The National Centre for Infections in Cancer (NCIC)

Worth LJ1

1 National Centre for Infections in Cancer, National Health and Medical Research Council Centre of Research Excellence, The Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, leon.worth@petermac.org

Cancer patients are a vulnerable population with specialised needs, and infection in cancer patients remains a leading cause of death and a significant cost to the healthcare system. To date, no group has systemically addressed this problem in Australia nor is it addressed in national cancer strategies. The National Centre for Infections in Cancer is an NHMRC-funded Centre of Research Excellence, established to optimise patient outcomes using a health services approach to the critical and growing problems of healthcare-associated and antibiotic-resistant infection, poor sepsis and antimicrobial management and late recognition of infection.

The Centre is structured to achieve the following objectives: (i) Establish a national infrastructure for cancer specific infection surveillance, (ii) Implement national life-saving and harm minimising clinical care pathways for the management of neutropenic fever and sepsis in adults and paediatrics, and (iii) Introduce innovative technologies to support the detection of and improved care of infections.

In this presentation, current and proposed research regarding ‘Infrastructure for cancer-specific infection surveillance’ will be presented. Through these initiatives, a cancer-related infection surveillance network is proposed in Australia to address areas of need regarding linkages, information technology requirements, and guidelines for effectual infection surveillance. Data concerning prevalence and risks for infections in cancer populations are vital to inform innovative programs and ensure appropriate future resource allocation for these high-risk patients.