Breast cancer research

St John of God Subiaco Hospital provides a range of diagnostic and surgical services for breast cancer patients. This includes innovative reconstruction surgery, medical oncology, supportive care through dedicated breast nurses and specialist physiotherapy and psychology care. The Breast Cancer Research Unit runs a large number of investigator driven and cooperative research group-led cancer studies.
  • Breast cancer was the second most diagnosed cancer in 2015 and is predicted to be the most commonly diagnosed cancer in 2019.
  • 1 in 8 Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 85. Over 15,000 women per year.
  • 150 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer every year.
  • Survival rates for this disease continue to improve – with research supporting early detection and better treatment.

Led by Professor Christobel Saunders, the Breast Cancer Research Unit covers four major aspects to assist and guide patient care:

  • Translational research driven by our Biobank in collaboration with national and international researchers.
  • Medical and surgical oncology clinical trials from prevention through to survivorship.
  • They cover all aspects of cancer, including prevention, diagnosis, treatments, post treatment, survivorship, fertility, end-of-life care, development of drugs and translation of research practice.
  • Supportive care research, such as exercise intervention and enabling young breast cancer survivors to start a family.
  • Health services research that can help deliver more equitable and effective cancer care to Western Australians.
Director Breast Cancer Research Unit and Surgical Oncologist
Prof Christobel Saunders

Breast Surgeons/Senior Clinical Lecturers
Mr Lee Jackson
Dr Wen Chan Yeow

Clinical Nurse Consultants Breast Care
Gay Refeld and Joan Burgess

Medical Oncologists
Dr Daphne Tsoi
Dr Andrew Dean
Dr Tim Clay

Research Of¬ficer
Dr Niloufer Johansen, PhD
Saunders, C. Towards value-based healthcare – modelling an answer for cancer care delivery. Australian Health Review 43, 2, p. 121-122 2 April 2019

Ding, J., Saunders, C., Cook, A., & Johnson, C. E.
(2019). End-of-life care in rural general practice: How best to support commitment and meet challenges? BMC Palliative Care,
18(1), [51].

Allen, W.M., Foo, K.Y., Zilkens, R., Kennedy, K.M., Fang, Q., Chin, L., Dessauvagie, B.F.,
Latham, B., Saunders,C.M., Kennedy, B.F
. Clinical feasibility of optical coherence microelastography for imaging tumor margins in breast-conserving surgery. Biomedical Optics
Express. 2018 Dec 1;9(12).p. 6331-6349

Clynick, B., Dessauvagie, B., Sterrett, G., Harvey, N.T., Allcock. R.J.N., Saunders, C.,
Erber, W., Meehan, K.
Genetic characterisation of molecular targets in carcinoma of unknown primary. Journal of Translational Medicine. 2018 July 4;16(185).

Slavova-Azmanova, N., Newton, J.C., Hohnen, H., Johnson, C.E., Saunders, C.
How communication between cancer patients and their specialists affect the quality and cost of cancer care. Support Care Cancer. 2019 Mar 29.

McLean, K., Darcey, E., Cadby, G., Lund, H., Pilkington, L., Redfern, A., Thompson, S.,
Saunders, C., Wylie, E., Stone, J. The distribution and determinants of mammographic density measures in Western Australian aboriginal women. Breast Cancer Res. 2019 Feb

Corica, T., Saunders, C.M., Bulsara, M.K., Taylor, M., Joseph, D.J., Nowak, A.K.

Patient preferences for adjuvant radiotherapy in early breast cancer are strongly influenced by treatment received through random assignment. Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2019 Mar;28(2):e12985.

Hardcastle, S.J., Galliott, M., Lynch, B.M., Nguyen, N.H., Cohen, P.A., Mohan, G.R.,
Johansen, N.J., Saunders, C
. (2018) Acceptability and utility of, and preference for
wearable activity trackers amongst non-metropolitan cancer survivors. PLOS ONE.

Hart, N.H., Galvão, D.A., Saunders, C., Taa_ e, D.R., Feeney, K.T., Spry, N.A., Tsoi, D.,
Martin, H., Chee, R., Clay, T., Redfern, A.D., Newton, R.U.
Mechanical suppression of
osteolytic bone metastases in advanced breast cancer patients: a randomised controlled study protocol evaluating safety, feasibility and preliminary efficacy of exercise as a targeted medicine. Trials. 2018 Dec 20;19(1):695.

Rajaram, N., Lim, Z.Y., Song, C.V., Kaur, R., Mohd Taib, N.A., Muhamad, M., Ong, W.L.,
Schouwenburg, M., See, M.H., Teo, S.H., Saunders, C., Yip, C.H
. Patient-reported outcome measures among breast cancer survivors: A cross-sectional comparison between Malaysia and high-income countries. Psychooncology. 2019 Jan;28(1):147-153.