Melanoma Clinical Trial opens in Wagga
23 June 2021
Melanoma patients throughout the Riverina now have access to a potentially life-saving immunotherapy clinical trial in Wagga, saving them a monthly 10 hour round-trip to Sydney.
The Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) clinical trial is running out of the Riverina Cancer Care Centre. It is the first clinical trial to open in Wagga following last year’s merger of MIA and the Amie St Clair Melanoma Trust.
Annette St Clair, who with her husband Peter founded the Amie St Clair Melanoma Trust in 2010 in honour of their 23-year-old daughter Amie, said the opening of the clinical trial in Wagga was a dream come true.
‘We are delighted that, a decade after we lost our much-loved daughter to this insidious disease, melanoma patients in the Riverina can now access ground-breaking new trial treatments right here in Wagga,’ Annette said.
‘Our decision to merge with Melanoma Institute Australia last year was driven by a desire to boost services available to local patients, including giving them access to the same world-class treatments available in Sydney. This is a proud day for us all, as our dream has turned into reality.’
The trial is to prevent disease spread in Stage II melanoma patients whose tumours have been surgically removed. It is being run under the tele-trial model, meaning clinicians run the trial at Melanoma Institute Australia in Sydney and partner with the Riverina Cancer Care Centre to also run the trial in Wagga.
Head of Clinical Trials at Melanoma Institute Australia, Maria Gonzalez, said the benefits for local patients in the Riverina will be immense.
‘Not only does it mean patients get the monthly infusions at the Riverina Cancer Care Centre, saving them costly and time consuming trips to Sydney and back, but they also have ongoing medical and specialist melanoma nursing support right here in Wagga,’ Ms Gonzalez said.
‘This ongoing monitoring for side effects and disease progression is critical, and will benefit not only our patients but their families as well.’
The start of clinical trials in Wagga means local patients are also contributing to MIA’s ground-breaking research.
The first patients on the Wagga tele-trial are expected to begin treatment in the next few weeks. Additional tele-trials are expected to be rolled out in the Riverina later this year.
‘We are extremely proud of what we have achieved, 10 years after we started advocating and fundraising for improved services in the Riverina,’ Annette added.
‘Every single person who supported us, and who continues to support Melanoma Institute Australia, should be justifiably proud of the vital role they have played in ensuring melanoma patients in the Riverina can access the best possible care, so close to home.’
Melanoma Institute Australia is affiliated with The University of Sydney
Photo of Dr David Palmieri, Annette St Clair and Janice Kruesmann taken by Emma Hillier.
Patients - for more information, please contact:
Danielle Goss, Melanoma Clinical Nurse Specialist Mobile: 0413766232 Email: Danielle.Goss@melanoma.org.au
Media - for more information, please contact:
Jennifer Durante - Melanoma Institute Australia - Ph 0412 798 990 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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