Western Health Cancer Research

Research Overview

Our clinical research service provides a fully comprehensive oncology clinical trials service that includes the conduct of clinical trials across multiple tumour streams. This is within a rapidly expanding Medical Oncology and Haematology unit with trials ranging from investigator driven and collaborative trials, to pharmaceutical trials from Phase 1 to 4 of drug development. We are in a partnership and collaboration with Cancer Trials Australia, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Peter MacCallum/Sunshine Hospital Radiotherapy Center and the Walter Eliza Hall Institute. Our partnership also extends to well-known internationals pharmaceutical companies, as well as small biotech’s to enable access to new oncological treatments including targeted therapy in this molecular era.

The research unit has expertise that covers most tumor streams with a particular emphasis on Colorectal, Lung, Breast, Upper GI and Urogenital tumor streams; and more recently, the rapid expansion of Haematology trials. It’s multidisciplinary set-up allows high quality trials and translational research to be carried out across multiple tumour sites. Many of these trials are focused on molecularly targeted treatments, matched to the particular molecular features of a patient’s tumour. This provides personalized medicine, tailored to exploit the specific mutations of the patient’s tumour.

The Oncology and Haematology Unit provides a highly active clinical research environment where the majority of clinicians are engaged in leading or supporting research projects and clinical trials. We have opportunities for clinical fellows to develop clinical and research skills to become future leaders in oncology.

The Unit also contains a dedicated Cancer Services Projects Team which, in partnership with clinicians, develops project ideas and applies for available funding grants. This is a unique and successful model which has been able to accrue nearly $1.5M since 2014 for 16 projects. These projects mainly focus on process improvement to ultimately enhance the quality of care provided to cancer patients in the West. Much of the work completed through this team is in collaboration with external health services and in partnership with consumers.


  • Prof Michael Green
  • Dr Dishan Herath
  • Dr Sumitra Ananda
  • Dr Shirley Wong
  • Dr Catherine Oakman
  • Dr Suzanne Kosmider
  • Dr David Campbell
  • Dr Sally Greenberg
  • Dr Frances Barnett
  • A Prof Lara Lipton
  • A Prof Peter Gibbs
  • Dr Jeanne Tie
  • Dr William Renwick
  • Dr  Duncan Carradice
  • Dr Andrew Lim
  • Dr Adrian Dabscheck
  • Dr Maria Coperchini
  • Heike Raunow
  • Angela Baugh
  • Lisa Wilkinson
  • Helen Brasier
  • Siobhan Gallus
  • Nathan Hope
  • Elise Wang
  • Lisa Magee
  • Ilana Hornung


  • Australian Gastrointestinal trials Group
  • Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group
  • International Breast Cancer Study Group, Australia and New Zealand Germ Cell Trials Group
  • Gynaecologic Cancer Intergroup
  • Australian and New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate Cancer Trials Group
  • Australasian Leukaemia & Lymphoma Study Group
  • Walter Eliza hall Institute
  • Cancer Trials  Australia
  • Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre
  • BioGrid Australia


1) NHMRC Project grant
Dr Lara Lipton
Application ID:  APP1102018
Application Title:NABNEC: A Randomised Phase II Study Of Nab-paclitaxel In Combination With Carboplatin As First Line
Treatment Of Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Carcinomas
Funding:                              $1,393,082.86  
Funding period:                5 years
Role CIB

2 )WCMICS 2014/15 Funding Program
Dr Sally Greenberg
Improving the pathway to cancer diagnosis and specialist review by analysing patient presentation to the Emergency Department
Western and Central Melbourne Integrated Cancer Services (WCMICS)

3) 2015
WCMICS 2015/16 Funding Program
Ms Meron Pitcher
Integrating Primary Care Practitioners in Multidisciplinary Cancer Care

4) 2015
WCMICS 2015/16 Funding Program
Dr Adrian Dabscheck
Determining the feasibility of a multi-disciplinary Psycho-Oncology Team at Western Health using a partnership model.
WCMICS $70,682

