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Cancer Biology and Clinical Oncology

Cancer is a general term for more than 100 diseases that are characterised by the abnormal growth of cells. Cancer affects a large portion of Australians, with one in two diagnosed by the age of 85.

Cancer biology and clinical oncology


Our cancer biology research seeks to understand the fundamental mechanisms by which cancers arise, progress and respond to treatment. 

Clinical oncology consists of three primary disciplines: medical oncology (the treatment of cancer with medicine, including chemotherapy); surgical oncology (the surgical aspects of cancer, including biopsy, staging, and surgical resection of tumours); and radiation oncology (the treatment of cancer with therapeutic radiation).

Understanding the causes of cancer will enable the development of innovative approaches to treat both liquid cancers (leukaemia and myeloma) and solid cancers (breast, prostate, ovarian and gastrointestinal cancer).

Researchers across the faculty are focused on:

  • identifying the molecular and cellular basis of cancer
  • developing preclinical models that closely resemble human cancer
  • understanding the mechanisms involved in cancer spread and resistance to chemotherapy 
  • identifying novel biomarkers for detection of cancer
  • developing and evaluating new drugs to treat cancer.

Our research centres and institutes working in this area

Our research groups working in this area

  • Bioengineering Imaging Group (Professor Robert McLaughlin)
  • Breast Biology and Cancer Group (Associate Professor  Wendy Ingman)
  • Breast Cancer Research Group (Professor Andreas Evdokiou)
  • Cancer Treatment Toxicities Group (Dr Joanne Bowen)
  • Clinical Pharmacogenomics (Professor Andrew Somogyi)
  • Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories (Professor Wayne Tilley)
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Group (Professor Stan Gronthos)
  • Mucositis Research Group (Professor Dorothy Keefe)
  • Myeloma Research Group (Professor Andrew Zannettino)
  • Ovarian and Reproductive Cancer Cell Biology (Associate Professor Darryl Russell)
  • Prostate Cancer Research Group (Dr Luke Selth and Associate Professor Lisa Butler)
  • Reproductive Cancer (Dr Carmela Ricciardelli)
  • Surgical Science Research Group (Professor Guy Maddern)

Interested in undertaking a postgraduate research degree with us?

We offer exciting opportunities for researchers at the honours, masters and PhD levels. Our research degrees are open to a broad range of backgrounds, and range from basic sciences to clinical research. If you are interested in human health, consider furthering your research career with us.

Learn more about studying Honours and Higher Degrees by Research

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