The Victorian Lung Cancer Registry: Annual Report 2015

R Stirling, M Brand, R Scarborough, J McNeil, S Evans, S Ahern, A Earnest, B Pellegrini, J Zalcberg, Victorian Lung Cancer Registry

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Lung cancer is the fifth most commonly diagnosed
cancer in Australia.1 The risk of lung cancer
increases with age; it is estimated that the
probability of an Australian being diagnosed with
lung cancer by their 85th birthday is 1 in 17 (1 in
13 males and 1 in 22 females)1
. In Victoria, lung
cancer is the largest cause of cancer-related death,
killing more than 2000 Victorians per year, and
representing 19% of all cancer deaths.2
Research that leads to earlier detection of lung
cancer and new, more effective treatments will
improve patient outcomes in the future, but for
those already diagnosed, it is important to optimise
the use of existing diagnostic and therapeutic
options. Ensuring that all patients receive timely and
appropriate diagnosis and treatment has significant
potential to improve patient outcomes, usually without
increasing health care costs. The VLCR aims to help
health services to identify areas for improvement,
by collecting consistent data across multiple health
services and reporting on key process and outcome
measures of the patient pathway. This enables regional
and longitudinal performance evaluation. Importantly,
these measures are risk-adjusted to account for
differences in patient groups, and benchmarked,
so that each participating health service can assess
their performance relative to that of other providers.
Benchmarked reporting from clinical quality registries
has been demonstrated both nationally and
internationally to improve quality of care by identifying
gaps, facilitating planning and evaluating change
The VLCR is housed at Monash University in the
Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine,
which acts as the custodian of the VLCR. Governance
is provided by the VLCR Steering Committee, a group
comprised of consumer representatives, clinical and
technical expert advisors, participating clinicians and
representatives from the State Department of Health,
The Victorian Cancer Registry, Biogrid, Biobank and
Monash University. Funding for this Registry comes
from government, public and private sources.
The VLCR aims to recruit all newly diagnosed primary
lung cancer cases over the age of 18 years attending
participating hospitals. Data are collected at time of
diagnosis, and at six months, two and five years post
diagnosis. In 2015, eight hospitals participated in the
Registry of which six were metropolitan, two regional;
five public and three private. This comprised a total of
846 eligible and consented new Registry patients for
2015, bringing total VLCR recruitment to 2,878 patients
since 2011.
Future initiatives for VLCR include expanding the
VLCR across Victoria, with a goal to achieve statewide
inclusion and ultimately, a national lung cancer
registry; continued refinement of quality indicators,
development of additional indicators related to
molecular treatment strategies; increased use
of Registry data in new research initiatives;
and publication of analysed patient-reported
outcome data.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMelbourne Victoria
PublisherMonash University
Number of pages40
VolumeReport No 1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


  • patient outcomes
  • primary lung cancer
  • clinical benchmarking

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