Newcastle cancer researchers recognised by Cancer Council

25 January 2016 | Professor Karen Canfell

Two research teams from the University of Newcastle have received over $4.4 million in funding to support their ground-breaking work. Cancer Council NSW awards these prestigious program grants, which run over 5 years, to the most outstanding researchers in the state with a track record of excellence.

Laureate Professor Rob Sanson-Fisher

Laureate Professor Rob Sanson-Fisher

One grant has gone to Laureate Professor Rob Sanson-Fisher who is implementing a new system of patient-centred care across cancer treatments units in NSW. This innovative system is the first of its kind in the world and has been specifically designed to improve outcomes for cancer survivors.

The research will:

  • Integrate the treatment of cancer with other care strategies, such as the relief of physical discomfort, emotional support, and education and information resources.
  • Lower anxiety and depression among cancer survivors, address their unmet needs, and improve their quality of life
  • Involve collaboration between cancer patients, health experts and institutions

Professor Sanson-Fisher said that cancer patients and survivors continue to report inadequate levels of care, both physically and psychologically, throughout their journey and that this needs to change. “If we are to achieve significant long-term improvements in the outcomes of cancer survivors, we need to make big changes to the system in which that care is provided,” he said.

Professor John Wiggers

Professor John Wiggers

The other grant was awarded to Professor John Wiggers who is investigating community programs and services that can reduce modifiable cancer risk factors like smoking, poor diet, physical inactivity, risky alcohol consumption and obesity.

Professor Wiggers said that “we know that modifying our lifestyle can help prevent certain cancers, but it’s very important that a supportive environment exists to help people do this.”

The research will:

  • Challenge current approaches to community cancer prevention programs
  • Provide the much needed evidence on how to implement more effective programs to significantly reduce the burden of cancer
  • Ensure that these programs are easily accessible to the community

Cancer Council NSW grants are awarded to Australia’s best researchers, based on where we can make the most gains in reducing the impact of cancer in the community.

Shayne Connell, Regional Manager for Cancer Council NSW Hunter Central Coast, said it was fantastic to see researchers within the Hunter region as deserving recipients of this vital funding.

“It’s great to see two University of Newcastle teams receive this funding, made possible by the communities’ support for Cancer Council NSW events and initiatives in the region.

“We look forward to seeing the progress made by each of the research teams that will make a significant contribution to reduce the impact of cancer”, said Mr Connell.

Each year Cancer Council NSW funds close to $15million of research across all stages of the cancer journey. We will be announcing the successful recipients of project grants for 2016 in February.

Find out about other research projects funded by Cancer Council NSW.