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Colorectal Surgery Research

The Colorectal Department has created a foundation in evidence-based practice through their close ties to the Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe), established in 2002. Through this multidisciplinary collaboration within the Sydney Local Health District (SLHD) and the University of Sydney, the Department's research agenda addresses diverse aspects of surgical outcomes, including surgical effectiveness, patient reported outcomes and quality of life, patterns of care and evidence-based practice, health economic evaluation, assessment of patient preferences, surgical decision-making and other methodological studies. 

Over many years, the Department has become one of the major research-focused units. With support from over $20 million in competitive funding (including major funding bodies such as the NHMRC, MRFF, CINSW, NIHR and others) and a multi-disciplinary approach, the Department has published in many of the top surgical and medical journals, including NATURE, BMJ, JAMA surgery, Annals of Surgery, The British Journal of Surgery, Journal of Surgical Oncology and other high impact journals. Additionally, the Department is supportive of young academic surgeons, having assisted in the supervision of PhD and MPhil and MD students. These achievements have contributed significantly to the enhancement of patient outcomes and have changed clinical practice at RPA, Australia and Internationally.

Our Research Team

Associate Professor Chris Byrne Head of Department
Professor Michael Solomon Research Lead
Associate Professor Cherry Koh Research Lead
Dr Peter Lee Colorectal Surgeon, Masters Student
Dr Nabila Ansari Colorectal Surgeon
Dr Kirk Austin Colorectal Surgeon
Dr Kheng-Seong Ng Colorectal Surgeon
Associate Professor Jonathan Hong Colorectal Surgeon
Associate Professor Daniel Steffens SOuRCe Director
Sascha Karunaratne Advanced GI Surgery Program Manager
Kadja Benicio Pelvic Exenteration Research Officer
Jenna Bartyn PRIORITY Trial Research Officer
Linny Wu Sarcoma Research Officer
Kiera Taylor Pelvic Exenteration Research Officer
Henna Solanki Peritonectomy Research Officer
Lylee Ye Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Research Officer
Dr Kilian Brown PhD Candidate
Mr Nehemias de la Cruz Masters Student
Dr Belinda Errington Masters Student
Dr Celine Garrett Masters Student
Dr Hugh Giddings Masters Student
Dr Charlotte Johnstone Masters Student
Dr Rajendran Saissan Masters Student
Dr Hang Yue Adrian Siu Masters Student
Dr Madeline Strach PhD Candidate
Dr Jake Waller Masters Student

Selected Grants

Amount awarded Grant and project details
$1,119,877 NHMRC, 2020-2024
PRIORITY TRIAL - Preoperative exercise for patients undergoing major abdominal cancer surgery: A Multicentre Randomised Controlled Trial. 
Investigators: Young J, Solomon MJ, Riedel B, Steffens D, Morton R, Denehy L, Heriot A, Koh C, Li Q, Bauman A. 
$41,600 The University of Sydney DVC Research Covid-19 Support Scheme, 2022
PRIORITY TRIAL - Preoperative exercise for patients undergoing major abdominal cancer surgery: A Multicentre Randomised Controlled Trial. Additional funds to support research project following the pandemic.
Investigators: Young J, Solomon MJ, Riedel B, Steffens D, Morton R, Denehy L, Heriot A, Koh C, Li Q, Bauman A. 
$10,000 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, 2021-2023
Hugh Johnston Travel Grant.
Investigator: Coker D

