Breast stream: surgical research

The breast service participates in clinical breast cancer research and has strong links with basic science colleagues at Peter Mac, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and the University of Melbourne

Research focus 

The breast stream has multiple focuses, these include: 

  • natural history of breast cancer and DCIS (Ductal carcinoma in situ) 

  • population-based mammographic screening 

  • tailored management of early breast cancer 

  • locoregional therapy clinical trials 

  • molecular assays in early breast cancer 

  • risk management for high-risk patients 

  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and other advanced imaging for early breast cancer. 

Research projects 

Current research projects include: 

  • breast cancer database 

  • exploring women’s experience of theatre care whilst undergoing major breast surgery: a qualitative study 

  • assessment of outcomes in breast reconstruction after mastectomy 

  • the impact of MRI on the surgical management of the breast 

  • a Phase II randomised study of perioperative beta-blocker vs placebo on gene expression in newly diagnosed breast cancer 

  • investigating if neoadjuvant therapy results in a change in PD-L1 receptor expression in breast cancer 

  • a randomised trial of axillary node dissection in women with clinical T1 or T2 N0 M0 breast cancer who have a positive sentinel node 

  • Granulomatous mastitis – the tip of the iceberg. 

Major ongoing clinical trials 

  • Neo-Adjuvant chemotherapy for locally advanced cancer. 

  • POSNOC – Positive Sentinel Node, adjuvant therapy alone or axillary clearance. 

  • PROSPECT – Post operative radiotherapy omission in selected patients in early breast cancer therapy. 

Current PhD and other project themes 

  • breast cancer genomics 

  • breast cancer biology 

  • breast density and breast cancer 

  • the natural history, genetics, and prediction of outcomes for DCIS 

  • selective use of adjuvant radiotherapy in early breast cancer 

  • role of axillary dissection with low volume disease in sentinel nodes 

  • medical prevention of breast cancer in high-risk populations 

  • utility of molecular assays in early breast cancer 

  • studies of population-based mammographic screening. 


Professor Bruce Mann 

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Professor Michael Henderson 

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Further information

Multidisciplinary Team Surgeon Lead

Professor Michael A Henderson

Tumour Stream Surgeons 

  • Dr Laura Chin-Lenn 

  • Associate Professor John Collins 

  • Associate Professor David Gyorki 

  • Professor Michael Henderson 

  • Dr Craig Murphy 

  • Dr Sophie Nightingale 

  • Dr Cathie Poliness 

  • Dr Anita Skandarajah 

  • Mr David Speakman 

  • Mr Robert Tasevski 

  • Ms Chantel Thornton