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PACES research group

The University of Canberra’s PREHAB|ACTIVITY|CANCER|EXERCISE|SURVIVORSHIP (PACES) Research Group focusses their research activity on three distinct areas of cancer care research:

  • prehabilitation and/or rehabilitation
  • physical activity
  • cancer survivorship across the cancer care continuum

PACES aims to deliver evidence informed personalised, holistic, timely, accessibly cancer care for every individual and their family, by providing pre and/or rehabilitative survivorship care.

Our research focusses on finding solutions to important clinical problems experienced every day in cancer care. Our programme of research is oriented around improvement and is designed to impact regular practice. PACES researchers are clinical academic healthcare professionals; therefore, the work that they do is directly informed by unmet supportive care needs issues that are regarded as problematic or concerning to people affected by cancer. This includes individuals with cancer, families/carers, healthcare professionals, healthcare managers, and policymakers. The thorough multidisciplinary approach taken by PACES ensures that a variety of population groups and supportive care needs are taken into consideration.

Our researchers aim to:

  • undertake world-leading innovative research in cancer care to make a meaningful difference to those affected by cancer.
  • provide a collaborative focus from a variety of academic disciplines related to cancer care.
  • increase the institutional capacity for strategic cancer partnerships and collaborations for cancer research and consultancy activities.

PACES Affiliate Members

Name Research interests
Professor Sandra Hayes (UC Adjunct) Senior Research Fellow, Menzies Health Institute Queensland Cancer survivorship issues, exercise oncology and epidemiology, understanding the epidemiology of cancer survivorship concerns (in particular lymphoedema), the role of exercise following cancer
Professor Desmond Yip (UC Adjunct) Medical Oncology, biological agents in cancer, renal cell carcinoma, and GI cancers
Associate Professor Ganes Pranavan (UC adjunct) Medical Oncology, brain cancer, uro-oncology, clinical trials.
Associate Professor Hodo Haxhimolla (UC adjunct) Urologist, prostate cancer, uro-oncology, clinical trials
Assoc Professor Jane Kellett (UC) Nutrition and Dietetics   Oncology, palliative care, nutrition and dietetics
Assoc Prof Andrew McKune (UC) Human physiology, stress physiology, immunology and bioenergetics in adaptation to exercise in cancer stress responses
Professor Elisa Martinez Marroquin (UC) Prostate cancer, artificial intelligence, machine learning, diagnostic pathways
Dr Irmina Nahon (UC) Physiotherapy, pelvic floor, prostate cancer, rehabilitation
Prof Stuart Semple (UC) Exercise physiology, physical activity, CVD, exercise, immunology
Elyse Ladbrook (UC) Cancer interest in infection prevention and control, quality and safety
Dr Joe Northey (UC) Exercise in cancer care
Professor Ben Rattray (UC) Brain exercise and cancer care
Sharon Stanton (UC) Prostate cancer nursing, nurse-led services
Cara Robert (UC) Unmet needs, caregivers, prostate cancer, daily living needs
Nikki Johnston (UC) Areas of strength palliative care for adults and palliative care and aged care, ethics regarding decision making at end of life, alternate decision makers, advance care planning, pain and other symptoms, therapeutic relationships and communication
Associate Professor Paul Craft (Director ACT Cancer Regional Hospital) Medical oncology, survival outcomes, evidence-based treatment breast cancer
Dr Rebecca Dwyer (Site Manager ICON Cancer Centre Canberra) Cancer care, radiation oncology, strong passion for prostate cancer treatment, awareness, and support.   Health service management and planning knowledge, specifically in oncology field.
Gillian Fraser (ACT Cancer Regional Hospital) Bladder cancer, nurse led services, BCG cancer treatments
James Slade (ACT Cancer Regional Hospital) Cancer care nurse practitioner
Dr Michael Chapman (ACT Cancer Regional Hospital) Dementia, palliative care, supportive care, aged care, pain and symptom management
Tina Forshaw (ACT Cancer Regional Hospital) ACT Cancer Regional Hospital, Urology, uro-oncology specialist nurse
Mingxia Wang (ACT Cancer Regional Hospital) ACT Cancer Regional Hospital, Prostate cancer specialist nurse
Dr Elly Law (ICON Cancer Centre Canberra) Cancer care, clinical psychology, brain cancer
Dr Iain Duncan (Garran Medical Imaging) Imaging, PSMA, Prostate cancer, artificial intelligence

PACES HDR students

Name Project
Kath Schubach
Competitive Scholarship Australia and New Zealand Genitourinary Trial Group ($100,000)
What are the unmet supportive care needs of people affected by bladder cancer?
Julia Haxhimolla How does pharmacist support affect the rehabilitation journeys of males diagnosed by prostate cancer post radical prostatectomy?
Delilah Shelly
Competitive Scholarship UC & ACT Health ($100,000)
Oncology nurses’ experiences of using digital health systems with patients for cancer care within hospitals and community settings
Georgie Britton Investigating the psychosocial effect of receiving enteral tube feeding on palliative head and neck cancer patients and their carer
Rebecca Cesnik Evaluating and increasing physical activity levels in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy
Maddison Hunter Use of honey as a treatment of oral mucositis for oncology patients. This study includes reviews, protocol and human trials
Melanie Moore Exercise for Haematological Cancer Patients
Tricia O’Connor An Exploration of Pain Assessment in Unresponsive Patients at End-of-life: Pain, Assessment Tools, and Nursing Interventions
Alesha Sayner Physiotherapy prehabilitation and urinary incontinence in radical prostatectomy: The clinician and the consumer
Asma Zaheer Risk Assessment, Prediction and Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism in Ambulatory Cancer Patients with Solid Tumors
Ann Yan Predictors of risk and prognosis of venous thromboembolism in patients with lung cancer. This research project aims to study the epidemiology of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients with lung cancer in Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and improve the current knowledge about the risk stratification
of VTE in this group of patients.
Jay (add details)
Competitive Scholarship PACES (MRES) Full-time
Exercise Intervention For Improving Mental Health And Wellbeing For Those Living With Cancer.

