Hunter Cancer Research Alliance

As a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional alliance, the Hunter Cancer Research Alliance (HCRA) functions to provide capacity building, funding and strategic support to cancer research across the translational research continuum – from basic research through clinical trials to behavioural, implementation and health services research.

With the support of our partnering institutions, executive leaders and a membership that consists of 250+ cancer-focused researchers, we are working to promote the excellence of cancer research in the Hunter and ultimately improve cancer patient outcomes in our region and beyond.

Click the picture to find out more about the Symposiun

HCRA Director, Professor Stephen Ackland, explains the work of HCRA in the video below:


Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology

Monte Carlo simulations of the clinical benefits from therapeutic drug monitoring of sunitinib in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumours

Sebastiaan C. Goulooze, Peter Galettis, Alan V. Boddy, Jennifer H. Martin


Purpose Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is being considered as a tool to individualise sunitinib treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST). Here, we used computer simulations to assess the expected impact of sunitinib TDM on the clinical outcome of patients with GIST.

Methods Monte Carlo simulations were performed in R, based on previously published pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic models. Clinical trials with dose-limiting toxicity and patient dropout were simulated to establish the study size required to obtain sufficient statistical power for comparison of TDM-guided and fixed dosing.

Results The simulations revealed that TDM might increase time to tumour progression by about 1-2 months (15-31%) in eligible patients. However, the number of subjects required for a sufficient statistical power to quantify clinical benefit of TDM guided is likely to be prohibitively high (>1000).

Conclusion Although data from randomised clinical trials on the clinical impact of sunitinib TDM are lacking, our findings support implementation of sunitinib TDM in clinical practice. For rare cancer with well-defined exposure-response relationships, modelling and simulation might allow the optimisation of dosing strategies when clinical trials cannot be performed due to low number of patients.

Read the full article (PDF 673KB)

The University of Newcastle, Australia Hunter New England Local Health District Calvary Mater Newcastle Hunter Medical Research Institute Cancer Institute NSW