AITHM James Cook University


Back to listings

On Twitter

Latest tweets

Download Our
Annual Report

02 July 2019

Twelve years ago, Townsville oncologist and AITHM-affiliated researcher Professor Sabe Sabesan began his own PhD. Now he is supervising two of his colleagues at Icon Cancer Care as they use their research studies to improve patient experiences and outcomes, and streamline cancer services ‘from diagnosis to survivorship’.

Professor Sabesan was in Cohort 1 of the JCU AITHM Cohort Doctoral Studies program. His colleagues, also oncologists, Dr Zulfiquer Otty and Dr Abhishek Joshi, are part of cohort 12. Both Dr Joshi and Dr Otty want to use their research to improve the delivery of cancer care in Townsville and to improve outcomes for their patients, but they are tackling the issues from different angles and fields of expertise. Dr Joshi’s study will focus on the care and treatment of breast cancer patients, and Dr Otty will look at lung cancer care.

Dr Joshi said cancer care had traditionally been looked at from a health service perspective; it is a very clinically-driven, hospital and health provider focused model. “One needs to look from the patient perspective to identify gaps. People can see so many specialists and health professionals following a cancer diagnosis. How do they navigate from GP to specialist?” said Dr Joshi. “The one cohort of patients with very similar conditions can have very different experiences of the system, and there are delays in cases that can affect patient outcomes. I want to streamline the process from diagnosis to survivorship.” Dr Joshi explains that with no overarching governance for the process, inefficiencies and poorer outcomes for patients are more likely. He is looking into the feasibility, governance, patient-centred outcomes and economics of his proposed pathway for breast cancer patients.

Dr Otty specializes in lung cancer treatment and wants to develop and implement a streamlined pathway that describes the optimal processes, timeframes and delivery methods for managing lung cancer. “Patients, including those suffering from cancer, in rural and remote areas have worse health outcomes. They have delays in diagnosis and treatment,” said Dr Otty. “There have been significant advances in management of advanced lung cancer in the recent years. Successfully translating these advances into improved patient outcomes requires timely diagnosis and treatment, as well as incorporating novel technologies.” Dr Otty will consider the perspectives of treating clinicians’ to identify gaps, opportunities, and the feasibility of incorporating telemedicine.

Prof Sabe Sabesan -

Dr Zulfiquer Otty -

Dr Abhishek Joshi -

Back to List