Public opportunities to participate in local clinical trials advance


Bass Coast Health (BCH) is advancing its participation in clinical trials to give people living in the Bass Coast and South Gippsland greater access to contributing to medical advancements. BCH is currently participating in two melanoma trials.

The first trial already underway (IMAGE) is a photographic study for surveillance of melanoma in high-risk patients who have previously had a melanoma. BCH has recruited 15 participants and is now in the follow-up phase.

In August, BCH will open another melanoma trial called ACEMID. This trial will be conducted at Wonthaggi Hospital and is a photographic study using total body 3D imaging technology called a VECTRA machine. The trial aims to develop more efficient and effective screening for the early detection of melanoma, rather than relying on mole mapping undertaken by the human eye. BCH is one of the trial sites due to the high incidence of skin cancer in the community given our farming and coastal lifestyles. Having access to such trials locally is important to help inform the development of treatment and services. 

The VECTRA machine now located at Wonthaggi Hospital is a whole-body scanner that consists of 92 cameras which simultaneously capture images to construct a digital 3D avatar of the participant, providing a detailed record of all skin lesions. Each participant will undress to their underwear and will be instructed on the correct stance for scanning; the 3D image will then be captured in seconds and the 3D avatar constructed in approximately 10 minutes. 

People who have expressed interest to participate in the study will be contacted via telephone and provided with study information. If the participant would like to proceed, their eligibility and risk for melanoma will be assessed. A Participant Information and Consent Form will be sent to the participant before their first (baseline) clinic visit. The participant’s clinic visit schedule is based on their melanoma risk level and will be either 6, 12 or 24 monthly. Some biological samples may be collected at the baseline visit. All clinic visits will include 3D Total Body Photography, Dermoscopy and an examination by the trial doctor. Questionnaires will be provided to all participants every 12 months to gather information about their quality of life and sun behaviour. 

BCH welcomes the appointment of Lyn Corrigan to the new role of Clinical Trials Governance Project Officer to guide our participation in these medical trials. 

“By taking part in the trials, we’re giving local residents the chance to participate in clinical trials instead of having to travel to Melbourne, therefore reducing the cost and time involved with travelling to be part of trials,” Lyn said.

BCH’s participation in these trials is made possible by the strong partnership with Alfred Health in the TrialHub initiative. This sees Alfred Health, as a major metropolitan health service, partner with regional and remote hospitals to establish independent and sustainable clinical trial units to increase access to potentially life-saving treatments. 

As part of her role, Lyn has been creating a framework for our new Clinical Trials Unit that will manage trials, develop feasibility assessments for research proposals and set governance guidelines. Lyn comes to the role with 25 years’ experience in clinical research that included running clinical trials in South East Asia. 

To lodge your expression of interest in participating in trials at BCH, email