Trialing new cancer treatments

Clinical trials provide us with opportunities to translate our laboratory research findings to new patient treatments. Our unique location within the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre at Austin Health allows us to link these trials directly with clinical teams and suitable patients. We also work with other hospitals across Victoria and Australia so even more patients can benefit from these trials.

At any one time, our scientists are involved in clinical trials for a range of cancers which could include brain, bowel, breast, skin, gastrointestinal, head and neck, pancreatic, prostate and lung cancer.

Frequently asked questions

All clinical trials that are currently led by the ONJCRI are listed on the following websites:
Victorian Cancer Council
National Clinical Trials Registry

Full details of each trial, including full recruitment details, are also available on this site.

You will need the support of your oncologist to participate in a clinical trial, so it is best if you work together to identify if there are any trials that may be suitable for you to consider.

We have a strong track record and experience in leading clinical trials. Our scientists, clinicians and research colleagues are investigators on clinical trials spanning “First time in human” investigations, through to multinational phase III trials.

By participating in a clinical trial you can help us to further our understanding of how to detect and treat cancers.  You will be directly helping future generations of people impacted by cancer.

Some of our clinical trials

Rare cancer trials

We are currently leading a first-of-a-kind trial that will have significant global implications for the treatment of patients with rare cancers.

This trial benefits a group of patients with rare gastrointestinal, neuroendocrine and gynaecological cancers for whom there are few effective drugs.  Patients on this trial are being treated with a combination of immune-stimulating anti-cancer drugs and early indications are showing clinical benefit.

The first 60 patients recruited to this trial were generously supported using a grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb Ltd, and the support of our project partners Rare Cancers Australia. In 2018, the Institute received a $1 million funding boost from the Federal Government which enabled the recruitment of an additional 60 additional patients living in regional and rural areas to access the trial drugs.

This is a much needed contribution for an area of a profound need such as these patients with rare and otherwise untreatable cancers.


Medicinal cannabis clinical trial

ONJCRI will lead a randomised phase I/II clinical trial to evaluate the use of medicinal cannabis for patients with advanced cancer.

This will be a first-of-its-kind clinical trial in Victoria and one of only a few being conducted world-wide.

The aim is to assess the impact medicinal cannabis has on the quality of life of participants in a palliative care setting. This project is being partially funded by the Victorian Government.

Throughout the trial, participants will be monitored closely for improvements in quality of life, pain, appetite, anxiety, nausea, fatigue, sleep and weight loss. Further funding is sought to identify whether the use of cannabis may have any anti-cancer effect.

108 trial participants will be recruited from four national hospitals. This trial will not be made available to the public but rather participants will be invited by their oncologist or oncology team if they meet all pre-determined selection criteria.