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Cancer and Palliative Care Network


​​Palliative care

The Northern Sydney Local Health District Palliative Care Network consists of specialist palliative care clinicians, nurses and Allied Health providers who engage in research across the spectrum of specialties to provide the best care for our patients, their families and carers

Recent research activities include:

  • A review of NSLHD psycho oncology service model as part of a Clinical Excellence Commission leadership program.
  • In conjunction with eHealth and NSLHD IT Department, the development of a palliative care eMR platform, for universal data collection
  • Quality improvement through the Standard and Practices Group, which discusses evidence based approaches to prescribing and delivery of care
  • Prospectively collecting and analysing data to support the Nurse Practitioner model of care



The Radiotherapy group is primarily interested in radiotherapy patient outcomes and advanced practices and devices that will improve patient outcomes. Our research focuses on sophisticated, patient focussed care.

The Radiotherapy Unit steer multiple phase I and II clinical trials for innovative treatment; for brain cancer, pancreas cancer and prostate cancer. We have developed advanced practices for automated treatment planning to improve delivery efficiency; developed sub-specialised patient outcomes databases and online patient reported outcomes measures; and pioneered simulation-free radiotherapy, real-time adaptive radiotherapy and motion management.

As a key example of how our research leads to better patient outcomes was a streamlined palliative care pathway which removed the need for a simulation computed tomography (sCT) scan, thus aiding more prompt treatment delivery with less patient attendances.

We have partnerships with international thought leaders across corporate and academia. The Radiotherapy Unit is a collaborative research partner with Varian Medical Systems participating an international consortium for adaptive RT and leading development for risk assessment, adaptive cervix radiotherapy, adaptive rectum cancer radiotherapy and simulation-free palliative radiotherapy.

The NSLHD radiotherapy unit is a reference site for US-based radiation dosimetry software company, Sun Nuclear Corporation, and for Canada-based 3D printing software company Adaptiiv. We have strong links with University of Sydney, as a teaching and research partner.

Key staff members include A/Prof Michael Back, Director of Radiation Oncology, A/Prof Tom Eade, Director of Research, and A/Prof Jeremy Booth,  Head of Medical Physics.​ ​

 2020 research highlights

  • ​11 Clinical Trials currently in recruitment
  • 13 publications
  • 19 invitations for conference presentations