PhD Scholarship Top-up student profile: Jie-Bin Lew

TCRN PhD Scholarship Top-up Recipient: Jie-Bin Lew TCRN PhD Scholarship Top-up Recipient: Jie-Bin Lew

Effectiveness and economic evaluation of colorectal cancer screening in Australia

Award: Jie-Bin is the recipient of a three year PhD Scholarship Top-up

Supervisor: A/Prof Karen Canfell, Cancer Modelling Group, Lowy Cancer Research Centre, UNSW

Although Australia has a national bowel cancer screening program, the aim of this project is to estimate the cost and the effects of potential future additions or changes to bowel screening interventions which might be suggested by emerging international evidence. Systematic reviews of the international literature will be conducted during the first phase of the project to identify potential alternative screening methods for bowel cancer and to collect relevant information for modelling. Computer models will then be built and customised for simulations to estimate costs, health services requirements and health outcomes associated with new options for screening.

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What is the translational application of your research?

This project involves a number of systematic reviews to integrate clinically proven evidence related to pathways of bowel cancer development and the efficacy of screening, diagnostic and treatment methods for bowel cancer and its precursor. The findings of the reviews will be utilised by a computer model, which is built to simulate bowel screening in an Australian setting. The model will provide estimations on program cost, health services requirements (e.g. number of screening tests, diagnostic evaluations, treatment procedures etc) and health-related outcomes, including bowel cancer cases and cancer deaths that would occur in Australia if the screening method was implemented.  By translating the clinical findings in this way, the model outcomes can provide an aid to decision making for bowel cancer prevention strategies for policy makers and health professionals in Australia.

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"The TCRN Scholarship Top-up will provide me the opportunity to visit other research groups working in the same area and to attend relevant conferences. This will allow me to broaden my knowledge in colorectal cancer prevention strategies and share the research findings with a wider audience."

Jie-Bin was involved in developing a new model of colorectal cancer natural history which she will harness and further develop for this project. This has been published as ''Modelling the Adenoma and Serrated Pathway to Colorectal Cancer' (ASCCA) in Risk Analysis in October 2013.

Jie-Bin Lew commenced her first year of PhD studies at the Prince of Wales Clinical School in Semester 1, 2014.