PACES Honours students

Name Project
Blake Askelin
Competitive ACT Health CNMO Synergy Nursing Scholarship
Exploring the clinical decision-making processes of uro-oncology multidisciplinary team meetings
Helen Legge
UC PACES Competitive Scholarship
What are the unmet supportive care needs of people affected by cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic?

PACES Research Interns

Name Project
Shayln Rourke
Competitive ACT Health CNMO Synergy Nursing Scholarship
How does health-related quality of life change over time in cancer survivors following an admission to the ICU?

HDR/Hons Completions

Name Project
Kittani Morrison (Honours) 2021 1st Class. What are the perceived barriers and enablers to physical activity participation in women diagnosed with ovarian cancer? A qualitative study
Maddison Hunter (PhD) 2022 PhD. Honey in the treatment of oral mucositis in oncology patients
Roxanne Miller (Honours) 2021 2nd Class. Exercise during chemotherapy infusion
Lucas Logan (Honours) 2021 2nd Class. Exercise and Prostate Cancer during ADT treatment
Georgina Alderman (Honours) 2019 2nd Class. Knowledge, position, and practice of general practitioners in the promotion of physical activity for cancer patients

PACES HDR students

Name Project
Kath Schubach
Competitive Scholarship Australia and New Zealand Genitourinary Trial Group ($100,000)
What are the unmet supportive care needs of people affected by bladder cancer?
Julia Haxhimolla How does pharmacist support affect the rehabilitation journeys of males diagnosed by prostate cancer post radical prostatectomy?
Delilah Shelly
Competitive Scholarship UC & ACT Health ($100,000)
Oncology nurses’ experiences of using digital health systems with patients for cancer care within hospitals and community settings
Georgie Britton Investigating the psychosocial effect of receiving enteral tube feeding on palliative head and neck cancer patients and their carer
Rebecca Cesnik Evaluating and increasing physical activity levels in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy
Maddison Hunter Use of honey as a treatment of oral mucositis for oncology patients. This study includes reviews, protocol and human trials
Melanie Moore Exercise for Haematological Cancer Patients
Tricia O’Connor An Exploration of Pain Assessment in Unresponsive Patients at End-of-life: Pain, Assessment Tools, and Nursing Interventions
Alesha Sayner Physiotherapy prehabilitation and urinary incontinence in radical prostatectomy: The clinician and the consumer
Asma Zaheer Risk Assessment, Prediction and Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism in Ambulatory Cancer Patients with Solid Tumors
Ann Yan Predictors of risk and prognosis of venous thromboembolism in patients with lung cancer. This research project aims to study the epidemiology of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients with lung cancer in Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and improve the current knowledge about the risk stratification
of VTE in this group of patients.
Jay (add details)
Competitive Scholarship PACES (MRES) Full-time
Exercise Intervention For Improving Mental Health And Wellbeing For Those Living With Cancer.

PACES Honours students

Name Project
Blake Askelin
Competitive ACT Health CNMO Synergy Nursing Scholarship
Exploring the clinical decision-making processes of uro-oncology multidisciplinary team meetings
Helen Legge
UC PACES Competitive Scholarship
What are the unmet supportive care needs of people affected by cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic?

PACES Research Interns

Name Project
Shayln Rourke
Competitive ACT Health CNMO Synergy Nursing Scholarship
How does health-related quality of life change over time in cancer survivors following an admission to the ICU?

HDR/Hons Completions

Name Project
Kittani Morrison (Honours) 2021 1st Class. What are the perceived barriers and enablers to physical activity participation in women diagnosed with ovarian cancer? A qualitative study
Maddison Hunter (PhD) 2022 PhD. Honey in the treatment of oral mucositis in oncology patients
Roxanne Miller (Honours) 2021 2nd Class. Exercise during chemotherapy infusion
Lucas Logan (Honours) 2021 2nd Class. Exercise and Prostate Cancer during ADT treatment
Georgina Alderman (Honours) 2019 2nd Class. Knowledge, position, and practice of general practitioners in the promotion of physical activity for cancer patients

PACES Honours students

Name Project
Blake Askelin
Competitive ACT Health CNMO Synergy Nursing Scholarship
Exploring the clinical decision-making processes of uro-oncology multidisciplinary team meetings
Helen Legge
UC PACES Competitive Scholarship
What are the unmet supportive care needs of people affected by cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic?

PACES Research Interns

Name Project
Shayln Rourke
Competitive ACT Health CNMO Synergy Nursing Scholarship
How does health-related quality of life change over time in cancer survivors following an admission to the ICU?

HDR/Hons Completions

Name Project
Kittani Morrison (Honours) 2021 1st Class. What are the perceived barriers and enablers to physical activity participation in women diagnosed with ovarian cancer? A qualitative study
Maddison Hunter (PhD) 2022 PhD. Honey in the treatment of oral mucositis in oncology patients
Roxanne Miller (Honours) 2021 2nd Class. Exercise during chemotherapy infusion
Lucas Logan (Honours) 2021 2nd Class. Exercise and Prostate Cancer during ADT treatment
Georgina Alderman (Honours) 2019 2nd Class. Knowledge, position, and practice of general practitioners in the promotion of physical activity for cancer patients