Our Publications

2022

Chang KH, Solomon MJ. The role of surgery in the palliation of advanced pelvic malignancy. European Journal of Surgical Oncology 2022; 48:2323-2329: 10.1016/j.ejso.2022.01.019
Chetwood JD, Volovets A, Sivam S, Koh C. Surgical considerations in cystic fibrosis: what every general surgeon needs to know. ANZ Journal of Surgery 2022; 92:2425-2432
Clark DA, Yeoh E, Edmundson A, Harris C, Stevenson A, Steffens D, Solomon M. A Development Study of Drain Fluid Gastrografin as a Biomarker of Anastomotic Leak. Annals of coloproctology 2022; 38(2):124-132; DOI: 10.3393/ac.2020.12.24
Clark DA, Edmundson A, Steffens D, Radford-Smith G, Solomon S. Multi-center study of drain fluid amylase as a biomarker for the detection of anastomotic leakage after ileal pouch surgery without a diverting ileostomy. Diseases of the Colon and Rectum. 2022; DOI:10.1097/DCR.0000000000002376
Clark D, Edmundson A, Steffens D, Harris C, Stevenson A, Solomon M. Drain fluid amylase as a biomarker for the detection of anastomotic leakage after rectal resection without a diverting ileostomy. ANZ Journal of Surgery.  2022; 92:813-818. doi: 10.1111/ans.17461.
Clark DA, Stevenson A, Lumley J, Peterson D, Harris C, Steffens D, Solomon M. Does an ileostomy cover the surgeon or the anastomosis? (Perspective) ANZ Journal of Surgery 2022; 92:19-20
Fitzsimmons T, Thomas M, Tonkin D, Murphy E, Hollington P, Solomon M, Sammour T, Luck A.   Establishing a State-wide Pelvic Exenteration Multidisciplinary Team Meeting in South Australia. ANZ Journal of Surgery 2022; DOI: 10.1111/ans.18220
Garret C, Steffens D, Solomon M, Koh C. Early-onset colorectal cancer: why it should be high on our list of differentials. ANZ Journal of Surgery.  2022; 92:1638-1643
Harji D, Koh C, McKigney M, Solomon MJ, Griffiths B, Evan M, Heriot A, Sargar PM, Velikova G, Brown JM. Short term outcomes of Health-Related Quality of Life in Patients with Locally Recurrent Rectal Cancer: a multi-centre, international, cross-sectional cohort study. British Journal of Surgery 2022; DOI: 10.1093/bjsopen/zrac168
Hogan S, Reece L, Solomon M, R A, Carey S. Early enteral feeding is beneficial for patients after pelvic exenteration surgery - A randomised controlled trial. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition 2022; 46(2):411-421: DOI: 10.1002/jpen.2120
Hogan S, Steffens D, Vuong K, Rangan A, Solomon M, Carey S.  Preoperative nutritional status impacts clinical outcome and hospital length of stay in pelvic exenteration patients - a retrospective study. Nutrition and Health 2022; 28(1):41-48; DOI: 10.1177/02601060211009067
Huang Y, Wang X, Steffens D, Young JM, Solomon MJ, Koh CE.  Grading Complications in Pelvic Exenteration: Limitations of Current Classification Systems.  Diseases of the Colon & Rectum 2022; doi: 10.1097/DCR.0000000000002396
Huang Y, Steffens D, Koh CE, Young JM, Solomon MJ. Differences in Surgical Outcomes and Quality of Life outcomes in Pelvic Exenteration Between Locally Advanced versus Locally Recurrent Rectal Cancer. Diseases of the Colon & Rectum 2022; 65: 1475-1482
Johnstone J, Koh C, Britton GJ, Solomon MJ, McLachlan A. Implementation of a perioperative pain management algorithm reduces the use of opioid analgesia following pelvic exenteration surgery. Colorectal Disease 2022; Dec 2: DOI: 10.1111/codi.16442
Johnstone C, Roberts D, Mathieson S, Steffens D, Koh C, Solomon M, McLachlan A, Pain, pain management and related outcomes following pelvic exenteration surgery: A systematic review. Colorectal Disease 2022; DOI: 10.1111/codi.16462
Keane CR, O'Grady G, Bissett IP, Hayes J, Hulme-Moir M, Eglinton TW, Solomon MJ, Lumley JW, Simes J, Stevenson ARL.  Functional Outcome of Laparoscopic Assisted Resection vs Open Resection of Rectal Cancer: A secondary analysis of the Australasian Laparoscopic Cancer of the Rectum Trial (ALaCaRT). Diseases of the Colon & Rectum 2022; 65(7): e698-e706 DOI: 10.1097/DCR.0000000000002166
Khaw CW, Ebrahimi N, Lee P, McCarthy ASE, Solomon M.  Long‐term results of mesh pelvic floor reconstruction to address the empty pelvis syndrome. Colorectal Disease 2022; 24:1211-1215
Kibbi N, Owen JL, Worley B, Wang JX, Harikumar V, Downing MB, Aasi SZ, Aung PP, Barker CA, Bolotin D, Bordeaux JS, Cartee TV, Chandra S, Nancy L. Cho NL, Choi JN, Chung KY, Cliby WA, Dorigo O, Eisen DB, Fujisawa Y, Golda N, Halfdanarson TR, Iavazzo C, Jiang SIB,  Kanitakis J, Khan A, Kim JYS, Kuzel TM, Lawrence N, Leitao Jr MM, MD; MacLean AB, Maher IA, Mittal BB, Nehal KS, MD; Ozog DM, MD; Pettaway CA, Ross JS, Rossi AM, Servaes S,  Solomon MJ, Thomas VD, Tolia M, Voelzke BB, Waldman A, Wong MK, Zhou Y, Arai N, Brackett A, Ibrahim SA, Kang BY, Poon E, Alam M. Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines for Extramammary Paget Disease. (Clinical Review) JAMA Oncology 2022; 8:618-628
