Cancer Surgery and Anaesthetic Trials

The Cancer Surgery and Anaesthetic Trials team test new and established surgical techniques and anaesthetic management to find out the best outcomes for patients undergoing cancer related surgery.

The purpose of these clinical trials are to improve patient peri-operative care, preventing infection, reducing pain and improving long term quality of life after surgery as well as improving survival outcomes.

If you would like to be considered for a clinical trial you will require a referral from your current treating team. Visit the Joining a Clinical Trial page for referral information. 

For more information on clinical trials, get in contact with our cancer clinical trials enquiry coordinator.

Clinical Trials Enquiry Coordinator

Business hours, Mon to Friday between 9am - 2pm
Email Clinical Trials Enquiries
Phone (03) 8559 7456

Open and Recruiting Clinical Trials

A clinical trial to test if Ketamine administration during and after surgery will reduce the risk of patients developing long term pain after surgery

Cancer Type

Not specific

Status

Open and recruiting

Phase

Not applicable

Brief summary

The aim of this study is to see if giving the drug Ketamine during surgery and for up to 3 days after reduces development of chronic post-surgical pain in patients having breast, chest or abdominal surgery. Participants are randomly assigned to receive either the drug ketamine or placebo (normal saline) during and after surgery. All participants:

  • Complete questionnaires prior to surgery and before discharge from hospital
  • Answer follow up questions over the phone 3 month and 1 year following surgery
  • Have information accessed regarding visits to their GP and any pain medication scripts needed postoperatively (if consenting)
Who can participate
  • Adult patients who:
  • Are having breast, chest or abdominal surgery  
  • Require a hospital stay of at least one night following surgery
  • Do not have a history of stroke, epilepsy or complex regional pain syndrome

A clinical trial to test if chewing gum is better than or similar to Ondansetron in treating nausea and vomiting seen in some female patients after surgery

Cancer type

Not specific

Status

Open and recruiting

Phase

Not applicable

Brief summary

This study is comparing chewing gum and the medication ondansetron in treating nausea and vomiting after surgery. Participants receive a gas anaesthetic and specified anti-nausea medication during their surgery. Participants who experience nausea or vomiting within 2 hours after surgery are randomly assigned to receive either chewing gum or ondansetron. Additional anti-nausea medications are given to participants in either group if nausea persists. All participants complete questionnaires before surgery. Participants who experience nausea/vomiting also complete postop questionnaires.

Who can participate

Women who:

  • Are having breast or laparoscopic (key hole) surgery
  • Are able to chew gum
  • Are having a gas based general anaesthetic

A clinical trial to identify risk factors that increase a patients’ chance of developing a condition that affects the nerves usually, in the hands and feet when receiving a type of chemotherapy

Cancer type

Not specific

Status

Open and recruiting

Phase

Not applicable

Brief summary

The aim of this study is to identify the incidence and key risk factors of chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy associated with Taxane-based chemotherapy. Patients are contacted by phone to complete an assessment of neuropathy signs and symptoms and surveys assessing levels of sensory loss and pain due to neuropathy.

Who can participate

Any patients over 18 who:

  • Were previously treated for any cancer with the Taxane based chemotherapy agents Paclitaxel, Docetaxel or Cabazitaxel between the 12 month periods of Jan 2017 to Jan 2018.
  • Do not have any pre-existing diagnosis of peripheral nerve damage, including symptom of pain, sensory loss or decreased motor function.
  • Do not have progressive or end stage disease

A clinical trial to test if two types of anaesthetics have an effect on cancer free survival after surgery

Cancer type

Colorectal and lung cancer

Status

Open and recruiting

Phase

Not applicable

Brief summary

This study is comparing two types of general anaesthetic: inhalational volatile gas and intravenous propofol anaesthesia and whether this impacts disease free survival after cancer surgery. The study is also looking at the impact of giving the drug lidocaine at the time of cancer surgery.  

Who can participate

Adults patients who

  • Are undergoing surgery for stage 1-3 (potentially curable) colorectal cancer or non-small-cell lung cancer
  • Need to stay at least one night in hospital after surgery

A clinical trial to test if pain relief administration before surgery will reduce the amount of pain medication required to manage patient’s pain levels after surgery

Cancer type

Not specific

Status

Open  and recruiting

Phase

Not applicable

Brief summary

This study is looking at whether a single injection of morphine into the fluid surrounding the spinal cord reduces the amount of opiod medications that patients need after major abdominal surgery.  Participants are randomly allocated into two groups. Immediately before general anaesthetic anaesthetists administer either:

  • a single dose of spinal morphine using a spinal needle into the lower back  
  • a superficial injection of normal saline into the lower back (skin/ fat only)  

All participants complete:

  • Questionnaires before surgery and for two days after surgery (if still in hospital)
  • Follow up questionnaires over the phone 30 days after surgery
Who can participate

Patients who:

  • Are having major laparoscopic (key hole) surgery that will last more than 2 hours
  • Do not have a history of chronic pain

Observation of patients at or around the time of surgery who are at risk of bleeding or other complications

Cancer type

Not specific

Status

Open and recruiting

Phase

Not applicable   

Brief summary

This study is investigating effects of the medication tranexamic acid (TXA) on bleeding and heart and blood vessel complications. Participants are randomly allocated to have either 1g TXA or normal saline intravenously (through a drip into the vein) immediately before and after surgery. All participants also:

  • Complete questionnaires before surgery and over the phone one month and one year after surgery
  • Have blood tests taken on the day of surgery and for three days after

Patients who take medication for high blood pressure are assigned one of two blood pressure management strategies.

Who can participate

Patients over 45 years of age who:

  • Need to stay at least one night in hospital after surgery
  • Are at risk  for bleeding or other complications during/after surgery