Understanding Patterns of Care Across the Colorectal Cancer Trajectory: A Linked Data Study

Project Details

Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related morbidity and mortality in Australia. In order to diagnose cancer at an earlier stage, which is pivotal to reducing this health burden, efforts often focus on reducing the length of time it takes to diagnose and treat cancer. This project utilises linked datasets, bringing together information from across the continuum of care, to measure how long certain events took for Victorian patients with colorectal cancer. The role of the length of these intervals, how they affect cancer related outcomes such as survival and stage of disease, can then be measured in order to provide evidence-based recommendations for optimal timeframes. In addition, variation in the length of time can be assessed to see of there any factors that may affect the length of an interval, which can be intervened upon to improve outcomes.


Allison Drosdowsky, Graduate Researcher, DGP

Prof Jon Emery, Academic GP, DGP

Prof Maarten IJzerman, Head, Centre for Cancer Health Services Research, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

A/Prof Karen Lamb, Biostatistician, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health


Dr Luc te Marvelde, Head, Data Analytics, Victorian Cancer Registry

Prof Peter Gibbs, Clinician Scientist, Melbourne Health and the University of Melbourne


Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre

Allison is supported by a NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship

Research Outcomes

This project represents the first time linked data has been used to comprehensively assess the time before diagnosis and treatment in colorectal cancer in an Australian setting, giving us the opportunity to examine how long key activities took and provide recommendations for optimal timeframes and possible interventions to reduce times.

Research Group

Key Contact

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

Department / Centre

General Practice and Primary Care

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