Koh CE, Brown KGM, Steffens D, Young J, Salkeld G, Solomon MJ. What constitutes a clear margin in patients with locally recurrent rectal cancer undergoing pelvic exenteration? Annals of Surgery 2022; 275(1):157-165: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000003834
Koh CE. The long road to gender equity in surgery. British Journal of Surgery. 2022; 378:o2263; DOI: 10.1136/bmj.o2263
Koh CE. Resecting the primary in unresectable stage IV colorectal cancer: Should we or shouldn't we? (Editorial). Colorectal Disease 2022; 24:809-810
Law CK, Stevenson ARL, Solomon M, Hague W, Wilson K, Simes JR, Morton RL, the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group (AGITG) ALaCaRT investigators. ASO Author Reflections: Is Laparoscopic-Assisted Surgery More Costly than Traditional Open Resection for Rectal Cancer Treatment? Annals of Surgical Oncology 2022; 29:1935-1936.
Law CK, Stevenson ARL, Solomon M, Wilson K, Simes JR, Morton RL and the Australasian GastroIntestinal Trials Group (AGITG) ALaCaRT Investigators. ASO Visual Abstract: Health Care Costs of Laparoscopic Versus Open Surgery for Rectal Cancer Patients in the First 12 Months: A Secondary End-Point Analysis of the Australasian Laparoscopic Cancer of the Rectum Trial (ALaCaRT). Annals of Surgery 2022; 29:1923-1934
Lee PJ, Meshkat B, Sasidharan P, Zahid A, Coker DJ, Solomon MJ. Survival and Morbidity Outcomes after Pelvic Exenteration for Pelvic Sarcoma: An Institutional Series. ANZ Journal of Surgery 2021; 92:1038-1043 (pub online 2021)
Lim C, Laidsaar-Powell R, Young J, Solomon M, Steffens D, Yeo D, Blinman P, Koczwara B, Joshy G, Butow P. The advanced-CRC survivorship authorship group, & Butow, P. (2022). The long haul: Lived experiences of survivors following different treatments for advanced colorectal cancer: A qualitative study. European Journal of Oncology Nursing. 2022; 58:102123 
Lim C, Laidsaar-Powell R, Young J, Solomon M, Steffens D, Blinman P, O'Loughlin S, Zhang Y, Butow P. Fear of cancer progression and death anxiety in survivors of advanced colorectal cancer: A qualitative study exploring coping strategies and quality of life. OMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying. 2022; DOI: 10.1177/00302228221121493
Lim CYS, Laidsaar-Powell RC, Young JM, Steffens D, Koczwara B, Zhang Y. The advanced-CRC survivorship authorship group, & Butow, P. Work: Saviour or struggle? A qualitative study examining employment and finances in colorectal cancer survivors living with advanced cancer. Supportive Care in Cancer. DOI: 10.1007/s00520-022-07307-9
Mackay I, Clark DA, Nicholson J, Edmundson A, Steffens D, Solomon M.  Risk taking propensity: Nurse, surgeon and patient preferences for diverting ileostomy. Colorectal Disease 2022; 24;1073-1079; DOI: 10.1111/codi.16149
Makker PGS, Koh C, Solomon M, Steffens D. Preoperative functional capacity and postoperative outcomes following abdominal and pelvic cancer surgery - a systematic review and meta-analysis. (Review article) ANZ Journal of Surgery. 2022; 92:1658-1667
Makker PGS, Koh CE, Ansari N, Gonzaga N, Bartyn J, Solomon M, Steffens D. ASO Visual Abstract: Functional outcomes of cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy - a prospective cohort study. Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2022: DOI: 10.1245/s10434-022-12691-x
Makker PGS, Koh CE, Steffens D. ASO Author Reflections: Pre-operative Function Status Predicts Post-operative Outcomes in Patients Undergoing Cytoreductive Surgery and Hyperthermic Intra-peritoneal Chemotherapy. Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2022: DOI: 10.1245/s10434-022-12750-3
Makker PGS, Steffens D. ASO Visual Abstract: Functional Outcomes of Cytoreductive Surgery and Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy-A Prospective Cohort Study. Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2022: 10.1245/s10434-022-12801-9
McGiffin T, Clark DA, Edmundson A, Steffens D, Stevenson A, Solomon M.  Surgical management and long-term functional outcomes after anastomotic leak in patients undergoing minimally invasive restorative rectal resection and without a diverting ileostomy.  ANZ Journal of Surgery 2022; 92:806-812
