Colorectal research

Our research aims to improve survival and quality of life for patients with colorectal cancer. We integrate benchtop and clinical research activities, providing a unique opportunity for clinicians, scientists and laboratory staff to work closely together to maximise patient care.
  • Improving survival and quality of life after colorectal surgery
  • Biomarkers of prognosis and treatment response
  • Harnessing the immune system to fight colorectal cancer
  • Finding ways to better predict the risk of disease recurrence and metastases


Colorectal (bowel) cancer is the second most common cancer in Australia in both men and women, with more than 16,000 people diagnosed each year.

Improvements in diagnosis and treatment have meant that many more people now survive colorectal cancer than was the case 10-20 years ago. However, more than 5,500 people across the country were expected to die from the disease last year alone.* 

Therefore, there is still much work to be done.

Clinicians, scientists and laboratory staff work closely together on our research projects, with the common goal of continuing to improve outcomes for patients with colorectal cancer.

*Data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Professor Cameron Platell

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Dr Melanie McCoy

Research Officers
Ms Tracey Lee-Pullen
Ms Stephanie Austin

Graduate Research Assistants
Dr Timothy Miller

PhD Student
Ryan Cohen

Associate Investigators
St John of God Subiaco Hospital -
Mr Michael Levitt
Mr Patrick Tan
Dr Jennifer Ryan
Dr Paul Salama
Dr Daphne Tsoi
Dr Thomas van Hagen
Dr Ru-Wen The
Dr Tim Clay

1. Miller, T.J., Anyaegbu, C.C., Lee-Pullen, T.F., Spalding, L.J., Platell, C.F., McCoy, M.J. (2021). PD-L1+ dendritic cells in the tumor microenvironment correlate with good prognosis and CD8+ T cell infiltration in colon cancer. Cancer Sci 112(3), 1173-1183.

2. Maxwell-Smith, C., Hagger, M.S., Kane, R., Cohen, P.A., Tan, J., Platell, C., Makin, G.B., Saunders, C., Nightingale, S., Lynch, C., Sardelic, F., McCormick, J., Hardcastle, S.J. (2021). Psychological correlates of physical activity and exercise preferences in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan cancer survivors. Psychooncology 30(2), 221-230.

3. Wilkins, S., Oliva, K., Chowdhury, E., Ruggiero, B., Bennett, A., Andrews, E.J., Dent, O., Chapuis, P., Platell, C., Reid, C.M., McMurrick, P.J. (2020). Australasian ACPGBI risk prediction model for 30-day mortality after colorectal cancer surgery. BJS Open 4(6):1208-16.

4. Ng, Z.Q., Levitt, M., Platell, C. (2020). The feasibility and safety of early ileostomy reversal: a systematic review and meta-analysis. ANZ J Surg 90(9), 1580-1587. Poster presentation