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EnRICH - translational cancer research study

The study Embedding Research (and Evidence) in Cancer Healthcare, known as EnRICH, is aiming to improve outcomes for people with lung cancer in NSW.

It is a flagship program at Sydney Catalyst, led by program manager Dr Bea Brown.

About the author

Dr Bea Brown is program manager for the Sydney Catalyst Flagship Program EnRICH.

She is responsible for development, implementation, and management of the Program to ensure EnRICH meets its core research objectives and provides opportunities for Sydney Catalyst members.

Dr Brown has a background in health research and research management, as well as health services and implementation research.

Dr Bea Brown

Who is it aiming to help?

The study is bringing together cancer researchers across NSW to improve outcomes for people with lung cancer.

“Sydney Catalyst member hospitals care for around 500 people with lung cancer each year, so the EnRICH program has the potential to have a major impact on the outcomes for these patients,” Dr Bea Brown says.

For people receiving treatment it is aiming to reduce unwarranted clinical variation and prioritise interventions to improve service delivery.

“Lung cancer accounts for 9 per cent of all cancer diagnoses in NSW and persists as the most common cause of cancer death across Australia.”

“Consequently, reducing the impact on the community and improving the outlook for patients with lung cancer has been identified as a priority area in the NSW Cancer Plan.”

What is the study doing?

EnRICH has created a platform for researchers working across the Translational Cancer Research Centres in NSW.

It is helping them to develop and initiate basic science, clinical research, and intervention studies for lung cancer.

This can lead to new evidence of effective treatments and drive clinical quality improvement by addressing identified treatment gaps.

The EnRICH cohort comprises comprehensive patient, diagnostic, treatment and outcome data (including patient-reported outcomes). This works alongside serial blood samples (with more than 11,000 cryovials stored to date) and archival tumour tissue. Together they can deliver translational cancer research and clinical quality improvement.

Clinical data is being used to identify and reduce unwarranted clinical variation against evidence-based best practice quality indicators that may contribute to morbidity and burden of disease.

It is also prioritising interventions to improve service delivery, thereby ensuring best possible clinical outcomes for the lung cancer population – a translational research success.

What is the progress so far?

Over the last 12 months the EnRICH cohort has now reached its minimum target of 1,000 patients, and is perational across all Sydney Catalyst member clinical sites.

It has developed essential infrastructure to embed research and evidence in cancer healthcare, which is one of the four strategic goals of Sydney Catalyst.

“We are specifically working with hospitals in regional areas to ensure as many patients as possible are included,” Dr Brown says.

“Cancer outcomes for people living in rural and remote areas are often worse than for those living in metropolitan areas.”

The methodology that underpins the EnRICH Program also has the potential to be rolled out across other tumour types creating a holistic framework for improving cancer patient outcomes.

What is the role of Sydney Catalyst?

EnRICH is a flagship program for Sydney Catalyst.

“EnRICH was conceived by Sydney Catalyst to challenge traditional research silos and embed research in cancer healthcare,” Dr Brown explains.

  • Researchers are welcome to submit an expression of interest to conduct an EnRICH sub-study at any time. More information is available from EnRICH@ctc.usyd.edu.au.  
How is EnRICH changing lung cancer research?

How is EnRICH changing lung cancer research?

Thrombotic events are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in cancer.

Knowing which patients are at risk and when they will experience a thrombotic event is difficult to predict, and therapeutic options to prevent a thrombotic event are limited.

Working with EnRICH, Sydney Catalyst researchers at the Centenary Institute and ANZAC Research Institute have developed a new diagnostic test for identifying thrombotic risk.

Utilising fresh whole blood samples from lung cancer patients in EnRICH, the first measurements of procoagulant platelets in cancer have been taken.

The increased procoagulant platelet capacity of lung cancer patients may provide insight into the risk of thrombotic events.

Further collection of data from EnRICH will help identify factors that increase procoagulant platelets in lung cancer, such as treatment choice and driver mutations, and provide improved identification of patients at risk of thrombosis.

What is the progress so far?

Over the last 12 months the EnRICH cohort has now reached its minimum target of 1,000 patients, and is perational across all Sydney Catalyst member clinical sites.

It has developed essential infrastructure to embed research and evidence in cancer healthcare, which is one of the four strategic goals of Sydney Catalyst.

“We are specifically working with hospitals in regional areas to ensure as many patients as possible are included,” Dr Brown says.

“Cancer outcomes for people living in rural and remote areas are often worse than for those living in metropolitan areas.”

The methodology that underpins the EnRICH Program also has the potential to be rolled out across other tumour types creating a holistic framework for improving cancer patient outcomes.

What is the role of Sydney Catalyst?

EnRICH is a flagship program for Sydney Catalyst.

“EnRICH was conceived by Sydney Catalyst to challenge traditional research silos and embed research in cancer healthcare,” Dr Brown explains.

  • Researchers are welcome to submit an expression of interest to conduct an EnRICH sub-study at any time. More information is available from EnRICH@ctc.usyd.edu.au.