It is is our hope that improving access to clinical trials regionally will lead to an improvement in patient outcomes.- Dr Theresa Hayes
A Warrnambool doctor is putting the city on the world stage when it comes to cancer research.
Dr Theresa Hayes, a cancer clinician who was instrumental in helping establish the city's cancer centre, was the co-author of research published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The research, conducted by Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, explored the use of a blood test to identify patients who may be able to avoid chemotherapy following surgery for early stage bowel cancer.
After collaboration with South West Health Care's clinical trial unit, Dr Hayes was the principle investigator for the DYNAMIC trial in Warrnambool.
Dr Hayes said 15 patients were able to participate in the trial without the need to travel.
The results were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago this month and were recently published in the highest-ranking medical journal in the world.
"The blood test, looking at circulating tumour DNA is not commercially available but this research will expedite processes so that it can be used for future patients to determine those that can safely avoid chemotherapy and still be cured," Dr Hayes said.
She said it was well-known regional patients had worse outcomes from cancer.
"Offering regional cancer research is a core aspect in improving cancer outcomes," Dr Hayes said.
"Traditionally, research trials have only been available in large metropolitan centres.
"The team at South West Oncology, with Associate Professor Ian Collins and Dr Oliver Klein are heavily committed to research with active trials in lung, breast, pancreas and rare cancers currently running.
"It is is our hope that improving access to clinical trials regionally will lead to an improvement in patient outcomes as well as offering cutting edge treatment close to home."
Dr Hayes has been a principle investigator on many national and international trials throughout her career.
The journal article is titled Circulating Tumor DNA Analysis Guiding Adjuvant Therapy in Stage II Colon Cancer.
Dr Hayes was among a number of co-authors of the journal article, which has received positive reviews across the world.
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