Victorian Lung Cancer Registry
School of Public Health & Preventive Medicine
Monash University, Cancer Research Program
Level 3, 553 St Kilda Road

Melbourne, VIC, 3004
Switch + 61 3 9903 0555  
Fax + 61 3 9903 0576
Email: 
med-vlcr@monash.edu
Web: http://vlcr.registry.org.au

 

 

VLCR - Aims and Background

Aims

The main aim of the VLCR is to monitor the patterns of care and outcomes of individuals diagnosed with lung cancer in contributing Victorian public and private hospitals. The Registry provides population-based information on the patterns of care for people diagnosed with lung cancer and assesses whether there is variation in health-related quality of life and survival following diagnosis of lung cancer across Victoria.

Clinical registries such as the VLCR are valued tools for quality improvement. They improve care by arming doctors and teams treating lung cancer with information about how their outcomes benchmark with standards and other clinical outcomes, both locally and (sometimes) internationally.  Registries identify variation in patterns and processes of care and outcomes and factors that influence adverse outcomes. Registries also provide a valuable tool to track how innovations in the science translate into longer term outcomes in the ‘real world’.

Background

Lung cancer accounts for the highest number of deaths from cancer in Australia, with the expectation of almost 9000 deaths from lung cancer estimated in 2017 (18.8% of all cancer deaths).1 Despite advances in imaging, surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and targeted therapies, the overall 5 year survival rate for lung cancer in Australia is just 15%. 1  Although rates of smoking continue to decline, the large number of former smokers means that death from lung cancer will continue at this rate for several decades. Whilst the biggest risk factor for lung cancer remains exposure to tobacco smoke, one in three women and one in ten men diagnosed with lung cancer will have never smoked and this proportion has increased over time. 2

To improve population outcomes in newly diagnosed lung cancer there is a crucial need to ensure that patients are assessed and diagnosed in a timely manner, whilst ensuring that treatment outcomes are consistent with accepted benchmarking standards. One of the most basic tools needed to improve outcomes for all lung cancer patients across Victoria is accurate, prospective, real-time data. Without such data, it will not be possible to meaningfully translate new biomarkers, screening modalities and therapies into the Victorian community.

References

  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. "Lung Cancer in Australia", last updated 2017.
  2. Australian Safety and Compensation Council, Occupational Cancer in Australia (Canberra: Australian Safety and
    Compensation Council, 2006)