Cancer Nursing Research

  • Chair in Cancer Nursing; VCCC Research and Education Lead – Cancer Nursing

    Professor Mei Krishnasamy
    T: 03 8559 7043
    E: meik@unimelb.edu.au
    Location: Centre for Cancer Research, University of Melbourne, Level 10, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, 305 Grattan Street, Victoria 3000
    W: Personal web page

Research Overview

The cancer nursing research program at the University of Melbourne exists to develop new and translate existing knowledge into practice to enhance the experience and outcomes of people affected by cancer, and the efficiency of health service delivery. This will be achieved through undertaking nurse led, health services research projects that are practice-relevant, and inclusive of consumers in all of our research endeavours.
Specifically the focus of the research program includes:

  • Key symptoms and side-effects – specifically, pain, fatigue cancer infection and cognitive decline
  • Mapping patterns of care for patients with rare and less common cancers to ensure appropriate and timely access to care and treatment
  • Developing patient centred models of care and supportive care interventions to best support people living with rare and less common cancers
  • Developing resources to inform cancer nursing workforce utilisation and demonstrate workforce impact on cancer patient outcomes and health services quality
  • Developing a program of research addressing the needs of older adults with cancer

Research projects

The Cancer Nursing Research program at the University of Melbourne was established in 2015. All of our studies reflect critical partnerships with Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Alliance partners and diverse consumer and advocacy groups. Several of our studies are aligned with policy imperatives for the Cancer Strategy and Development Division of the Victorian Department of Heath and Human Services, and we are currently partnering with the Cancer Strategy and Development Division to refresh the Victorian Supportive Cancer Care Framework.

Current RHD student work

  • Erin Kennedy. Nutritional status and nutrition-related quality of life in gastrointestinal neuroendocrine cancer patients
  • Melissa Warren. Emergency presentation of colorectal cancer patients
  • Polly Dufton.  Self-management pathway for adult cancer patients to reduce utilisation of emergency department services
  • Sarah Kofoed. Implementing the Neuro-Rehabilitation-Palliative care clinical practice guidelines to improve the care of patients with primary malignant brain tumours.
  • Robyn Harper. The experiences of people affected by pancreatic cancer
  • Chris Brown: End of life care pathways of older adults with cancer

Future plans for projects and scholarships

Future projects will focus on building knowledge and nursing research capacity across 5 key domains:

  • Key symptoms and side-effects  – specifically, pain, insomnia, cancer infection, cognitive decline and fatigue
  • Mapping patterns of care for patients with rare and less common cancers to ensure appropriate and timely access to care and treatment
  • Developing patient centred models of care and supportive care interventions to best support people living with rare and less common cancers
  • Developing a program of research addressing the needs of older adults with cancer
  • Developing resources to inform cancer nursing workforce utilisation and demonstrate workforce impact on cancer patient outcomes and health services quality

Collaborators

Local

Multidisciplinary clinician-researchers and consumer advisory committee members from across the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Alliance:

The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

  • Olivia Newton-John Cancer, Wellness and Research Centre, Austin Health
  • Western Hospital
  • The Royal Women’s Hospital
  • The Royal Melbourne Hospital
  • St Vincent’s Hospital

University partners

  • Professor Linda Denehy & Dr Catherine Granger, Department of Physiotherapy, School of Health Sciences University of Melbourne
  • Professor Lynette Joubert and Dr Ralph Hampson, Department of Social Work, School of Health Sciences, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Jon Emery, Herman Professor of Primary Care Cancer Research, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Jennifer Philip, Chair of Palliative Medicine, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Monica Slavin, Professor Karin Thursky, A/Professor Leon Worth, Dr Ben Teh, at the National Centre for Infections in Cancer, an NHMRC funded CRE, University of Melbourne, VCCC
  • Associate Professor Prue Cormie, Institute for Health & Ageing, Australian Catholic University
  • Dr Anna Ugalde, Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Health, Deakin University
  • A/Professor Soumitri Varadarajan, Deputy Dean of Industrial and Interior Design, School of Architecture, RMIT.

National

  • Professor Leanne Monterosso, University of Notre Dame/St John of God Hopsital, Perth
  • Professor Boon Chua, Director of Cancer and Haematology Services at the Prince of Wales Hospital and the University of New South Wales, Sydney
  • Professor Ray Chan, Queensland University of Technology and Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital
  • Professor Deborah Anderson, Griffith University | Menzies Health Institute, Gold Coast Campus
  • Associate Professor Barbara Mullan, Curtin University, WA
  • Dr Haryana Dhillon, Senior Research Fellow, School of Psychology, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney
  • Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite, Professor of Health Systems Research, Institute of Innovation, Macquarie University

International

  • Dr Kinta Beaver, Professor of Cancer Care and Dr Susan Williamson, Senior Research Fellow, School of Health Sciences, University of Central Lancaster, UK
  • Professor Mary Wells, Lead Research Nurse, Imperial NHS Trust, UK
  • A/Professor Jo Armes, Reader of Cancer Nursing, University of Surrey
  • Dr Theresa Weisman, Clinical Professor of Applide Health Research in Cancer Care, University of Southampton
  • Dr Roma Maguire, Professor of Digital Health and Care, University of Strathclyde, Scotland
  • Dr Carol Tisselman, Professor of Innovative Care at the Karolinska University, Sweden
  • Professor Margaret Barton-Burke, Director of Nursing Research, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, USA

Advocacy and NGOs

  • The Pancare Foundation
  • Breast Cancer Network Australia
  • Counterpoint
  • Think Pink
  • Myeloma Foundation
  • The Cancer Council Victoria
  • Cancer Voices

Policy

  • Cancer Strategy and Development Division of the Victorian Department of Heath and Human Services

Funding

  • National Health and Medical Research Council
  • Cancer Australia
  • National Breast Cancer Foundation
  • Nurses Board, Victoria
  • Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre
  • Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
  • University of Melbourne
  • Cancer Strategy and Development Division, Department of Health and Human Services, Cancer and Palliative Care Research and Evaluation Unit
  • Western and Melbourne Integrated Cancer Services
  • Cancer Nurses Society of Australia

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Download Research Publication [PDF]