Our vision - To improve the lives of all people impacted by cancer by delivering evidence-based practice in diagnosis, intervention and support.


Our cancer researchers are internationally recognised clinicians, researchers and educators. Our expertise spans the basic sciences, clinical trials, implementation research, public health and health services research. We sit within a collaborative framework that incorporates four health networks and more than 30 health, education and research sites across the State.

From experience, we know that cross-disciplinary collaboration is the most effective way to turn scientific discoveries into cures.


Cancer will affect one in two people by the age of 80. Advances from medical research have transformed the outlook for cancer patients in recent decades. Better treatment options and survival rates mean there are now hundreds of thousands of people in NSW who have had cancer or are living with it.

Our research goal is to benefit people at all stages of their experience with cancer – from prevention to treatment, survivorship support and palliation.

A scientist pulls out a frozen drawer
Scientist with microscope


Our goal is to unite and consolidate cancer research into a leading international partnership, so that the survival and quality of life for all people affected by cancer is improved. 

Working through key areas of focus, we are building co-ordinated research teams to leverage, target and scale our current and developing strengths. 

We partner with consumers, government and non-government organisations, charities and industry to achieve significant breakthroughs. Our emphasis is on clinically informed research, so findings are relevant to real-world health challenges and can be rapidly implemented to improve outcomes.

A scientist and experimental materials


The UNSW Cancer research theme leads international research in clinical trials. We run Australia’s first Molecular Screening and Trials in rare cancers and other large-scale investigator-driven international Phase 2/3 studies.

Through the Garvan Research Institute Illumina XTen facility, we’re discovering new genes associated with cancer risk and progression. Identifying these genes will lead to new preventative and therapeutic targets.

The Australian MRI-Linac based at the Ingham Institute is a world-first research and technology project that will redefine and improve radiation treatment for cancer.

We host outstanding clinical facilities that deliver complex services to difficult and rare cancer cases. Through our involvement with United Nations agencies such as the World Health Organisation and the International Atomic Energy Agency, we’re leaders in the global fight for cancer control.

Big Questions: Cancer

Cancer is one of the greatest health challenges of our time. There is so much more to do to advance the prevention, treatment and cure of this deadly disease – UNSW Medicine cancer researcher A/Prof Darren Saunders

Cancer Newsletter

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The Cancer Strategy is based on 4 priorities. This strategy has defined objectives to deliver research, partner with health professionals and the community, develop emerging research strength and attract talented professionals and students.


In addition to supporting research in Schools, Centres and Institutes, we’re investing in critical Enabling Capabilities, Special Populations and Clinical Settings. This research is applied across themes to drive capacity and outcomes.

Our most successful activities are in partnership with UNSW facilities, medical research institutes, government health departments, health services and other universities.

Initiatives & Funding

Current initiatives in place to support research in the Cancer theme, including how to apply and the deadlines for applications.

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Governance & Contacts

Our Strategic Advisory Group for Cancer research includes leadership from clinicians, academics and the SPHERE network.

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