5)WCMICS 2015/16 Funding Program
Dr Suzanne Kosmider
Management of Male Sexual Dysfunction following treatment for Colorectal and Prostate Cancer Survivors at Western Health

6) 2015
Grants in Aid of VCCC Scientific Meetings
Prof Jon Emery
Primary Care Across the Cancer Continuum
Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre

Ms Ilana Hornung
“What did you say?” PHASE 1: Background and Literature Review

Research Publications

  1. Day F, Muranyi A, Singh S, Shanmugam K, Williams D, Byrne D, Pham K, Palmieri M, Tie J, Grogan T, Gibbs P, Sieber O, Waring P, Desai J. A mutant BRAF V600E-specific immunohistochemical assay: Correlation with molecular mutation status and clinical outcome in colorectal cancer. Targeted Oncology 10;99-109:2015
  2. Pollett W, Gibbs P, McLaughlin S, Marion K, Eueuati J, Jones I. Outcomes in the Surgical Treatment of Low Rectal Cancer. Does Neoadjuvant Treatment Equalize Results? ANZJS Surg. 85:140-4:2015
  3. Young J, Badgery-Parker T, Dobbins T, Jorgensen M, Gibbs P, Faragher I, Jones I, Currow D. Comparison of ECOG/WHO performance status and ASA score as a measure of functional status. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 49:258-64:2015
  4. Field K, Shapiro J, Wong H, Tacey M, Nott L, Tran B, Turner N, Ananda S, Richardson G, Jennens R, Wong R, Power J, Burge M, Gibbs P. Treatment and outcomes of metastatic colorectal cancer in Australia: defining differences between public and private practice. IMJ 45:267-74:2015
  5. Kothari N, Kim R, Jorissen RN, Desai J, Tie J, Wong H, Farragher I, Jones I, Day FL, Li S, Sakthinandeswaren A, Palmieri M, Lipton L, Schell M, Teer JK, Shibata D, Yeatman T, Sieber OM, Gibbs P, Tran B. Impact of Regular Aspirin Use on Overall and Cancer-Specific Survival in Patients with Colorectal Cancer Harboring a PIK3CA Mutation. Acta Oncol 54;487-92:2015
  6. Turner N, Wong H, Field K, Wong R, Shapiro J, Yip D, Nott L, Tie J, Kosmider S, Tran B, Desai J, McKendrick J, Zimet A, Richardson G, Iddawela M, Gibbs P. Novel quality indicators for metastatic colorectal cancer management identify significant variations in these measures across treatment centers in Australia. APJCO 11;262-71:2015
  7. Gibbs P, Tie J, Bester L. Radioembolisation for hepatocellular carcinoma: current role and future directions – the medical oncologist’s perspective. Hepatic Oncology 2;117-132: 2015
  8. Ananda S, Kosmider S, Tran B, Field K, Jones I, Skinner I, Guerrieri M, Chapman M, Gibbs P. The rapidly escalating cost of treating colorectal cancer in Australia. APJCO 2015 Apr 13. doi: 10.1111/ajco.12350.
  9. Roohullah A, Wong H, Sjoquist K, Gibbs P, Field K, Tran B, Shapiro J, Mckendrick J, Yip D, Nott L, Gebski V, Ng W, Chua W, Price T, Tebbutt N, Chantrill L. Gastrointestinal perforation in metastatic colorectal cancer patients with peritoneal metastases receiving bevacizumab and chemotherapy in the AGITG MAX Trial and community settings. World J Gastroenterology. 21:5352-8:2015.
  10. Sammour T, Jones I, Gibbs P, Chandra R, Steel M, Shedda S, Croxford M, Faragher I, Hayes I, Hastie I. Comparing oncological outcomes of laparoscopic versus open surgery for colon cancer: analysis of a large prospective database. J Surgical Oncology. 111:891-8:2015
