Cancer Epidemiology

Cancer Epidemiology

With around one in two Australian men, and one in three Australian women likely to be diagnosed at some point in their lives, cancer in its many forms is one of Australia’s major research and health care priorities. Despite the growing disease burden, prognoses for many cancer patients are improving, with survival rates on the rise and an increasingly effective variety of screening techniques, therapies and preventive strategies available.

Ensuring our health care systems make the best use of all such strategies is one of the key aims of the Cancer Epidemiology and Population Health Research Group (CEPHRG). Examining the continuum from prevention to screening to treatment and patient outcomes, the group works to produce and translate research evidence to improve patient outcomes and inform decision makers on how best to deliver care to the many Australians requiring cancer-related health services each year.

Part of the Cancer research concentration at UniSA, the group is headed by Professor David Roder, a key advisor to government, health bodies and non-government organisations on cancer policy.

Areas of research interest include:

  • Primary research and scientific discovery
  • Evidence distillation for policy development
  • Health service evaluation and surveillance
  • Cancer control indicator development for service monitoring
  • Provision of technical support & leadership for health service development
  • Research infrastructure development
  • Policy development

The group currently works in collaboration or under contract with Cancer Australia, Cancer Institute New South Wales, Cancer Council South Australia, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), CanTeen and Movember.

The CEPHRG is part of the Centre for Population Health Research, located in SAHMRI, level 8, North Terrace, Adelaide.


Group leader: Professor David Roder
Dr Elizabeth Buckley (Liz), Research Fellow 
Dr Kerri Beckmann, Research Fellow
Dr Hanna Tervonen, Adjunct Research Fellow
Kellie Fusco, Research Associate
Eve Raets, UniSA PhD Candidate
Kate Powell, UniSA Honours Student
Bridget Powell, Administrative Officer: Research

South Australian Prostate Cancer Clinical Outcome Collaborative

The SA Prostate Cancer Clinical Outcomes Collaborative (SA-PCCOC), established in 1998 is an ongoing collaborative venture of Flinders University, Repatriation General Hospital, Royal Adelaide (RAH), The Queen Elizabeth (TQEH), the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia.

The Database follows men with prostate cancer treated at the three major metropolitan hospitals: the Royal Adelaide Hospital, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Flinders Medical Centre/Repatriation General Hospital and collaborating private institutions.

Professor David Roder works in collaboration with SA-PCCOC. For more information please visit the SA-PCCOC website.

Prostate Health Consumer Website

SA-PCCOC maintains the Prostate Health consumer website for:

  • Men and their families diagnosed with Prostate Cancer.
  • Clinicians and other health professionals who need information on Prostate Cancer education issues.

Current Research Projects

Prostate Cancer Health Outcomes Research Unit

A collaboration with Movember, Monash University and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.

Various projects are currently in their infancy in this unit and will be covering:

  • risk-adjusted treatment outcomes and care patterns for Australian men diagnosed with prostate cancer
  • quality and appropriateness of care of men with prostate cancer
  • comparisons of care patterns and outcomes of prostate cancer with international bench markers
  • socio-demographic inequalities in prostate cancer treatment and outcomes
  • investigating survivorship and quality of life of men previously diagnosed with prostate cancer
  • improved methods of risk stratification for prostate cancer
  • improved composite outcome indicators of effectiveness of prostate cancer care
  • research to improve outcomes of prostate cancer for men and their partners.

Social inequalities in cancer incidence, stage, clinical management and outcomes in New South Wales

Cancer incidence and mortality have been shown to be associated with socio-demographic disadvantage. In order to reduce disparities, up-to-date information about the disadvantaged groups is needed.

The objective is to examine impacts of socio-demographic disadvantage on cancer incidence and mortality in New South Wales by cancer type, and changes in these impacts over time.

Developing an advanced data system for describing cancer stage, co-morbidity, clinical management and outcomes of Aboriginal people with cancer in South Australia and their experiences with cancer and cancer services (CANDAD)

The aim of the Cancer Data and Aboriginal Disparities Project (CANDAD) is to develop an advanced cancer monitoring system that:

  • improves cancer diagnosis, treatment and survival among Aboriginal people;
  • decreases the disparity between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples’ access to cancer prevention, screening and treatment; and
  • improves the health service experiences of Aboriginal people at risk of, or diagnosed with, cancer.

SA Colorectal cancer data linkage project – update and expansion
An initiative funded through the Research Themes Investment Scheme, 2015

The objective of this study is to update the existing state-wide population-based dataset for CRC patients in South Australia to include cases diagnosed from 2009 to 2013 and all ages at diagnosis. In addition, this project will expand the existing dataset by data linkage to the following datasets:

  • The state-wide Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Database
  • The National Bowel Screening register, and
  • The Medical and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (MBS, PBS). 


The Cancer Epidemiology Research Group is based in the Playford Building at the University of South Australia's City East campus in Adelaide.

For more information about the group and its activities, please contact us on:
Phone: +61 8 8302 2609     Fax: +61 8 8302 2794    Email:

Areas of study and research

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