Impact

Research is in Icon’s DNA and is paramount to the delivery of exceptional cancer care today and tomorrow

Research milestones

With a significant history in cancer research spanning more than 25 years, Icon has been an active contributor in a number of milestone trials that have seen significant advancements in cancer treatments.

These include:

  • Contributed to the ground-breaking trial that developed a gold standard of treatment for the use of Herceptin in HER2-positive breast cancer cases
  • TRANSFORM – the world’s largest trial of its kind, which found that stereotactic radiation therapy for metastatic prostate cancer can delay treatment progression for more than two years – changing the standard of care for men with advanced prostate cancer across the world
  • SHRINC – a radiation oncology investigator-initiated trial assessing the use of stereotactic hypofractionated radiation therapy for multiple (3-10) cerebral metastases
  • COVID-19 self-administered testing study – the first study in Australia to explore the feasibility and efficacy of COVID-19 self-testing in a cancer population
  • LIBERATE – an Australian-first clinical registry which aims to provide proof of concept on the use of focal brachytherapy for men with prostate cancer

Leaders in Phase I clinical trials

Icon’s state-of-the-art primary Phase I unit opened in 2016 at the Icon Cancer Centre in South Brisbane, Queensland and led by Medical Oncologist, A/Prof Jim Coward continues to be a flagship in the promotion and accessibility of first in-human trials. A/Prof Coward has been instrumental in pioneering Phase I clinical trials and today, Phase I makes up approximately 33% of the group’s research participant accrual. The addition of Ashford Cancer Centre Research [ACCR] has added to Icon’s Phase I and overall trials portfolio, increasing growth by 50%.

Clinical trial enrolment achievements

Continuing to foster industry relationships and embed research into patient care, Icon has seen leading trial recruitment numbers and continual growth over the past four years. With increased research participation from experienced clinicians and a well-established governance and team framework Icon has been able to increase trial recruitment and accelerate start-up trial procedures.

In 2020, Icon was awarded the highest global recruiters title for the POTOMAC trial. Led by Principal Investigator, Dr Paul Vasey and the research team at Icon Cancer Centre Wesley this Phase III global study compared the combination of an immunotherapy (Durvalumab) and a standard of care therapy (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin) in comparison to giving standard of care therapy alone, in the treatment of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer.

Radiation oncology investigator-initiated trials

Icon develops and conducts our own studies via investigator-initiated research studies, including collaborative studies with industry leaders.

Icon has extensive experience in the delivery of radiation oncology investigator-initiated trials. The scale of Icon’s global network, matched by the depth of technology and systems, uniquely positions the group to conduct research that contributes to the evidence base analysing patient outcomes via the evolution of treatments and techniques.

An example of the importance of these unique investigator-initiated trials was reflected in the TRANFORM study which prospectively assessed 200 men with prostate cancer, studying the impact of using stereotactic radiation therapy in metastatic prostate cancer. This investigator led clinical trial was published in The International Journal of Cancer (2019), with Dr Patrick Bowden as the Principal Investigator.

Fostering patient access to research

Icon continues to innovate and find new ways of increasing accessibility to trials no matter where people live. Our clinicians and research teams utilise telehealth and tele-trials to enable access to trials in remote and rural areas. The affects of COVID-19 fast tracked developments and saw telehealth increasingly utilised by investigators and research coordinators. The development of Icon’s Remote Access to Clinical Trials [ReACT] program also helps to provide direct access to research opportunities for patients close to their communities via a spoke and hub service model.

Technical research projects

Icon has a strong technical research culture, including research projects and collaborations with equipment vendors (such as Varian and Siemens), other clinical institutions and universities. These projects operate across nationally across Australian Icon cancer centres. This research often leads to implementation of new techniques or technology, as well as presentation at national and international conferences, or publication in international peer reviewed journals.

Icon currently collaborates with the following research agreements/projects:

  • Megavoltage intrafraction motion monitoring for VMAT treatments
  • 4DCT commissioning on Siemens CT-Simulators
  • Direct Density commissioning on Siemens Confidence CT-Simulators
  • Commissioning of Halcyon™ linear accelerators in developing nations
  • Varian Online Adaptive Consortium
  • TomoTherapy and Halcyon™ comparative study

Icon also has several internally led technical research projects relating to Halcyon™, HyperArc™, motion management and online adaptive radiation therapy and continues to foster our global partnership with Varian Medical Systems to advance radiation oncology.

Annual Research Reports

Icon launched its inaugural Annual Research Report in 2020 reflecting the growth and maturity of the group’s clinical trial offering. In line with Icon’s national and international expansion, investment in research remains a priority. We are utilising our long history and depth of clinical trials experience to continue to establish new research at existing Icon sites and build upon proven team structures to bring the same level of world-class trials to our centres across Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

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