  11. Schiffman JD, Fisher P, Gibbs P. Early detection of Cancer: Past, Present and Future. ASCO Educational Book.  35:57-65:2015
  12. Turner N, Tran B, Tran P, Sinnathamby M; Wong H, Jones I, Croxford M, Desai J, Tie J, Field K, Kosmider S, Bae S, Gibbs P. Primary tumour resection in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer is associated with reversal of systemic inflammation and improved survival. Clinical Colorectal Cancer. 11:262-71:2015
  13. Parakh S, Wong H, Rai R, Ali S, Field K, Shapiro J, Wong R, Nott L, Gibbs P, Yip D. Patterns of care and outcomes for elderly patients with metastatic colorectal cancer in Australia. Journal of Geriatric Oncology 6;387-94:2015
  14. Fung KY, Tabor B, Buckley MJ, Priebe IK, Purins L, Pompeia C, Brierley GV, Lockett T, Gibbs P, Tie J, McMurrick P, Moore J, Ruszkiewicz A, Nice E, Adams TE, Burgess A, Cosgrove LJ. Blood based protein biomarker panel for the detection of colorectal cancer. PLoS One. 2015 Mar 20;10(3):e0120425. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0120425.
  15. Tie J, Kinde I, Wang Y, Wong H, Roebert J, Christie M, Tacey M, Wong R, Singh M, Karapetis C, Desai J, Tran B, Strausberg R, Diaz L, Papadopoulos N, Kinzler K, Vogelstein B, Gibbs P. Circulating Tumor DNA as an Early Marker of Therapeutic Response in Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer. Annals Oncology. 26;1715-22:2015
  16. Bae S, Wong H, Tie J, Desai J, Field K, Kosmider S, Fourlanos S, Jones I, Skinner I, Gibbs P. Impact of Diabetes Status and Medication on Presentation, Treatment and Outcome of Stage II Colon Cancer Patients. International Journal Epidemiology 2015. doi:10.1155/2015/189132
  17. Dai D, Kanjanapan Y, Kwan E, Yip D, Lawrentschuk N, Andrews M, Davis I, Azad A, Rosenthal M, Wong S, Johnstone A, Gibbs P, Tran B. Patterns of Care for Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma in Australia. BJU International S3:36-41:2015
  18. Lee M, Gibbs P, Wong R. Multidisciplinary management of Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer - An evolving landscape? Clinical Colorectal Cancer  14;251-61:2015
  19. Teloken P, Ransom D, Spilsbury K, Wong H, Faragher I, Hayes I, Tie J, Steele M, Wong R, Gibbs P, Platell C. Recurrence in Patients with Stage I Colorectal Cancer. ANZ J Surg. 2015 Aug 2. doi: 10.1111/ans.13254.
  20. Turner N, Tran B, Templeton A, Tripathy S, Rogers T, Croxford M, Jones I, Sinnathamby M, Desai J, Tie J, Wong H, Bae S, Christie M, Gibbs P. Analysis of local chronic inflammatory cell infiltrate combined with systemic inflammation improves prognostication in stage II colon cancer independent of standard clinicopathologic criteria. International Journal Cancer. 2015 Aug 13. doi: 10.1002/ijc.29805. [Epub ahead of print]
  21. Kopetz S, Desai J, Chan E, Hecht J, O`Dwyer P, Maru D, Vorris V, Janku F, Dasari A, Chung W, Issa J, Gibbs P, James B, Powis G, Lee R, Nolop K, Bhattacharya S, Saltz L. A phase II pilot study of vemurafenib in patients with BRAF mutated colorectal cancer. J Clin Oncology 33;4032-8:2015.
  22. Jorissen R, Christie M, Mouradov D, Sakthianandeswaren A, Li S, Love C, Xu Z, Molloy P, Jones I, McLaughlin S, Ward R, Hawkins N, Ruszkiewicz A, Moore J, Burgess A, Busam D, Zhao Q, Strausberg R, Lipton L, Desai J, Gibbs P, Sieber O. Wild-type APC predicts poor prognosis in microsatellite-stable proximal colon cancer. British Journal Cancer. 113;979-88:2015
