Research Supervisor Connect

Multimodal preoperative interventions to improve surgical and patient reported outcomes following major gastrointestinal cancer surgery


This research program will use a wide range of methodological approaches to determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of multimodal preoperative interventions on surgical and patient reported outcomes following major gastrointestinal cancer surgery. This research program has the potential to significantly improve patient outcomes, reduce health care costs and drive clinical practice guidelines.


Dr Daniel Steffens, Professor Michael Solomon.

Research location

Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe) – Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Program type



Radical surgery such as pelvic exenteration, cytoreductive surgery, gastrectomy, hepatectomy, pancreatectomy or oesophagectomy is the only treatment option that offers a chance of survival for patients presenting with major advanced or recurrent gastrointestinal cancer. While these procedures significantly improve survival, rates of major postoperative complications remain high (approximately 50%). In addition to the adverse consequences for patients' health, major complications increase length of hospital stay, require additional resources and add substantially to the cost of health care for this patient group. A preoperative multimodal approach, including education, exercise, nutrition and/or psychological interventions aimed to improve patients' wellbeing before surgery have the potential to enhance recovery and reduce postoperative complications among patients undergoing surgery. These patients routinely have a period of 4-8 weeks from first surgical consultation to undergoing the procedure which provides an opportunity to explore the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of a tailored, multimodal program. The MPhil / PhD candidates will be based at the Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe) at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and will be working in several research studies involving patients undergoing complex, radical surgery for gastrointestinal cancer.

Additional information

Dr Daniel Steffens is the Deputy Director of the Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe) at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. He is currently leading a multicentre NHMRC funded clinical trial investigating the effectiveness of preoperative exercise for patients undergoing major abdominal cancer surgery. Professor Michael Solomon is a Consultant Surgeon and Academic Head of the Department of Colorectal Surgery at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Professor of Surgical Research at the RPA Institute of Academic Surgery and the University of Sydney, visiting Professor of Surgery at the National University of Singapore and the past President of the Colorectal Surgical Society of Australia & New Zealand (CSSANZ).

Want to find out more?

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 2899