Cancer Nursing Research

Located within Cancer Experiences Research, our 'Cancer Nursing Research' program focuses on practice-relevant studies that address care and treatment issues known to impact on the quality of life of people affected by a cancer diagnosis.

Research focus

  • Generate practice-relevant knowledge to address prioritised needs of people affected by cancer, including pain, insomnia and fatigue.
  • Translation and evaluation of evidence to address common cancer-related issues - targeting interventions to the needs of discrete groups of patients
  • Develop and test optimal models of patient-centred care delivery, harnessing technology and eHealth
  • Generate knowledge for practice to enable cancer nurses to deliver excellent care and treatment across the cancer continuum
  • Understand the health literacy needs of people affected by cancer and develop tailored interventions to optimise self-management capability to promote safe care
  • Understand the health literacy needs of people affected by cancer and develop tailored interventions to reduce anxiety and optimise wellbeing
  • Understand the health literacy needs of people affected by cancer and develop tailored interventions to optimise cancer prevention strategies
  • Develop resources to meet the information needs of patients and their support networks
  • Develop resources to meet the needs of nurses providing care to people affected by cancer across diverse settings
  • Describe patterns of care for patients with rare and less common cancers to ensure appropriate and timely access to care and treatment

Program lead

Dr Donna Milne

Dr Milne is a registered nurse and has a dual role at Peter Mac. She is an advanced practice nurse with the skin and melanoma service and a senior clinician researcher in Cancer Experiences Research. Donna is on the Executive of the Australian and New Zealand Melanoma Trials Group, and is an active member of both national and international cancer nursing organisations. Donna's research interests include identifying the needs and experiences of patients with melanoma and how the disease and treatment impacts their quality of life.

Email: [email protected]

Honorary Principal Research Fellows of the Cancer Nursing Research program include:

Professor Mei Krishnasamy, Chair of Cancer Nursing, University of Melbourne, and Professor Sanchia Aranda, CEO of Cancer Council of Australia.

Senior Researcher

Amelia Hyatt

Email: [email protected]

Project Manager

Alex Billet

Email: [email protected]

Research Assistant

Bryce Morkunas

Email: [email protected]

Research projects

The following is a listing of projects being run or supported by Nursing Research:

  • Consumer-lead development of video resources for patients and caregivers of patients receiving immunotherapy
  • Pain Screening: Promoting standardised cancer pain screening at Peter Mac
  • Perspective: Patterns and profile of patient experiences with pembrolizumab over time
  • Exploring Fatigue and Exercise during Immunotherapy: Patient experiences and perspectives
  • The development of supportive care resources for people living with and beyond treatment for advanced melanoma and for those caring for them
  • Understanding the quality of life experiences and needs of patients with early stage melanoma
  • Development and feasibility testing of a mindfulness based stress reduction program for nurses
  • Person, tumour and system-focused knowledge to drive better outcomes in melanoma.
  • Development of care pathways to improve symptom management for patients currently on immunotherapy living in the Loddon Malley Region.
  • Prospective audit of management and outcomes for melanoma surgery at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
  • Development of a patient education tool for oncology patients who require an implanted port central venous access device.
  • Negative sentinel lymph node biopsy in patients with melanoma: the patient's perspective
  • Addressing the psychological needs of people with metastatic melanoma on long term immunotherapies or targeted agents
  • A changing treatment paradigm: Supportive and palliative care needs in advanced melanoma: An exploration of experiences, health service use and patient-reported outcomes of advanced melanoma patients receiving combination immunotherapy: Understanding differences to inform care delivery.
  • Phase 3 RCT to test the efficacy and cost effectiveness of patient centered psychological intervention for advanced melanoma.
  • Descriptive analysis of quality of life and needs data collected on all patients recruited to the Melbourne Melanoma Project