Professor John Simes

John, MBBS, MS, FRACP, MD is Director of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Clinical Trials Centre based at the University of Sydney. He is a Senior Principal Research Fellow of the NHMRC. He is also a practising medical oncologist at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and lectures in Clinical Epidemiology, in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Sydney.


Embedding Research (and Evidence) in Cancer Healthcare - an update on the Sydney Catalyst EnRICH Program

Simes J.1,2,   Boyer M.2,3, Hogg P.3,4, Joshua A.5,6, Young J.7,8,9, Chin V.5,6, Brown B.3

1 NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW, Australia   
2 Chris O'Brien Lifehouse, Camperdown, NSW, Australia
3 Sydney Catalyst Translational Cancer Research Centre, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW, Australia
4 Centenary Institute, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW, Australia
5 Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Darlinghurst, NSW, Australia
6 St Vincent's Hospital Sydney / The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Darlinghurst, NSW, Australia
7 School of Public Health, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW, Australia
8 Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SouRCe), Sydney Local Health District, Camperdown, NSW, Australia
9 RPA Institute of Academic Surgery, Sydney Local Health District, Camperdown, NSW, Australia

Lung cancer accounts for 9% of all cancer diagnoses, is the most common cause of cancer related death, and is the leading cause of morbidity and burden of disease in NSW and across Australia. The outlook for patients with lung cancer remains poor with only a 15% overall five year survival rate. For patients diagnosed with advanced stage disease, five year survival is less than 5%. Improvements in lung cancer survival rates are not comparable with improvements for other cancers.

The Sydney Catalyst flagship program 'Embedding Research (and Evidence) in Cancer Healthcare - EnRICH', is building a program of translational research in lung cancer which aims to: describe the natural history of and patterns of care for lung cancer; identify current gaps in evidence and practice for clinical quality improvement; and create a platform for researchers across the T1-T3 translational research spectrum to extend evidence of effective treatments and increase the use of clinical care based on existing evidence.     EnRICH will build on collaborations within Sydney Catalyst, across NSW, Australia, and internationally to establish a multidisciplinary program of research in scientific discovery, diagnostic and therapeutic development, clinical trials and implementation science.

EnRICH is a prospective clinical cohort of a minimum 1000 patients with lung cancer (non-small cell and small cell, any histological type, any clinical/pathological stage) from Sydney Catalyst metropolitan and regional member clinical sites. To date, more than 630 patients have been enrolled and the cohort is expected to include 1000 patients by mid-2020.    EnRICH provides a comprehensive research platform. Clinical audit data is available for all patients including demographic, clinical, biomarker, molecular profile, and outcome data. Matched biological samples (FFPE diagnostic tumour tissue, and serial pre- and post-treatment blood samples) and patient-reported outcomes are available for consented patients to support a range of interconnected research from across the T1 - T3 translational research spectrum, from bench to bedside (and bedside to bench) through to policy and practice. The cohort will enable reliable estimates of outcomes both overall and within histological and genetic sub-types.

Preliminary descriptive data will be presented for the first 500 consecutive patients in the cohort, including patient, disease and treatment data to identify initial priorities for linked translational research studies and quality improvement interventions. A brief update on current linked sub-studies will also be provided.

The EnRICH program provides unique infrastructure to support translational cancer research.