Guest Speakers

Providing members with education and information about prostate cancer is an important part of the Group’s activities

Meetings are now being held in-person and via Zoom, and are working well.

The guest speaker at our April 18, 2023 meeting was Dr Michael Wheatcroft, Chief Scientist at Telix Pharma, which is developing precise ways to both locate prostate cancers and to deliver radio-pharmceuticals which treat them.

After completing a PhD in the Department of Biochemistry, Cambridge University, Mike worked at Cambridge Antibody Technology (now Medimmune,UK), a technology leader in the area of antibody engineering and protein sciences. After moving to Melbourne in 2010 he oversaw the preclinical development of several engineered antibody drug conjugates and clinical translation of novel antibody fragment in prostate and ovarian cancer, including radioimmunoconjugates. Since then Mike has worked in senior development roles at Medicines Development Limited (MDL), Hatchtech P/L and Starpharma Limited where he performed in a variety of managerial roles related to GMP production, clinical study support and nonclinical studies for a range of pharmaceutical and medical device products.

The guest speaker at our December 13, 2022 meeting was Ashley Bigaran, Exercise Physiologist at Olivia Newton-John Centre, who spoke about how best to structure and use exercise to combat all the issues and challenges associated with prostate cancer and its treatments.  Ashley will be attending the meeting in person, with her talk running from 11-11:25am.

Ashley is an accredited exercise physiologist currently pursuing her PhD at the Mary McKillop Institute for Health Research, Australian Catholic University (ACU). Her PhD project will be exploring the use of exercise medicine to detect and prevent cardiovascular disease in men diagnosed with prostate cancer receiving hormone therapy.

The guest speaker at our October 18, 2022 meeting was Dr Jane Crowe MBBS (Hon), Master GP Psychiatry

Jane has been working for over 30 years as a GP in suburban Melbourne. In 2011 Jane started working part time as Prostate Cancer GP at the Epworth Hospital in Richmond and now at the Australian Prostate Centre in North Melbourne where she works as part of a multidisciplinary survivorship clinic for men on androgen deprivation therapy . Jane uses her general practice skills and clinical prostate cancer knowledge in conjunction with other health professionals to help manage the many challenges a man with prostate cancer may encounter .Jane’s ultimate aim is to help optimise the quality life of men with prostate cancer by taking an individual and holistic approach in a meaningful way for her patients..

The guest speaker at our August 16, 2022 meeting was Prof Avni Sali AMMBBS, PhD, FRACS, FACS, FACNEM.

Member of the Order of Australia, Founding Director of the National Institute of Integrative Medicine.
Professor Avni Sali AM is often referred to as the father of Integrative Medicine in Australia.

In 1996 he was the Founding Head of the Graduate School of Integrative Medicine at the Swinburne University in Melbourne. In 2009 he established the not-for-profit, charitable National Institute of Integrative Medicine (NIIM), and became its founding Director.

In the past he was also Head of the University of Melbourne Department of Surgery at Heidelberg Hospital.

The guest speaker at our July 19, 2022 meeting, was Debra Garroun the Network Support Officer at the PCFA,

The guest speaker at our June 21, 2022 meeting, was Assoc Prof Joseph Ischia, on the topic ADT, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Dr Joseph Ischia is a urologist with a special interest in urologic oncology.

He completed a two year clinical and research post-doctoral uro-oncology fellowship at the Vancouver Prostate Centre in Vancouver, Canada. In Vancouver, he performed research focusing on targeting the insulin-like growth factor binding proteins with a novel antisense in the treatment of advanced castration- and enzalutamide- resistant prostate cancer with Prof Martin Gleave.

Joseph graduated medicine from Melbourne University in 1998 where he also completed his PHD (2012) investigating the role of a neuroendocrine growth factor (gastrin-releasing peptide) and its precursor in the growth of renal cell cancer. As well as his clinical duties, he continues to be heavily involved in research at the The University of Melbourne, Austin Hospital where he is currently studying the protective role of Zinc in renal ischaemia and prostate cancer progression.

