Breast Cancer Special Interest Group

The Breast Cancer Special Interest Group (BCSIG) will be a multi-disciplinary group of well-established researchers from the University of Sydney. Their backgrounds include physiotherapy, oncology, diagnostic testing and imaging, surgery, biology, clinical exercise physiology, evidence synthesis, public health and psychology. The Group focuses on identifying, preventing and modifying risk of breast cancer and its sequelae, including the short and long-term sequelae of breast cancer treatments, to improve prognosis and overall quality of life. It also explores methods of optimizing early detection. The researchers within this group have been successful in attracting competitive research funding, publish in leading journals and collaborate with world-leading institutions.

Mission statement

The University of Sydney BCSIG brings together a critical mass of multi-disciplinary cancer researchers to collaborate on important issues in breast cancer. The group is committed to promoting knowledge generation and translation in the scientific and broader community, and mentorship of young researchers to develop the next generation of world leading researchers.

Purpose

Our purpose is to bring together researchers from the clinical and basic sciences who are exploring breast cancer; this SIG will also have specific areas of focus that include (but are not limited to) the following: optimization of medical imaging and other breast cancer testing, short and long term needs and outcomes of breast cancer patients, biology of breast cancer, effectiveness of interventions for sequelae of breast cancers and its medical treatment, and survivorship research. It will also support and promote research across all stages of breast cancer, including advanced disease.

The BCSIG has developed an Action Plan to guide activities from 2014 – 2017.

Objectives

The primary objectives of the BCSIG are to:

  • To develop a research network with expertise in prevention, diagnosis and management of breast cancer patients;
  • Deliver two activities a year that will involve seminars, invited lectures and interdisciplinary discussions and community engagement;
  • Build interdisciplinary activities across the university that will facilitate novel and significant shifts in our approach to diagnosis and management of breast cancer patients, develop a critical mass in breast cancer that is recognized within the university and beyond for its impact and importance and promote a comprehensive and multifaceted approach to grant proposals;
  • Develop a network of experts that will offer mentoring and support to our early career cancer researchers.

Approaches

In the first year of operation the BCSIG plans to:

  • Identify individuals and groups who may be interested in participating. This will be done via personal contacts and the Cancer Research Network;
  • Run two activities per year that will involve seminars, invited lectures and interdisciplinary discussions to promote opportunities for multidisciplinary dialogue, contribute to PhD student training, facilitate external evaluation of our activities and develop future direction and community engagement;
  • Develop a cohort of expertise that can respond competently to media requests and react collectively to new reports or publications;
  • Establish a forum to enable global reach and impact;
  • Contribute to the CRN critical mass that can influence policy at state and federal levels and contribute to strategies employed by regulatory and funding bodies;
  • Recruit outstanding local and international PhD students and explore avenues for gaining support for students via scholarships;
  • Establish firm relationships and collaborate with the key University centres to develop strong research and teaching links and catalogue findings for appropriate audiences/bodies;
  • Proactively target and react to new breast cancer initiatives;
  • Catalogue research publications produced by the group.

Members of the Steering Committee

  • A/Professor Jane Beith
  • Professor Patrick C Brennan (Chair)
  • Professor Glen Davis
  • Dr Haryana Dhillon
  • A/Professor Nehmat Houssami
  • Professor Sharon Kilbreath
  • Professor Peter Lay
  • Dr Thomas Owens
  • Professor Kathy Refshauge
  • Professor Mary Rickard
  • Professor Shih-Chang Wang
  • Mr Zechariah Marting

