PoCoG Supported Studies open to recruitment 2019-20


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

Recruitment: 258


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: 63


PoCoG-2018-01: Large-scale data to understand person-centred outcomes in cancer survivors


Aim: The 45-and-up "Large-Scale data to understand person-centred outcomes in cancer survivors - qualitative sub-study" is one component of a mixed-methods study seeking to generate population-based quantitative and qualitative evidence on person-centred outcomes in cancer survivors, across different cancer types, and compared to those without cancer.  The qualitative study is:

  •     conducting a systematic review of reviews of qualitative studies on cancer survivors to summarise the evidence and identify gaps in the literature
  •     conducting in-depth semi-structured interviews with sub-groups of cancer survivors to explore aspects of survivorship not well represented in the literature, and which appear to be areas of diversity in quantitative analyses of 45-and-up data.


Investigator Team: Emily Banks, Phyllis Butow, Bogda Koczwara, Grace Joshy, Rebecca Laidsaar-Powell, Nicole Rankin, Wei Du

Recruitment: 18



PoCoG-2018-02: ‘Scanxiety’: Scan-associated anxiety in patients with advanced solid cancers


Aim: To refine the definition of "Scanxiety" or scan-associated anxiety, by conducting focus groups with patients and health care professionals, and then by developing a questionnaire to determine how common and severe a problem this is, and to determine what factors improve or worsen it.


Investigator Team: Kim Tam Bui, Prunella Blinman, Belinda Kiely, Haryana Dhillon, Christopher Brown

Recruitment: 222


PoCoG-2018-03: Clinician Intervention to Reduce Fear of Recurrence in Cancer Survivors


Aim: Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) affects 50-70 per cent of cancer survivors. Evidence-based psychological interventions for FCR are effective but resource-/time-consuming. This study aimed to evaluate an oncology delivered intervention to reduce fear of cancer recurrence


Investigator Team: Jia (Jenny) Liu, Jane Beith, Phyllis Butow, Belinda Kiely, Annabelle Goodwin, Mun Hui, Catriona McNeil

Recruitment: 60


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

Recruitment: 78


PoCoG-2018-06: Collaboration and Communication in Cancer Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: The 4Cs Project improving patient-centred care and treatment outcomes


Aim: To explore the current models of cancer care, service provision and support provided to Indigenous cancer patients in participating services; (2) Adapt an existing Radiation Therapy Talking Book (RTB) to create an Indigenous Radiation Therapy Talking Book (IRTB) for Indigenous cancer patients; (3) Evaluate the use of the IRTB to: Indigenous Cancer Patients

and Cancer Services Staff; (4) Estimate the costs, and likely consequences, of nation-wide implementation of the Indigenous Radiation Therapy Talking Book. (5) Adapt an existing surgical and medical oncology Question Prompt List (QPL) for use with Indigenous patients receiving non-radiation treatments. (6) Examine whether the use of a QPL for Indigenous cancer patients receiving non-radiation treatments is acceptable for use by Indigenous patients and consultants.


Investigator Team: Gail Garvey, Haryana Dhillon, Joan Cunningham, Michael Penniment, Sabe Sabesan, Georgia Halkett, Siddhartha Baxi, Adam Stoneley, Luke McGhee



PoCoG-2018-07: Early Detection of Chemotherapy-Induced Cardiomyopathy


Aim: Cancer therapy-induced cardiotoxicity is an unfortunate and potentially fatal complication of cancer treatment. This project aims to improve the outcomes for cancer patients and cancer survivors by improving patient access to appropriate and timely cardiovascular care.  Specifically, we will utilize novel biomarkers and imaging modalities to develop and test a risk stratification tool for early diagnosis and detection of cardiovascular complications of cancer therapy.


Investigator Team: Aaron Sverdlov and Doan Ngo

Recruitment: 172


PoCoG-2018-08: Caring for the carer: improving self-efficacy to provide care and reducing anxiety and burden among family carers of primary brain tumour patients


Aim: To develop and examine the usability, feasibility and safety of an online psychoeducational intervention for family carers of patients with primary brain


Investigator Team: Danette Langbecker, Helen Haydon, Georgia Halkett, Anna Nowak, Althea Blackler

Recruitment: 0


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-to-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: 2100



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

Recruitment: 89


PoCoG-2018-12: Fear of recurrence in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer participating in DYNAMIC-RECTAL


Aim: To assess Fear of Cancer Recurrence levels using a validated self-reporting questionnaire in the context of a randomized clinical trial (the DYNAMIC-RECTAL study). 


