Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

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Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre logo.png
The Peter Mac is located within the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre building, pictured in 2016
Established27 April 1949; 73 years ago (1949-04-27)
MissionMedical research, patient care, education
FocusOncology research and cancer treatment
ChairMaxine Morand
Chief executiveShelley Dolan
Key peopleNicole Delaney
Formerly called
  • Victorian Cancer Institute;
  • Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute
305 Grattan Street, Parkville
, , ,
Coordinates37°48′1″S 144°57′24″E / 37.80028°S 144.95667°E / -37.80028; 144.95667Coordinates: 37°48′1″S 144°57′24″E / 37.80028°S 144.95667°E / -37.80028; 144.95667

The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, also known as the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute and commonly abbreviated as Peter Mac, is an Australian oncology research institute, cancer treatment and professional oncologist training centre located in Melbourne, Victoria. The centre is named in honour of Sir Peter MacCallum.[1] Since June 2016, the centre has been located within the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) in Parkville.[2]

The centre is Australia's first public hospital dedicated to cancer treatment, research and education.[3]

Research programs at the centre include the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) Cancer Cell Biology Program[4] and the ACRF Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics in Cancer.[5]


In 1949 the Victorian Cancer Institute was established and the following year its outpatient services were named the "Peter MacCallum Clinic".[6] It was named after the (then) dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Melbourne University, Peter MacCallum who, with Rutherford Kaye-Scott, had a significant role in its founding.[1] At the time it was a common practice not to inform patients that they had cancer. It was thought that because radiotherapy was also quite commonly used at that time to treat non-cancerous conditions such as severe acne, "strawberry birthmarks", frozen shoulders, keloid scars and also to provide a valuable and non-invasive means for medical sterilisation, the name "Peter MacCallum Clinic" was considered less threatening because the clinic could be positioned as a specialist radiotherapeutic centre rather than it being thought of as a dedicated cancer hospital.[citation needed]

The clinic was originally located in a single room of the Queen Victoria Hospital in central Melbourne.[7] Its main facility was based at the corner William Street and Little Lonsdale Street, near Flagstaff Gardens where the County Court of Victoria buildings were later built. (The site was also at one time home to the Jessie McPherson Private Hospital.)[citation needed] The Institute established Australia's first training school for radiotherapists.[6] In 1986, the institute (and the clinic) were collectively renamed as the "Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute".[6] By 1994, the institute was operating out of 11 sites across Melbourne. At this time, it moved into St Andrew's Hospital in East Melbourne, having been purchased from the Uniting Church of Australia and Presbyterian Church of Victoria by the state government in 1990.[8]


The former Peter Mac site in East Melbourne

In June 2016, the institute moved to the purpose-built building at the entrance to Melbourne's Parkville bio-medical precinct,[7] located at 305 Grattan Street, Melbourne, with satellite services at the Bendigo Base Hospital, Epworth Eastern, the Monash Medical Centre (Moorabbin campus in East Bentleigh) and Sunshine Hospital in St Albans.[citation needed] It involves some shared services with the nearby Royal Melbourne Hospital, the Royal Women's Hospital and the Royal Children's Hospital. Its current site was previously home to the Royal Dental Hospital.[citation needed]

Notable staff[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Riley, Robyn (19 April 2009). "60 years of Sir Peter MacCallum's dream". Sunday Herald Sun. Archived from the original on 7 June 2020. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  2. ^ Masopust, Sam (4 October 2017). "Cataloguing the History of Cancer Treatment". Melbourne Medical School. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  3. ^ O’Callaghan, Clare (2007). "1. Music Therapy Inspired Transient Ward Communities in Oncology". In Jane Edwards (ed.). Music: Promoting Health and Creating Community in Healthcare Contexts. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-4438-0742-5.
  4. ^ "Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre" (Press release). Australian Cancer Research Foundation. 2004. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Unique in Australia, New cancer genomics centre opens in Melbourne" (PDF) (Press release). Australian Cancer Research Foundation. 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  6. ^ a b c Guest, J. S. "MacCallum, Sir Peter (1885–1974)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  7. ^ a b "Our history". Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. 16 May 2016.
  8. ^ "History | St Andrews Foundation".

External links[edit]