A Queensland tele-trial model, which is allowing rural and regional cancer patients access to clinical trials via video link and telecommunication, recruited its first participants in 2018. Architect of the model, Professor Sabe Sabesan of THHS, Icon Cancer Care, JCU and AITHM said access to trials represented a new phase in tele-oncology.
“In the past, drug companies have predominately targeted metro areas because the reach of potential patients was much higher,” said Professor Sabesan. “By linking areas of North Queensland, we can increase the availability of suitable patients and really incentivise attracting cutting edge trials to our communities. There has been significant progress in treating cancers and it is important our communities in rural and remote regions are able to access the latest developments.”
Professor Sabesan has developed and evaluated various tele-oncology models of care to deliver rural cancer care closer to home. The tele-chemo model in which clinicians in North and Far North Queensland supervise chemotherapy services via videolink is delivered by nurses and local health professionals in Thursday Island, Cape York, Bowen and Ingham. Based on the success of North and Far North Queensland trials of this model, it has now been adopted by Queensland Health and rolled out across the state as the Queensland Remote Chemotherapy Supervision (QReCS) model.
Prof Sabe Sabesan
Location: Townsville, JCU and ICON Cancer Care