.
Research that could change clinical practice for high-risk Stage III melanoma patients has been presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress in Munich.
A larger, monthly dose of immunotherapy can give melanoma patients more freedom without sacrificing effectiveness.
The Australasian Melanoma Conference, hosted by the Australasian Melanoma Conference Committee, was held in Melbourne on the weekend, with many of MIA's clinicians in attendance.
The two men who discovered checkpoint inhibitors, the brakes of the immune system, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday, October 1.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is releasing the 4th edition of Classification of Skin Tumours.
Former Executive Director of Melanoma Institute Australia Professor John Thompson awarded the prestigious 2018 RPA Foundation Research Medal.
Clinicians, patients and other stakeholders in the cancer community are invited to make submissions in support of the PBS listing for pembrolizumab.
The World Congress on Cancers of the Skin 2018 has featured many minds from MIA sharing their expertise and wealth of knowledge with over 1000 attendees from around the world.
Melanoma Institute Australia is delighted to announce the appointment of Matthew Browne as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
It was a full house this week at Melanoma Institute Australia thanks to our ‘Melanoma in Practice: Nurse Conference’.
A new study from The University of Sydney shows that sunscreen reduces melanoma risk by 40 per cent when used from a young age.
Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) has launched a free e-learning portal to educate healthcare professionals about the latest advances in melanoma diagnosis and treatment.
When David lost his life last year, he was 33, with three daughters under six.
Clinical trials are just that – trials in a clinical setting to evaluate the effectiveness or otherwise of individual and combination treatments.
Melanoma Institute Australia scooped the award pool at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Academy of Pathology.
Melanoma patients across Australia will benefit from the release of updated clinical care guidelines.