Members

Biology & genetics
Name

Email

Dr Luke Anderson

luke.anderson@sydney.edu.au

Dr Anthony Ashton

anthony.ashton@sydney.edu.au

Hasina Aktar

hasina.aktar@sydney.edu.au

Mr Seher Balaban

sbal2853@uni.sydney.edu.au

A/Prof Rosemary L Balleine

rosemary.balleine@sydney.edu.au

Prof Robert C Baxter

robert.baxter@sydney.edu.au

Ms Kellie Bilinski

Kellie.Bilinski@bci.org.au

Ms Jane Carpenter

jane.carpenter@sydney.edu.au

Prof Christine Clarke

christine.clarke@sydney.edu.au

Dr Dinny Graham

dinny.graham@sydney.edu.au

Ms Heidi Hilton

heidi.hilton@sydney.edu.au

Dr Jeff Holst

j.holst@centenary.org.au

Dr Andrew Hoy

andrew.hoy@sydney.edu.au

Ms Lisa Kay

lisa.kay@sydney.edu.au

A/Prof Judy Kirk

judy.kirk@sydney.edu.au

Prof Graham Mann

graham.mann@sydney.edu.au

 Dr Matthew Naylor

 matthew.naylor@sydney.edu.au

 A/Prof Geraldine O'Neill

 geraldine.oneill@health.nsw.gov.au

 Mr JS Peter

 jcho8127@uni.sydney.edu.au

 Ms Michelle Simmons

 m.simmons@centenary.org.au

 Dr Patsy Soon

 patsy.soon@sydney.edu.au

Epidemiology & public health
Name Email

Dr Meagan E Brennan

meagan.brennan@sydney.edu.au

Ms Jennifer Butcher

jennifer.butcher@sydney.edu.au

Ms Jolyn Hersch

jolyn.hersch@sydney.edu.au

Dr Zakia Hossain

zakia.hossain@sydney.edu.au

A/Prof Nehmat Houssami

nehmath@med.usyd.edu.au

Dr Sally Lord

Sally.Lord@ctc.usyd.edu.au

A/Prof Kirsten McCaffery

kirsten.mccaffery@sydney.edu.au

 Ms Lisa Parker

lisa.parker@sydney.edu.au

 A/Prof Freddy Sitas

freddys@nswcc.org.au

 A/Prof Karen Willis

karen.willis@sydney.edu.au

 Dr Melina Willson

Melina.Willson@ctc.usyd.edu.au

 Dr Xue Qin Yu

xue.yu@sydney.edu.au

Imaging & detection
Name Email

Ms Dana Al Mousa

dalm3874@uni.sydney.edu.au

A/Prof Javid Atai

javid.atai@sydney.edu.au 

Dr Roger Bourne

roger.bourne@sydney.edu.au

Prof Patrick Brennan

patrick.brennan@sydney.edu.au

Prof John Canning

john.canning@sydney.edu.au

Ms Karen Dobelli

kdobeli@uni.sydney.edu.au

Ms Angela Hamilton

aham8915@uni.sydney.edu.au

Mr Terry Jones

terry.jones@sydney.edu.au

Dr Maria Joyce

maria.joyce@sydney.edu.au

A/Prof Jim Lagopoulos

jim.lagopoulos@sydney.edu.au

A/Prof Warwick Lee

Warwick.LEE@cancerinstitute.org.au

Dr Sarah Lewis

sarah.lewis@sydney.edu.au

Ms Yanpeng Li

yali3465@uni.sydney.edu.au

Dr Mark McEntee

mark.mcentee@sydney.edu.au

 Prof Steven Meikle

steven.meikle@sydney.edu.au

 A/Prof Claudia Mello-Thoms

claudia.mello-thoms@sydney.edu.au

 Dr Mariusz Pietrzyk

Mariusz.Pietrzyk@sydney.edu.au

 A/Prof Ann Poulos

ann.poulos@sydney.edu.au

 Mr Mohammad Rawashdeh

mraw2971@uni.sydney.edu.au

 Dr Warren Reed

warren.reed@sydney.edu.au

 A/Prof Mary Rickard

mtr2006@bigpond.net.au

 Dr Peter Rutledge

p.rutledge@chem.usyd.edu.au

 Dr Elaine Ryan

elaine.ryan@sydney.edu.au

 Dr William Ryder

will.ryder@sydney.edu.au

 Ms Pauline Soh

bsoh6456@uni.sydney.edu.au

 Dr Matthew Todd

matthew.todd@sydney.edu.au

 Prof Shih-chang (Ming) Wang

