In 2014, HCRA was awarded $6.5 million (2014-2019) in research funding from Cancer Institute NSW as a Translational Cancer Research Centre (TCRC). In 2018, HCRA applied for an extension of funding until June 2021 and was awarded this extension of funding as a TCRC.
HCRA has streamlined its research efforts into four main flagship programs: Biomarkers and Targeted Therapies (BTT); Radiation Oncology, Cancer Imaging & Technology (ROCIT), Implementation Science and Impact (ISI) and the Clinical Cancer Research Network (CCRN). The flagship programs operate as a mechanism for fostering communication and collaboration across the Hunter New England region, exploring and strengthening innovative research ideas and providing resources to HCRA members.
Each flagship program is led by a Steering Committee, comprising of multidisciplinary expertise from across the research groups. The committees meet on a regular basis to discuss and identify local research needs and opportunities including support services and education, infrastructure, funding opportunities and peer-review of projects.
The BTT flagship program aims to generate new discoveries designed to improve practice via biomarker discovery and development and targeted therapies.
The ROCIT flagship program aims to improve clinical training, service delivery in cancer care and long-term survival via research advances in radiation oncology, cancer imaging and technology.
The Implementation Science and Impact flagship program activities focus on the design of implementation and evaluation strategies aimed at reducing the evidence practice gap in cancer care.
The core objective of CCRN is to accelerate the uptake of promising new clinical approaches into practice by providing the evidence of efficacy, and thus improve cancer results through research.