PoCoG Supported Studies open to recruitment 2017-18


PoCoG-2009-11: The CHALLENGE Trial. A Phase III Study of the Impact of a Physical Activity Program on Disease-Free Survival in Patient with High Risk Stage II or Stage III Colon Cancer: A Randomised Controlled Trial


Aim: to determine the efficacy of Physical Activity in reducing disease recurrence in patients with localised colon cancer. The primary hypothesis is that a PA program will improve disease-free survival (DFS) in patients with resected stage II and III colon cancer who have completed adjuvant therapy. In addition, it is hypothesised that exercise can improve fatigue, quality of life (QOL), physical functioning and body composition


Investigator Team: Janette Vardy, Stephen Clarke, Haryana Dhillon

Funder: Unfunded

Recruitment: 229


PoCoG-2010-06: Efficacy and safety of Gingko biloba for cognitive function and fatigue in breast cancer patients undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy


Aim: to evaluate the effects of the traditional Chinese herbal medicine Ginkgo biloba on cognitive dysfunction and fatigue associated with adjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer survivors. In addition, we investigate the underlying mechanisms of fatigue and cognitive impairment and evaluate possible interactions between Gingko biloba and the common chemotherapy drugs used to treat breast cancer.


Investigator Team: Janette Vardy, Haryana Dhillon, Melanie Bell, Andrew McLachlan, Stephen Clarke, Fran Boyle

Funder: Cancer Australia, Beyond Blue, National Breast Cancer Foundation

Recruitment: 12


PoCoG-2013-04: Cognitive rehabilitation for breast cancer survivors with perceived cognitive impairment


Aim: to evaluate two cognitive rehabilitation programmes in localised breast cancer survivors with perceived cognitive dysfunction after chemotherapy: 1) a structured neurocognitive learning programme (Attention Process Training [APT], aimed at improving underlying cognitive deficit) and 2) a systematic teaching of strategies to compensate for the functional impact of cognitive deficits (Compensatory Strategy Training [CST]).


Investigator team: Janette Vardy, Melanie Bell, Melanie Price, Haryana Dhillon

Funder: Cancer Council NSW

Recruitment: 35


PoCoG-2015-01 Cancer Nutrition and Exercise rehabilitation program (CaNE) for patients with advanced cancer at risk of cancer cachexia syndrome - a phase II feasibility study


Aim: This is a phase II study evaluating the feasibility of delivering a combined nutritional and exercise intervention in patients with inoperable gastrointestinal (GI) or thoracic cancer, who are at risk of developing cancer cachexia. The aim will be to determine whether the combined intervention prevents or slows progression of cancer cachexia, and improves performance status, nutritional status, and QoL.


Investigator team: Janette Vardy, Cindy Tan, Prunella Blinman, Jane Turner, Haryana Dhillon, Amanda Salisr

Funder: Sydney Catalyst

Recruitment: 21


PoCoG-2016-03: e-TC 2.0: Further development of an online psychological intervention for testicular cancer survivors


Aim: e-TC is an interactive web-based intervention designed to reduce anxiety and depression in testicular cancer (TC) survivors. The aim of this study is to prospectively assess the feasibility and acceptability of e-TC 2.0 in reducing anxiety and depression in testicular cancer (TC) survivors with elevated levels of psychological distress.


Investigator Team: Ben Smith, Louise Heiniger, Peter Grimison, Ian Olver, Britt Klein, Addie Wootten, Margaret McJannett, Ben Tran, Jason Gray, Guy Toner, Martin Stockwell, Phyllis Butow,


Funder: ANZUP

Recruitment: 17


PoCoG-2016-01: Genetic Cancer Risk in the Young


Aim: The study will examine the psychosocial impact of living with uncertainty over a prolonged period of waiting for genomic testing results


Investigator Team: Phyllis Butow, Megan Best, Ilona Juraskova, Ainslie Newson, David Thomas

Funder: NHMRC, Cancer Institute NSW, The Garvan Institute

Recruitment: 631


PoCoG-2016-02: Molecular Screening and Therapeutics Program


Aim: The study examines the psychological predictors of outcomes of patients receiving actionable results after psychosocial impact of living with uncertainty of genomic testing


Investigator Team: Phyllis Butow, Megan Best, Ilona Juraskova, Ainslie Newson, David Thomas

Funder: NHMRC, Cancer Institute NSW, The Garvan Institute

Recruitment:  707


PoCoG-2018-05: Fear of recurrence in patients with stage II colon cancer participating in the DYNAMIC study - Circulating tumour DNA analysis informing adjuvant chemotherapy


Aim: The study will prospectively measure FCR in the context of a RCT, in which circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) analysis is informing adjuvant chemotherapy in individuals with stage II colon cancer to determine the prevalence rate and severity of FCR, and the association between FCR anxiety, depression and HRQL. The study will compare FCR in patients with known positive ctDNA status, negative ctDNA status, and unknown ctDNA status in the context of deciding about adjuvant chemotherapy, and determine the course of FCR over time and its potential predictors


Investigator Team: Sue-Anne McLachlan, Jeanne Tie

Funder: St Vincent Hospital Melbourne Research Endowment Fund Grants

Recruitment: 11


PoCoG-2018-10 Development of a BRCA1/2 founder mutation population screening program for the Jewish community


Aim: Assessment of two new BRCA Jewish Founder Mutation screening programs for the Jewish community. An online program in Sydney providing pre-test information and obtaining consent for testing online, is being compared to a program in Melbourne which provides pre-test information through group information sessions and written consent obtained during the sessions. Results are being provided by email, face-face consultations or phone, depending on the test results, the participant's family history, as well as participants randomly selected to obtain results through a face-to-face consultation. Questionnaires are being distributed after pre-test information, 2 weeks following the receiving of results, 12 months after carriers receive results, and 24 months after carriers receive results.


Investigator Team: Nicole Cousens, Leslie Burnett, Lesley Andrews, Bettina Meiser

Funder: Jewish Communal Appeal Philanthropic Funding

Recruitment: 93


PoCoG-2018-11 Reconnect: Social skills in survivors of childhood cancer; A mixed methods study


Aim: To determine the prevalence and predictors of social difficulties amongst childhood cancer survivors, as well as to identify the key areas of social development that may be compromised by a diagnosis of childhood cancer based on the social cognitive-integration of abilities model (SOCIAL). Reconnect also aims to identify the preferences of survivors, parents and teachers regarding future social skills interventions for survivors of childhood cancer (e.g. content, delivery mechanism and timing).


Investigator Team: Joanna Fardell, Claire Wakefield, Richard Cohn, Suncica Lah

Funder: Cancer Council NSW

Recruitment: 63