shih-chang.wang@sydney.edu.au

Treatment & rehabilitation
Name Email

Dr Sally Baron-Hay

sbaronha@med.usyd.edu.au
A/Prof Jane Beith

jane.beith@sydney.edu.au

A/Prof Fran Boyle

franb@bigpond.net.au

A/Prof Steven Cumming

steven.cumming@sydney.edu.au

Prof Glen Davis  

glen.davis@sydney.edu.au

Dr Rachel Dear

rachel.dear@sydney.edu.au

Ms Elizabeth Dylke

elizabeth.dylke@sydney.edu.au

Dr Nasim Foroughi

nasim.foroughi@sydney.edu.au

DrLaurence Gluch

lgluch@mail.usyd.edu.au

Ms Katrina Kastrious

katrina.kastrious@sydney.edu.au
Prof Sharon Kilbreath sharon.kilbreath@sydney.edu.au

Dr MiJoung Lee

mi-joung.lee@sydney.edu.au

Ms Lanni Lin

lanni.lin@sydney.edu.au

A/Prof Lynette Mackenzie

lynette.mackenzie@sydney.edu.au

Prof Kathryn Refshauge

fhsdean@sydney.edu.au

A/Prof Andrew Spillane

aspillane@usyd.edu.au

A/Prof Janette Vardy

jvardy@sydney.edu.au

Prof Kate White

kate.white@sydney.edu.au

Ms Jasmine  Yee

jasmine.yee@sydney.edu.au

Affiliates
Name Organisation Email

Ms Lisa Allwell

Breast Cancer Network Australia

LAllwell@bcna.org.au

Dr Tracey Bessell

DOHA

Tracey.Bessell@health.gov.au

Dr Alison Butt

National Breast Cancer Foundation

Alison.Butt@nbcf.org.au

Ms Sally Crossing

Cancer Voices NSW

info@cancervoices.org.au

Prof David Currow

Cancer Institute NSW

david.currow@cancerinstitute.org.au

A/Prof Michele Ford

Sydney South East Asian Centre

michele.ford@sydney.edu.au

Prof David  Goodman

China Studies Centre

david.goodman@sdyney.edu.au

Dr Cannas Kwok

UWS

C.Kwok@uws.edu.au

Dr Gillian Lamoury

RNSH

glamoury@nsccahs.health.nsw.gov.au

A/Prof Mu Li

China Studies Centre

mu.li@sydney.edu.au

Ms Sarah McGill

Cancer Institute NSW

sarah.mcgill@cancerinstitute.org.au

Dr Eileen McGowan

UTS

Eileen.Mcgowan@uts.edu.au

Dr Richard Seymour

Sydney South East Asian Centre

richard.seymour@sydney.edu.au

Prof Stephen Simpson

Charles Perkins Centre

stephen.simpson@sydney.edu.au

Ms Libby Topp

Cancer Council NSW

libbyt@nswcc.org.au

Ms Fleur Webster

Cancer Australia (NBOCC)

Fleur.Webster@canceraustralia.gov.au

Dr Yingchun  Xu

Shanghai Renji Hospital; Shanghai Jiaotong University, School of Medicine

xiaoxu2384@163.com

Support
Name Email

Ms Sonya Corcoran

sonya.corcoran@sydney.edu.au

Mr Aleks Duric

aleks.duric@sydney.edu.au

Ms Merilyn Heuschkel

Merilyn.Heuschkel@sydney.edu.au

Ms Kriscia Tapia

kriscia.tapia@sydney.edu.au

Seminars

Inaugural Breast Cancer SIG Seminar

The inaugural Breast Cancer SIG Seminar was held on 21 November in the New Law Building, The University of Sydney. Approximately 55 people attended and heard an inspiring program of presentations from the broad themes of the BCSIG: imaging and detection, treatment and rehabilitation, biology and genetics, and epidemiology and public health.

Thank you to our speakers: Prof Patrick Brennan, Prof Graham Mann, Dr Justine (Dinny) Graham, Prof Sharon Kilbreath, A/Prof Nehamt Houssami, Ms Elizabeth Dylke and Ms Jenny Butcher.

