CAP Member Profile: Jeff Cuff

26 April 2017
TCRN CAP Member Jeff Cuff

“In December 2009, my wife Shirley was diagnosed with late stage colorectal cancer, despite many treatment options, we lost Shirl in July 2013. After visiting many research facilities to discuss what research was happening particularly in colon cancer I became linked to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. It was here that my interest in cancer research advocacy and in particular colorectal cancer started. I’m now a member of a steering committee and an associate investigator in this research. It was also during this time that we launched the Shirley Cuff Cancer Research Foundation said Jeff. 

Jeff’s interest in cancer research and patient advocacy has grown, and he has participated in the Cancer Council NSW Consumer Training in 2015 and is a member of the NSW Cancer Council Grants Review Panel. It was here that he learnt about the TCRN and translational cancer research. He has now joined the TCRN Consumer Advisory Panel ("CAP") and is also a member of the TCRN Strategic Advisory Group

“I want to help in the translation of good lab work into clinical value at the bedside. I think research needs to always be aware of that clinical value and question that regularly during the research,” said Jeff.

Through the TCRN he has started working closely with researchers and PhD students involved in a range of translational cancer research projects providing input from a patient advocacy perspective. He has reviewed and provided his feedback to TCRN Clinical PhD Scholarship Top-up applications.

After the TCRN’s Consumer Workshop, he partnered with Dr Frances Byrne of UNSW. Dr Byrne’s project attempts to define the role of elevated blood glucose levels (hyperglycaemia) in endometrial cancer and will potentially identify strategies for prevention or therapeutic intervention. He is also working with Associate Professor Kyle Hoehn on potential drug therapies for aggressive cancers. Jeff has also partnered and is associate investigator in a pain assessment research project with Professor Jane Phillips of University of Technology, Sydney. 

When the TCRN staff asked in which areas of cancer patient care he would like to influence or promote change, he replied: “I think there a lot of opportunities in the area of personalised treatment. Research on best treatment options based on gene and biomarker profile which may offer better targeted results and fewer side effects is of real interest to me.

I believe patients are often unsure of their treatment plan and why things are happening particularly between different speciality streams.”

Jeff is a member of the AGITG (Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group) and has been reviewing the current clinical guidelines for colorectal cancer as a member of the Cancer Council Australia Working Party. As part of this project he is now on a surveillance working party looking at colonoscopy.

He also works with the researchers at Westmead and has done several grant reviews there. His background is in the medical area and his last role includes managing a business involved in pharmaceutical biological and bioprocessing areas. 

He also has a passion for soccer. He plays soccer in a premier league and is the President of St Matthews Soccer Club. He has managed the NSW squad in the Associations National Soccer Titles for the past 4 years 

He would be most interested in partnering with a colorectal research project within the TCRN where he can share his expertise and devotion fully.