News

Nurses contribute to cancer research


27 May 2011

Professors Jill White AM (left) and Kate White (right) with Professor Michael Boyer, Director of the Sydney Cancer Centre.
Professors Jill White AM (left) and Kate White (right) with Professor Michael Boyer, Director of the Sydney Cancer Centre.

A Cancer Nursing Research Unit has been launched acknowledging the central role of specialist cancer nurses in the delivery of quality cancer services in New South Wales.

The unit is an innovative collaboration between Sydney Nursing School at the University of Sydney, the Cancer Institute of New South Wales and the Sydney Cancer Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. It combines Sydney Nursing School's strength in cancer and palliative care research and the Sydney Cancer Centre's excellence in clinical cancer care to develop and support cancer nursing clinicians across NSW.

Professor Kate White, Professor of Cancer Nursing said:

"With the number of cases of cancer continuing to grow, the Cancer Nursing Research Unit will help meet the needs of people in NSW by expanding the contribution of cancer nurses to quality cancer services, including the extended role of nurses in both clinical and community sectors."

Professor Kate White's appointment as Professor of Cancer Nursing is NSW's first Academic Chair in Cancer Nursing and is funded by the Cancer Institute NSW. Under her leadership the Cancer Nursing Research Unit provides support in areas of cancer nursing research, education, models of service provision and is working to optimise state-wide cancer nursing services.

"Specialist cancer nurses have a central role in the delivery of quality cancer services. In NSW, where there are over 2000 cancer and palliative care nurses, they are the largest professional group involved in cancer care. They have high level expertise in coordinating, supporting and managing the patient through diagnosis, treatment and recovery in both acute care and community settings. Their specialised knowledge enables them to provide better care which ultimately improves patient outcomes," Professor White said.

The Cancer Nursing Research Unit launch will showcase research being led by both cancer nurses and the Sydney Nursing School across NSW, including:

  • improving the delivery of care for patients with head and neck cancer
  • improving nutrition care for women after gynaecological cancer
  • fast-track surgery for women with gynaecological cancer
  • information resources on breast reconstruction for women after breast cancer.

These research studies demonstrate the important role of cancer nurses in supporting their patients and their role in decision making about future trends in treatment, patient care and disease prevention.

The Cancer Nursing Research Unit will be launched by Professor David Currow, Chief Cancer Officer and Chief Executive Officer, Cancer Institute NSW, and Professor Jill White AM, Dean of Sydney Nursing School at the University of Sydney.


Media enquiries: Judith Kingston, 93510657, 0414 574 536 judith.kingston@sydney.edu.au

Victoria Hollick, 0401 711 361, 9351 2579, victoria.hollick@sydney.edu.au