View photos from the seminar.

Breast Cancer Consumer Evening

The Breast Cancer SIG held a very successful Breast Cancer Consumer Evening on 12 March 2014. The evening, attended by 80 people, was an opportunity to empower health consumers and educate them about the considerable scientific advances in recent years around understanding the stages of cancer development, which is driving improved research and leading to better prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

University of Sydney experts presented on a range of topics including insights into prevention and treatment. They will also weighed in on the breast screening debate and discussed the critical issues of ensuring the wellbeing of survivors following treatment.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in Australia, with one in eight women developing the disease in their lifetime. Every day researchers are making breakthroughs in prevention, diagnosis, and treatment to improve survival rates.

View photos from the Consumer Evening.

Members’ recent achievements

Published papers

Marinovich ML, Houssami N, Macaskill P, Sardanelli F, Irwig L, Mamounas EP, Von Minckwitz G, Brennan ME, Ciatto S. “Meta-analysis of Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Detecting Residual Breast Cancer After Neoadjuvant Therapy”. J Natl Cancer Inst 2013 : djs528v1-djs528.

Houssami N, Macaskill P, von Minckwitz G, Marinovich ML, Mamounas E. “Meta-analysis of the association of breast cancer subtype and pathologic complete response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy”. European Journal of Cancer 2012;48:3342-54.

Autier P, Esserman LJ, Flowers CI, Houssami N. “Breast cancer screening: the questions answered”. Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology 2012;9:599-605.

Bernardi D, Ciatto S, Pellegrini M, Anesi V, Burlon S, Cauli E, Depaoli E, Larentis L, Targa L, Baldo P, & Houssami N. “Application of breast tomosynthesis in screening: incremental effect on mammography acquisition and reading time”. British Journal of Radiology 2012;85:e1174-e1178.

Houssami N, Turner R, Morrow M. “Preoperative magnetic resonance imaging in breast cancer: meta-analysis of surgical outcomes”. Annals of surgery 2013;257:249-55.

Marinovich M, Sardanelli F, Ciatto S, Mamounas E, Brennan M, Macaskill P, Irwig L, von Minckwitz G, Houssami N. “Early prediction of pathologic response to neoadjuvant therapy in breast cancer: Systematic review of the accuracy of MRI”. Breast 2012;21:669-77.

Hersch J, Jansen J, Barratt A, Irwig L, Houssami N, Howard K, Dhillon H, McCaffery K. “Women’s views on overdiagnosis in breast cancer screening: a qualitative study”. BMJ 2013; 346:f158 doi: 10.1136/bmj.f158

Brennan M, Houssami N. “Newly diagnosed early breast cancer An update on pre-operative assessment and staging”. Australian Family Physician 2012;41:871-4.

Awards and grants

A/Prof Nehmat Houssami (Public Health) was awarded a NBCF Practitioner Fellowship to support the breast cancer research plan (Evidence to guide early detection strategies in population screening and in women with a personal history of breast cancer) from 2013-2016.

Dr Mariusz Pietrzyk (Medical Radiation Sciences) was awarded a AUD $40k WUN Research Development Fund 2012 grant for his project “Breast Cancer Detection Network”. The project aims to improve mammography services and limit unreported breast cancer incidences.

Dr Kevin Tay (Medical Imaging) was awarded a AUD $400k from the Australian Government for his work on breast imaging algorithms.

Have you got a success story to share? Email details of your recently published work, grant success or awards to bcsig@sydney.edu.au to be published on the BCSIG webpage.

Join the group

The BCSIG is Chaired by Professor Patrick Brennan (Discipline of Medical Radiation Sciences). Membership is open to all staff of the University of Sydney, its teaching hospitals and affiliated research institutes.

If you are interested in participating, please send the following information to the Cancer Research Office by :

  • Name:
  • Contact telephone number:
  • Email:
  • Department:
  • Up to 5 keywords (describing your research interests and technical expertise):