The Vice President of the United States of America, Joseph R Biden Jr, has celebrated Melbourne's landmark A$1 billion Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) coinciding with the launch of the new initiative.
Mr Biden, whose son died of brain cancer, is leading the USA's National Cancer Moonshot Initiativeto cure cancer, launched earlier this year by President Barack Obama.
The world-class, $1 billion VCCC that will drive future innovations in cancer research, treatment, care and education was launched by the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews.
The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed that will see Victoria and USA join forces in the fight against cancer and work together on ground-breaking research to find a cure and save lives.
The agreement between the USA's National Cancer Institute and Victoria will strengthen international ties and encourage greater cooperation and sharing of knowledge in cancer research and patient care.
The Victorian Cancer Agencywill establish a new Victorian USA Cancer Fellowship Exchange Program, as part of the MOU.
The program will support the exchange of up to four senior researchers a year between Victoria and National Cancer Institute sites in the USA to undertake research in cancer for between six to 12 months.
This sharing of knowledge will further enhance Victoria's expertise in translational cancer research and build upon our reputation as a world leader in health and medical research.
The initiative aims to make a decade of progress in preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer in five years, ultimately striving to end cancer.
As chairman of the initiative, Mr Biden is travelling the world to meet cancer experts and survivors, philanthropists and government leaders.
The 13-storey VCCC, located in the heart of the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct in Parkville, was funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments. It also includes four new floors on top of the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
The VCCC, the first in Australia, is inspired by the USA Comprehensive Cancer Centre model where cutting edge patient services and research come together under one roof. There are 45 Comprehensive Cancer Centres in the USA.
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre patients, doctors and nurses last month moved into their modern new home at the VCCC, which includes 160 inpatient beds, 110 same-day beds, eight operating theatres, two procedure rooms and eight radiation therapy bunkers.
The VCCC will host up to 1200 cancer researchers, featuring cancer research and clinical facilities for Peter Mac, Melbourne Health, research facilities for the University of Melbourne and education facilities.
Level 13 will become the Ian Potter Centre for new Cancer Treatmentsand provide a home for the Peter Mac led Immunotherapy Research Program, the Australian Genome Research Facility, the Cooperative Research Centre for Cancer Therapeutics and the Innovative Clinical Trials Centre.
These organisations will work with other research groups and cancer experts at the VCCC to translate the latest breakthroughs in cancer research into clinical practice.
Level 13 will also be home to the new International Cancer Research Centre where partnerships will be forged with other research entities and global studies and trials will be promoted. They will be joined by the National Proton Beam Therapy Centre who will continue its work to establish Australia's first Proton Beam Therapy Centre.