Australian Comprehensive Cancer Network

The establishment of the Australian Comprehensive Cancer Network is an important step toward ensuring all patients across Australia, regardless of who they are or where they live, are linked to the best available cancer care as close to home as safely possible. 

In Australia, survival rates for most cancers are among the best in the world. However, cancer outcomes are not experienced equally by all people across Australia. There are significant disparities in cancer outcomes for some populations, including people living in rural and remote areas, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

The Australian Comprehensive Cancer Network (ACCN) aims to address these disparities through an integrated national network that connects cancer services all across Australia.  

Cancer services and multidisciplinary health professionals across public and private health systems in Australia will be virtually connected with Comprehensive Cancer Centres (CCCs) —which will serve a pivotal role as centres of excellence in the ACCN—and with each other. Services eligible to join the ACCN include: 

  • Cancer care centres and units, including those in regional and rural locations  
  • Centres of excellence and clinical networks that provide specialist services not widely available (e.g., CAR T cell therapy, proton beam therapy)  
  • Primary Health Networks  
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services  
  • Regional hospitals  
  • Primary, community and allied health services  
  • Academic and research institutions  
  • Data collecting and reporting entities (such as cancer registries).  

Importantly, through the ACCN, health services will have the opportunity to connect with CCCs and other centres of excellence that can provide specialist knowledge, clinical expertise, and capability. This will ensure that all patients throughout Australia will receive care as close to home as safely possible, particularly those in regional and rural locations.

Participation in the ACCN is voluntary. Services in the ACCN are expected to commit to a set of standards of excellence for networked comprehensive cancer care that are applicable to their service type and will self-evaluate performance and adherence to these standards. The standards are: 

  1. Deliver comprehensive cancer care 
  2. Deliver equitable access to culturally safe cancer care across the cancer continuum 
  3. Deliver research excellence 
  4. Collect, share and report comprehensive cancer data to drive service improvements and better cancer outcomes 
  5. Foster an engaged, capable, and future focused cancer workforce 
  6. Deliver connectivity and sharing of expertise across the network. 

The ACCN does not duplicate existing networks or alliances within and between jurisdictions that deliver cancer care or conduct cancer research and clinical trials. Rather, the ACCN brings these existing and established linkages together, into a national network that will enable collaboration, sharing of expertise, and access to comprehensive cancer care to all people affected by cancer.  

A Framework has been developed in consultation with representatives from the cancer control sector that outlines the elements of the ACCN and of networked comprehensive cancer care in Australia. The Framework can be accessed here.

Joining the Network

Membership to the ACCN is open to health and medical professionals and services, researchers, policymakers, and other organisations involved in cancer control.

If you are interested in joining the ACCN, please fill out the registration form, and identify whether you are interested in joining on behalf of an organisation or as an individual health professional.

ACCN members will be given access to a members-only portal to connect, collaborate, and share knowledge with other members of the Network.