  23. Ananda S, Wong H, Faragher I, Jones IT, Steele M, Kosmider S, Desai J, Tie J, Field K, Wong, R, Tran B, Bae S, Gibbs P. Survival Impact Of The Australian National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. Internal Medical Journal. Sep 29. doi: 10.1111/imj.12916. 2015 [Epub ahead of print]
  24. Gibbs P, Do C, Lipton L, Cade D, Tapner M, Price D, Bower G, Dowling R, Lichtenstein M, van Hazel G. Phase II trial of selective internal radiation therapy and systemic chemotherapy for liver-predominant metastases from pancreatic adenocarcinoma. BMC Cancer. Oct 26;15:802. doi: 10.1186/s12885-015-1822-8.
  25. Ghosh P, Tie J, Muranyi A, Singh S, Brunhoeber P, Leith K, Bowermaster R, Liao Z, Zhu Y, LaFleur B, Tran B, Desai J, Jones I, Croxford M, Martinez R, Goel A, Waring P, Hu S, Teichgraeber V, Rohr U, Ridder R, Shanmugam K, Gibbs P. Girdin (GIV) Expression as a Prognostic Marker of Recurrence in Mismatch Repair Proficient Stage II Colon Cancer. Clinical Cancer Research. Provisionally accepted November 3 2015
  26. Lam  M, Tie J, Lee B, Desai J, Gibbs P, Tran B. Systemic Inflammation – Impact on Tumour Biology and Outcomes in Colorectal Cancer. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Immunology. Accepted for publication December 8th 2015
  27. Wong SF, Wong HL, Field KM, Kosmider S, Tie J, Wong R, Tacey M, Shapiro J, Nott L, Richardson G, Cooray P, Croxford M, Jones I, Gibbs P. Primary tumor resection and overall survival in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer treated with palliative intent. Clinical Colorectal Cancer. doi:10.1016/j.clcc.2015.12.010
  28. Van Hazel G, Heinemann V, Sharma N, Findlay M, Ricke J, Peeters M, Perez D, Robinson B, Strickland A, Ferguson T, Rodrigez J, Kroening H, Wolf I, Ganju V, Walpole E, Boucher E, Tichler T, Gebski V, Van Buskirk M, Cade M, Thurston K, Gibbs P. SIRFLOX: Randomized Phase III Trial Comparing First-line mFOLFOX6 (+ Bevacizumab) Versus mFOLFOX6 (+ Bevacizumab) + Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT) in Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer. J Clin Oncology. Accepted January 6, 2016
  29. Millen R, Cross R, Malaterre J, Carpinteri S, Desai J, Tran B, Darcy P, Gibbs P, Sieber O, Zeps N, Waring P, Fox S, Pereira L, Ramsay R. Immunomodulation by MYB is associated with tumor relapse in patients with early stage colorectal cancer. Oncoimmunology. Accepted January 28th 2016
  30. Turner N, Wong H, Gibbs P. Risk-adjusted pathologic margin positivity rate: A problematic quality indicator. J Clin Oncol  2015 Apr 20;33(12):1410-1.
  31. Lee M, Wong H, Gibbs P. Problematic use of multiple subgroup analyses in assessing the impact of aspirin in prostate cancer. J Clin Oncol  2015 Apr 6. pii: JCO.2014.60.7010
  32. Wong R, Gibbs P. Less Surgery: Improved survival - Correlation or coincidence? JAMA Surgery 150;818-9:2015
  33. Lee M, Gibbs P. Aspirin and COX-2 Inhibitor use in Patients with Stage III Colon Cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015 Jun 4;107(8). pii: djv149. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djv149.

