30 August 2016

Olivia Newton John Wellness Centre Visit

Today our members were very excited to travel by chartered bus to the Olivia Newton John Wellness Centre to meet with Dr Tom John, Consultant Medical Oncologist and his dedicated team, who are doing some ground breaking work in the area of mesothelioma research. It was a real privilege and honor to be shown around the centre and the research facilities.
The Austin Health’s Medical Oncology Unit boasts integrated quality patient care with global cancer research. For those who do not know a medical oncologist is a doctor who specialises in cancer and oversees your chemotherapy and other medical treatments.
The medical oncologists work as part of a larger multidisciplinary team that includes radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, pathologists, radiologists and specialized cancer nurses. In consultation with their patients, the team plans and oversees patient treatments to help achieve the best possible outcome.
The Medical Oncology Unit works collaboratively with the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute. This relationship means the latest in cancer research is quickly translated into better care with patients having access to the latest treatments and clinical trials.
The Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Center is also home to a number of cancer research laboratories. Their research is patient-focused and patients are encouraged to participate in the research to find new treatments for cancers.
These include
Melanoma and Cancer Vaccines – Prof Jonathan Cebon
Tumor Targeting and Imaging  – Prof Andrew Scott
Molecular Diagnostics and Cancer Genetics – A/Prof Alex Dobrovic
Cancer Epigenetics – Prof John Mariadasen
Translational Lung Cancer – Dr Tom John
The Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre also includes a Wellness Centre on site. The unique facility offers cancer information to patients, comfortable rooms for group education or peer support and a patient sanctuary for quiet reflection. Wellness therapies to complement medical treatment are also conducted – such as meditation, acupuncture, massage, art and music therapy.
A bit of information on Dr Tom John he is a consultant medical oncologist recognized both nationally and internationally as an expert in cancers of the thoracic cavity, which includes lung cancers, thymus cancers and mesothelioma. He also has an interest in genetics and cancers that may run in some families.
He trained at Monash University in Melbourne from 1991 – 1996 (MBBS). He obtained his Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of Physicians in 2004 (FRACP). He completed a PhD through the University of Melbourne in 2008. He undertook a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto and under the mentorship of Professors Ming-Sound Tsao and Frances Shepherd, two internationally acclaimed lung cancer researchers. He moved back to Australia in 2010 and is heavily involved in both basic research within a laboratory and clinical trials. He is the head of the Lung Oncology Clinic at the Austin Hospital.

It was a truly magical day and we appreciated all the time he and his fellow co-workers took to explain the research they are doing and the positive outcomes they are trying to achieve for mesothelioma sufferers – thank you so much from all our members.

Dr Tom John ONJWC Aug 2016