Infectious Diseases & Infection Prevention Research

Cancer patients are a unique population with specialised needs. There is compelling evidence that infection in cancer patients remains a leading cause of death and a significant cost to the healthcare system.

Our research group aims to optimise patient outcomes using a health services approach to prevent and manage the critical and growing problems of healthcare associated and antibiotic resistant infection, poor sepsis and antimicrobial management and late recognition of infection in this vulnerable population.

Our work focusses on establishing a national infrastructure for cancer specific infection surveillance, implementation of life saving and harm minimising clinical care pathways for the management of neutropenic fever and sepsis in adults and children and introducing innovative technologies to support the detection of and improve care of infections in cancer. This group comprises experienced translational researchers with national and international profiles in the surveillance and management of infections in cancer.

Research focus

Our research falls under 4 major themes

  1. Surveillance: Establishing a cancer-related infection surveillance network to address areas of need regarding infrastructure requirements for effectual infection surveillance. We aim to describe the prevalence and risks for infections in cancer populations as vital companion data to pooled data concerning general hospital patients.
  2. Implementation: a hospital-wide approach to the recognition and management of febrile neutropenia (FN) and Sepsis for patients being treated for cancer. This includes both inpatient and outpatient programs and an NHMRC funded national project to validate a rule to stratify children into low and high risk for complications associated with FN which will facilitate early identification and safe treatment in the outpatient setting or with oral antibiotics. It also includes a study of the role of antibiotic allergy de-labelling in cancer patients.
  3. Innovation: Introducing and evaluating novel technology to optimise clinical care for patients with cancer-related infections. Technologies include an electronic fungal surveillance and management system, immunological profiling and new diagnostics such a PET scanning and molecular testing on blood samples for infection.
  4. Informatics: Harnessing big data and machine learning to underpin bioinformatics and health economics to deliver better health care programs for patients with cancer.

Research projects

Contact

Prof Monica Slavin

Head of Infectious Diseases and Infection Control

Email: [email protected]

Head: Infectious Diseases/Infection Control

Publications, presentations and other

Download a copy of our key publications and presentations from 2011-2016

Opportunities for students

Please contact us for information about potential projects for honours and postgraduate students.