Mercieca-Bebber R et al.  Patient-reported bowel, urinary and sexual outcomes after Laparoscopic-assisted Resection or Open Resection for Rectal Cancer: The Australasian Laparoscopic Cancer of the Rectum Randomized Clinical Trial (ALaCart). Annals of Surgery 2022; DOI: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000005412
Ng K-S, Lee PJM. (Erratum) Pelvic exenteration: Pre-, intra-, and post-operative considerations. Surgical Oncology 2022; 43,101787
Oswald A, McBride K, Seif S, Koh C, Ansari N, Steffens D.  Depression, anxiety, stress and distress following cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy: Results of a prospective cohort study. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings. 2022; DOI: 10.1007/s10880-022-09918-0
PelvEx Collaborative. Minimum standards of pelvic exenterative practice: PelvEx Collaborative guideline. British Journal of Surgery 2022; 109:1251-1263.
Pillinger N, Koh C, Ansari N, Munoz P, McNamara S, Steffens D. Preoperative cardiopulmonary exercise testing improves risk assessment of morbidity and length of stay following cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. Anaesthesia and Intensive Care. 2022; DOI: 10.1177/0310057X211064904
Risbey C, Fielder T, Steffens D, Joo-Shik S, Solomon M. Patterns of DNA mismatch repair protein expression for primary and recurrent colorectal cancer at an advanced surgical unit: a retrospective audit. Colorectal Disease 2022; 00:1-6; DOI: 10.1111/codi.16391
Siu AHY, Carey S, Jones LH, Morton R, Koh C.  Detailed analysis of in-hospital costs for adult patients with Type III intestinal failure. A single centre study with global implications. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition 2022; 46:685-692; DOI:10.1002/jpen.2136
Solomon MJ, Alamadi R, Lee PJ, Austin KKS.  En-Bloc Partial Pubic Bone Excision with Complete Soft Tissue Pelvic Exenteration. (Research Letter & Video) British Journal of Surgery 2022; 109:640-641; DOI:10.1093/bjs/znac122
Steffens D, Solomon MJ, Beckenkamp PR, Koh CE, Yeo D, Sandroussi C, Toms C, Blyth H, Murray S, Venchiarutti R, Fox O , Benicio K, Bartyn J, Stanislaus C, O'Connor L, Bourrigan L, Ha C, Kirpichnikov A, Plunkett J, Laurence J, Joseph D, Pulitano C, Crawford M, Hancock M. Individualised, targeted step count intervention following gastrointestinal cancer surgery: The Fit-4-Home randomised clinical trial. ANZ Journal of Surgery. 2022; 92:703-711; DOI: 10.1111/ans.17212
Steffens D, Young J, Riedel B, Morton R, Denehy L, Heriot A, Koh C, Li Q, Bauman A, Sandroussi C, Ismail H, Dieng M, Ansari N, Pillinger N, O'Shannassy S, Mckeown S, Cunningham D, Sheehan K,  Iori G, Bartyn J, Solomon M. PRehabIlitatiOn with pReoperatIve exercise and educaTion for patients undergoing major abdominal cancer surgerY: Protocol for a multicentre randomised controlled TRIAL (PRIORITY TRIAL). BMC Cancer 2022; 22:443: DOI: 10.1186/s12885-022-09492-6
Steffens D, Denehy L. Prehabilitation exercise programs for patients undergoing cancer surgery, does one size fit all? European Journal of Surgical Oncology 2022; (Accepted 29 November) 
Steinberg J, Chan P, Hogden E, Tiernan G, Morrow A, Kang Y-J, He E, Venchiarutti R, Titterton L, SankeyL, Pearn A, Nichols C, McKay S, Hayward A, Egoroff N, Engel A, Gibbs P, Goodwin A, Harris M, Kench J, Pachter N, Parkinson B, Pockney P, Ragunathan A, Smyth C, Solomon M, Steffens D, Toh J, Wallace M, Canfell K, Gill A, Macrae F, Tucker K, Taylor N. Lynch syndrome testing of colorectal cancer patients in a high-income country with universal healthcare: a retrospective study of current practice and gaps in seven Australian hospitals. Hereditary Cancer in Clinical Practice. 2022; DOI:10.1186/s13053-022-00225-1
Sutton PA, Brown KGM, Ebrahimi N, Solomon MJ. Long term surgical complications following pelvic exenteration - operative management of the empty pelvis syndrome. Colorectal Disease 2022; DOI: 10.1111/codi.16238
Van Kessel CS, Solomon MJ. Understanding the Philosophy, Anatomy, and Surgery of the Extra-TME Plane of Locally Advanced and Locally Recurrent Rectal Cancer; Single Institution Experience with International Benchmarking. (Review) Cancers 2022; 14:5058: doi.org/10.3390/cancers14205058
Zhou DDX, King D, Thomson K, Grimison P. Trabectedin for metastatic liposarcoma and leiomyosarcoma: Comparison of real-world experience in an Australian sarcoma specialist center to pivotal clinical trial results. Asia-Pac J Clin Oncol, 18: e526-e528