    Gibbs P. Editorial - Should elderly patients be offered adjuvant therapy for colorectal cancer. HemOnc Today. In press.
  34. Dai D, Kanjanapan Y, Kwan E, Yip D, Lawrentschuk N, Andrews M, Davis ID, Azad A, Rosenthal M, Wong S, Arifeen S, Alam M, Gibbs P, Tran B (2015). Patterns of care for metastatic renal cell carcinoma in Australia. BJU Int. 2015;116 Suppl 3:36-41
  35. Jorissen RN, Christie M, Mouradov D, Sakthianandeswaren A, Li S, Love C, Xu ZZ, Molloy PL, Jones IT, McLaughlin S, Ward RL, Hawkins NJ, Ruszkiewicz AR, Moore J, Burgess AW, Busam D, Zhao Q, Strausberg RL, Lipton L, Desai J5, Gibbs P, Sieber OM. Wild-type APC predicts poor prognosis in microsatellite-stable proximal colon cancer. Br J Cancer. 2015 Sep 15;113(6):979-88. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2015.296. Epub 2015 Aug 25.
  36. Trainer AH, Campbell I, Lipton L .Familial colorectal cancer. Lung MS1, Intern Med J. 2015 May;45(5):482-91. doi: 10.1111/imj.12736.
  37. Fuchs CS, Azevedo S, Okusaka T, Van Laethem JL, Lipton LR, Riess H, Szczylik C, Moore MJ, Peeters M, Bodoky G, Ikeda M, Melichar B, Nemecek R, Ohkawa S, Świeboda-Sadlej A, Tjulandin SA, Van Cutsem E, Loberg R, Haddad V, Gansert JL, Bach BA, Carrato A  A phase 3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of ganitumab or placebo in combination with gemcitabine as first-line therapy for metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas: the GAMMA trial.. Ann Oncol. 2015 May;26(5):921-7. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdv027. Epub 2015 Jan 21.
  38. Parisot JP, Thorne H, Fellowes A, Doig K, Lucas M, McNeil JJ, Doble B, Dobrovic A, John T, James PA, Lipton L, Ashley D, Hayes T, McMurrick P, Richardson G, Lorgelly P, Fox SB, Thomas DM.   "Cancer 2015": A Prospective, Population-Based Cancer Cohort-Phase 1: Feasibility of Genomics-Guided Precision Medicine in the Clinic.
    J Pers Med. 2015 Oct 29;5(4):354-69. doi: 10.3390/jpm5040354.PMID:26529019
  39. Gibbs P, Do C, Lipton L, Cade DN, Tapner MJ, Price D, Bower GD, Dowling R, Lichtenstein M, van Hazel GA    Phase II trial of selective internal radiation therapy and systemic chemotherapy for liver-predominant metastases from pancreatic adenocarcinoma.  BMC Cancer. 2015 Oct 26;15:802. doi: 10.1186/s12885-015-1822-8.PMID: 26503593
  40. Thomas DM, Fox S, Lorgelly PK, Ashley D, Richardson G, Lipton L, Parisot JP, Lucas M, McNeil J; Michael Wright, for the Cancer 2015 Investigators.   Cancer 2015: a longitudinal whole-of-system study of genomic cancer medicine.
    Drug Discov Today. 2015 Dec;20(12):1429-32. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2015.10.009. Epub 2015 Oct 19.PMID: 26494144
  41. Julie King, Marliese Alexander, Jenny Byrne, Kent MacMillan, Adele Mollo, Sue Kirsa, and Michael Green A review of the evidence for occupational exposure risks to novel anticancer agents – A focus on monoclonal antibodies. J Oncol Pharm Pract February 2016 vol. 22 no. 1 121-134
  42. Pattison DA, Westcott J, Lichtenstein M, Toh HB, Gunawardana D, Better N, Forehan S, Sivaratnam D. Quantitative assessment of thyroid-to-background ratio improves the interobserver reliability of technetium-99m sestamibi thyroid scintigraphy for investigation of amiodarone-induced thyrotoxicosis. Nucl Med Commun. 2015 Apr;36(4):356-62

Research Projects

For project inquiries, contact our research group head.

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Cancer in Medicine

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Group Leader Professor Michael Green

Department / Centre


Unit / Centre

Western Health Cancer Research

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