The guest speaker at our December 14, 2021 meeting was Dr Dixon Woon MBBS (Hons), DMedSc, FRACS (Urology), describing “Prostate Cancer Treatment Progress over the last 10 years”.

Dr Woon is a consultant urologist at Epworth Health, Austin Health, and Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre.  He is also a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Surgery, University of Melbourne.  He has a special interest in urological cancers.

Dixon completed his urological training at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) in 2016. He then went on to complete a further 2 years of fellowship training in robotic and open cancer surgery at the University of Toronto, at one of the largest cancer centres, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Dixon is now a member of the Society of Urologic Oncology (SUO), the peak North American body for urology cancer surgery. In 2018, Dixon completed his Doctor of Medical Science degree through the University of Melbourne in advanced prostate cancer treatments and cancer immunology. As a result of his research in this field, he was awarded a number of grants and awards.  Dixon is passionate about research in the urology field, he has authored multiple peer-reviewed publications and has attended and presented at a number of international conferences.

The guest speaker at our October meeting was Nikolajs Zeps from the Monash University Eastern Health Clinical School, on the topic “What will the treatment of Prostate Cancer be like in ten years time?”.

The guest speaker at our August meeting was Ben Shemesh, Project Officer, Monash University, who presented on the development of the BroSupPORT portal. The portal is intended to support men living with prostate cancer by helping them to understand how the side  effects they might be experiencing compare with men of similar age and risk profile who have received the same treatment. The portal  includes information on issues that have a big impact on a man’s quality of life, like urinary incontinence, sexual and bowel function. The project is sponsored by the Victorian Agency for Health Information (VAHI) and has been developed in collaboration  with Monash University as the managers of the Prostate Cancer Outcome Registry-Victoria (PCOR-Vic); Movember as funders of PCOR-Vic; and Alfred Health as the nominated lead Victorian public health service.

The guest speakers at our July meeting were Prof Ray Chan and Dr Nicholas Hart talking about the MOSES Trial, which will model and evaluate follow-up care at six acute cancer care centres and more than 800 general practices in Qld, SA and Vic.

The guest speaker at our June meeting was Dr Natalie Heynsbergh,
Research Fellow, Deakin University School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Health.
She spoke about about an online study Deakin are undertaking on the value of mindfulness in managing the anxieties associated with cancer treatments. Men living with local or locally advanced prostate cancer, or those under active surveillance
(watch and wait), are eligible. The session covered the scope and nature of the study and answered members’ questions.

The guest speaker at our May 2021 meeting was Angela Mellerick, Nurse Unit Manager, Olivia Newton
John Cancer and Wellness Centre talking about her role, supporting people
undergoing chemotherapy and other treatments.

The guest speaker at our December 2020 Zoom meeting was Dr Cleola Anderiesz, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Cancer Australia.

Dr Cleola Anderiesz, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Cancer Australia, is an experienced senior executive with 18 years of experience in health across the research, not-for-profit, and government public sector. Committed to quality in healthcare, Dr Anderiesz holds a PhD in Medicine and a Senior Executive MBA. She is skilled in policy, strategy, innovation, program development and implementation, stakeholder engagement, and evidence-based decision making.

The guest speaker at our October 2020 meeting on Tuesday October 20 was Dr Renu Eapen.

Dr Eapen is a Consultant Urologist who privately consults at Cancer Specialists, and operates and consults at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. She has a special interest in the surgical and non-surgical management of prostate cancer, as well as kidney and bladder cancers. She also has an interest in the treatment of voiding dysfunction in men and women.

Dr Eapen completed her urology training with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 2014 and then undertook research in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern. She went on to complete Fellowship training in urodynamics, incontinence voiding dysfunction and reconstruction at the University of Toronto, and then in robotics and uro-oncology at the University of California at San Francisco.

The guest speaker at our August 2020 meeting on Tuesday August 18 was urologist Mr David Dangerfield.

Mr Dangerfield is at the forefront of establishing a new microsurgery procedure to restore potency to men who have had the erectile nerve connections to their penis damaged after having their prostate removed as a result of cancer.