Blood Cancer Taskforce | Leukaemia Foundation

Blood Cancer Taskforce

The Blood Cancer Taskforce at their inaugural meeting on 30 September 2019.

The Leukaemia Foundation established the Blood Cancer Taskforce with the support of the Federal Government to develop Australia’s first National Strategic Action Plan for Blood Cancer.

Co-chaired by Carrie Hillyard (Chairman, Leukaemia Foundation) and Professor John Seymour (Director of Cancer Medicine, Clinical Research and Haematology, Peter MacCallum Centre), the Taskforce unites Australia’s leading haematologists, researchers, patients and members of the blood cancer ecosystem for the first time. Their role is to provide a blueprint to help tackle the key issues facing the blood cancer community today and into the future.

The formation of the Taskforce and development of the Plan mark a major milestone for the blood cancer community, and will set the national agenda around blood cancer for many years to come.

They met for the first time on 30 September 2019, giving them the opportunity to discuss and agree on how they will achieve the publication and distribution of the National Strategic Action Plan for Blood Cancer Plan by June 2020.

Achieving best practice, accelerated research, enabling best practice

The first step will see the formation of Working Groups led by members of the Taskforce to focus on key priorities identified in the State of the Nation: Blood Cancer in Australia report. These Working Groups will engage in consultation with key blood cancer stakeholders, review existing services, programs and literature, and commence the early stages of drafting the National Strategic Action Plan for Blood Cancer.

Taskforce members

Professor Sanchia Aranda AM CEOCancer Council Australia
Dr Sharon AveryHaematologistCairns Base Hospital
Dr John BashfordDirector of ResearchIcon Group & PCPA
A/Professor Kate BurburyConsultant Haematologist; Deputy Chief Medical Officer Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Dr Joe CollinsRepresentativeLions Club International
Dr Michael DickinsonHaematologist and Disease Group Lead Aggressive Lymphoma (Peter MacCallum)Lymphoma Australia, Chair Medical Subcommittee
Dr Chris FraserChair Executive CouncilANZCHOG
Professor Maher GandhiCEO and Director of Clinical ResearchMater Research
Professor David GottliebProgram Director BMT, Head Cell TherapiesWestmead Hospital
Barbie Hartigan AdvocateLeukaemia Foundation Patient Support
Professor Tim Hughes 
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Cancer Theme LeaderSAHMRI
Dr Paul Jackson General Manager Knowledge ManagementCancer Australia
Professor David Joske ChairpersonSolaris Cancer Care
Melanie Kelly DirectorInsight Economics
Dr Rishi KotechaConsultant Paediatric Oncologist & Clinical HaematologistPerth Children’s Hospital; ANZCHOG
A/Professor Steven Lane Head of Cancer ProgramRoyal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital; QIMR Berghofer; HSANZ
Professor Paula MarltonHead of Leukaemia; Deputy Director HaematologyPrincess Alexandra Hospital
Dr Robert MenzSA&NT Council memberRACGP
A/Professor Peter Mollee DirectorAustralasian Leukaemia & Lymphoma Group
Carmel O’KaneCancer Nurse Practitioner; Vice President & Director Professional PracticeCancer Nurses Society of Australia
Professor Miles Prince AMDirector of Molecular Oncology and Cancer Immunology EpworthSnowdome Foundation; Myeloma Australia, Epworth Hospital
Professor Andrew Roberts Laboratory Head; Joint Leader, Cancer Research and Treatments ThemeWalter and Eliza Hall Institute
Professor John Seymour AMDirector: Department of HaematologyPeter MacCallum Cancer Centre & Royal Melbourne Hospital
Deborah Sims 
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Patient and advocateBlood Cancer Survivor
Delaine Smith CEOAustralasian Leukaemia & Lymphoma Group
Elizabeth de Somer CEOMedicines Australia
Dr Meg WallUnit Head, Genetics and Molecular PathologyMonash Pathology; Haematology Society of Australia & New Zealand
Richard Vines ChairmanRare Cancers Australia

Taskforce working groups

Working groupPrioritiesSub groups
Achieving best practice 
(Lead: Prof. John Seymour AM)
– Empower patients
– Catalyse health system reform
Optimal care pathways & clinical guidelines (Lead: Prof. John Seymour AM)
Patient reported outcomes (Lead: Prof. Sanchia Aranda)
Supportive care (Lead: Prof. David Joske)
Diagnostics (Lead: Prof. Maher Gandhi)
Accelerating research 
(Lead: Prof. Andrew Roberts)
– Accelerating researchn/a
Enabling access (Lead: Delaine Smith) – Enable access
– Key performance indicators for clinical trial participation
Last updated on June 11th, 2020

Developed by the Leukaemia Foundation in consultation with people living with a blood cancer, Leukaemia Foundation support staff, haematology nursing staff and/or Australian clinical haematologists. This content is provided for information purposes only and we urge you to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis, treatment and answers to your medical questions, including the suitability of a particular therapy, service, product or treatment in your circumstances. The Leukaemia Foundation shall not bear any liability for any person relying on the materials contained on this website.

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