Investigator Team: Sue Anne McLachlan

Recruitment: 49


PoCoG-2018-17: The psychological benefits of cognitive rehabilitation and neuropsychological feedback in addressing self-reported cognitive impairment in cancer survivors


Aim: Single arm pilot study, where women who have completed chemotherapy in the past 12 months undertake online cognitive assessment and questionnaires, receive feedback on these cognitive and self-report measures from a psychologist via telephone and written summary, and then participate in an interview to discuss their experiences of receiving this feedback


Investigator Team: Heather Green, Tamara Ownsworth, Haryana Dhillon, David Shum, Shu-Kay Ng, Jasotha Sanmugarajah, Haitham Tuffaha

Recruitment: 14


PoCoG-2018-16: Cancer survivors experiencing Cancer Related Fatigue: A Phase 2 study evaluating a combined Physical Activity (PA) and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program


Aim: To determine if a combined PA and MBSR intervention is feasible and active in improving CRF in cancer survivors.


Investigator team: Ashanya Malalasekera, Sue Butler, Jane Turner

Recruitment: 7


PoCoG-2019-04: Scan-associated anxiety in people with cancer: perspectives of nurses


Aim: Scan-associated anxiety (scanxiety) and tumour marker-related anxiety is commonly described on social media and in patient forums. We aimed to explore the experiences of genitourinary cancer nurses on scanxiety and tumour marker-related anxiety through an anonymous survey distributed at a national genitourinary trials meeting.


Investigator Team: Kim Tam Bui, Prunella Blinman, Belinda Kiely, Haryana Dhillon, Christopher Brown

Recruitment: 34


PoCoG-2019-03: Association between receipt or omission of radiotherapy and health-related quality of life and fear of breast cancer recurrence: A PROSPECT sub-study


Aim: To determine if levels of FCR and HRQoL differ in the medium to long-term between cohorts of women with low risk BC: Group A) women who had PROSPECT MRI and did not receive RT, Group B) women who had PROSPECT MRI and still received RT, Group C) women not approached for PROSPECT who received RT as routine care and did not have MRI, matched to Group A, and Group D) women not approached for PROSPECT who received RT as routine care and did not have MRI, matched to Group B and to provide qualitative data on a large cohort of women (Groups A, B, C and D) with low risk breast cancer in terms of psychosocial experience of de-escalation therapy and MRI staging.


Investigator Team: Lesley Stafford, Bruce Mann, Allison Rose, Leslie Gilham, Susan Thomas, Anita Skandarajah, John Collins.

Recruitment: 230


PoCoG-2019-07: Mutational Assessment of newly diagnosed breast cancer using Germline and Tumor genomICs (The MAGIC study)


Aim: To assess the feasibility of integrating several steps of providing important germline and mutation information to treating clinician within a clinically relevant timeframe


Investigator Team: Lesley Stafford, Bruce Mann, Sarah-Jane Dawson, Paul James, Geoffrey Lindeman, Sherene Loi, Dilanka de Silva, Anita Skandarajah, Ian Campbell

Recruitment: 6


PoCoG-2020-04: Prostate Cancer Patient's Preferences for Image Guidance Procedures: A Discrete Choice Experiment


Aim: To assess and understand prostate cancer patient’s preference in image guidance procedures/techniques during radiation therapy treatment, through a Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE), and to examine the trade-offs patients make when choosing between the different levels of the attributes


Investigator team: Amy Brown, Tilley Pain, Alex Tan, Emily Callander, Kerrianne Watt

Recruitment: 478


PoCoG-2020-05: Randomized controlled phase 2 trial evaluating laser photobiomodulation for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN)


Aim: determine the activity, feasibility, and safety of laser PBM for treatment of established CIPN (defined as numbness, tingling and pain affecting the hands and feet). Hypothesis: 6 weeks of PBM will improve patient symptoms of CIPN


Investigator team: Christina Sian Hwa Teng, Dr Janette Vardy, Dr Mark Teng, Chris Brown

Recruitment: 0