Studying the Continuum of Cancer Care through Linking Primary Data


Project Details

Currently, it is not possible in the health care system to link the detailed patient data from General Practice to hospital or registry data for cancer patients. Consequently, the care given to cancer patients by General Practitioners and other primary health care professionals is unseen by other health services. Therefore, this data is also unavailable for health services research that aims to improve patient care.

In collaboration with the Health and Biomedical Informatics Centre at the University of Melbourne and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC), this project will conduct the first large-scale, comprehensive data linkage of detailed primary care, hospital and registry data for Victorian cancer patients.

The VCCC Cancer Health Data Platform is being built to provide an innovative and responsive data strategy to enhance cancer health services research capability with the aim of improving cancer care and patient outcomes.

Primary care is increasingly recognised as playing a key role across the cancer care continuum, with general practice the main entry point into the health system for cancer patients. Using the VCCC Cancer Health Data Platform, this project will investigate primary care across the cancer journey, including diagnosis, during acute treatment and follow-up survivorship care. This program will investigate time to diagnosis for Victorian cancer patients as well as the use and availability of specific pre-diagnostic tests in primary care. It will also quantify primary care use, including the role of GP’s in symptom management, factors associated with GP visits during cancer treatment and patterns of care provided to cancer survivors. This research will provide evidence to inform health and cancer services to stimulate changes in practice and service delivery throughout the cancer journey for patients.


Professor Jon Emery, Herman Professor of Primary Care Cancer Research

Frances Martin, PhD student


  • Professor James Bishop, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre
  • Dr Meredith Layton, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre
  • Professor Karin M. Verspoor, Health and Biomedical Informatics Centre, the University of Melbourne
  • Associate Professor Douglas Boyle, Health and Biomedical Informatics Centre, the University of Melbourne
  • Maureen Turner, BioGrid


BUPA Foundation grant

Research Group

Cancer in Primary Care

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Cancer in Medicine, Integrated Critical Care in Medicine

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

General Practice

Unit / Centre

Cancer in Primary Care

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