Regional Trials Network Victoria

Since our launch in 2017, the Regional Trial Network Victoria (RTN-Vic) has increased patient recruitment to clinical trials by 49%.
And increased the number of clinical trials recruiting patients by 64%.


Equitable access and outcomes for regional and rural cancer patients


To drive connection, collaboration and support for clinical trial participation across regional Victoria


To bridge the gap between metropolitan and regional trial participation by 2025

About Us

The Regional Trial Network Victoria (RTN-Vic) was created to improve access and recruitment to high quality cancer clinical trials for rural and regional areas of Victoria.

The aim of RTN-Vic was to increase the number of high-quality cancer clinical trials in regional Victoria.

RTN-Vic developed a partnership with six clinical trial sites in regional Victoria and Cancer Trials Australia. It was originally funded by the Cancer Council Victoria and the Victorian Cancer Agency (VCA)

The RTN-Vic has these regional sites; Barwon Health, Bendigo Health, Border Medical Oncology Research Unit, Goulburn Valley Health, Grampians Health, South West Healthcare, Mildura Base Public Hospital, and Latrobe Regional Hospital.

The catchment area of Regional Trial Network Victoria is over 141,000 km2 with population of 1.4 million residents. 

There are approximately 7,200 new cancer diagnoses across this region annually.

Assoc Prof
Craig Underhill

Regional Oncology Lead

Donna Long

ReViTALISE Project Manager Regional Trials Network - Victoria

Fiona Tuthill

ReViTALISE Business Manager Regional Trials Network - Victoria

2020-2025 Strategic Plan

The RTN Strategic Plan 2020-2025 is enabled by a major investment from the Commonwealth Governments Medical Research Future Fund for the ReViTALISE Project (a total of $18.6 million) and the Victorian Government through the Victorian Cancer Agency grant for the Improving Rural Health Outcomes Initiative ($2.4 million)

The plan has been carefully designed to complement the research, education and clinical trial programs of the RTN – Vic partner organisation and its business needs. RTN – Vic brings together perspectives and counsel from our partners, key external stakeholders and patients to focus new business development where it can most rapidly advance progress in areas of unmet need.

Effective and strategic collaboration with other cancer trial partners is the key to the RTN – Vic success from 2017-2019 and going forward to accelerate the journey to better outcomes for Victorian regional cancer patients.

While the strategy’s vision remains the same as 2017-2019, the strategy itself has been refreshed to ensure it can continue to guide our collective efforts in the years ahead.

2020 was a challenge for all of us. COVID19 created difficulties in our work spaces as well as in service delivery, Clinical Trials were no exception.

The Oncology community was quick to pivot to a new way of working and sharing information with the Victoria Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) and Monash partners, starting a Victorian COVID19 Cancer Network (VCCN) Slack communication channel to assist with disseminating news relating to Cancer and COVID19.

The 2020 clinical trial data from the RTN showed that there was a slight dip in patient numbers in 2020 but the number of clinical trials did rise slightly. Pleasingly, we have seen an increase in recruiting trials by 75% since 2017 and there has been a 23% increase in the number of patients recruited since 2017.

Strategic Plan at a Glance


Provide better cancer outcomes for regional patients

Equitable access to high quality cancer care leading to better outcomes

Increase the number of rural and regional patients accessing clinical trials in regional centres

Increase clinical trial numbers at the regional sites


Create a sustainable network

An enduring RTN-Vic sustaining network

Fast track the development of the two new trial sites and increase the number of regional trial sites

Implement required policies and operational procedures to support collaboration and facilitation across all sites


Improve participation and reduce inequities in access to clinical trials and tele-trials

To facilitate the implementation of the tele- trials model across the network

Improve capability and capacity

Collect indigenous specific data and set specific targets for indigenous patient recruitment


To bridge the metro - regional trials gap by 2025

Bring regional trial participation rates in line with Metro rates

Equity of access for regional patients

Provide more services closer to home and expand tele-trials