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Oncology: treatment tolerability, toxicity, adverse events, decision making
BE(Elec) MBBS MMEd(ClinEpi)
Dr Katherine Francis joined CTC in 2019 as a PhD candidate, and is now also a Research Fellow with ANZGOG. She is also a Medical Oncologist currently working in clinical trials at St George Hospital and private practice at St George Private Hospital and Southside Cancer Centre. She currently looks after patients across a broad range of cancer subtypes including lung, breast, genitourinary and gynecological cancers. In addition to her MBBS and her Master of Clinical Epidemiology Katherine is a qualified Electrical Engineer and previously worked to commercialize solar cell technology from research being undertaken at UNSW.
Katherine feels passionately that, in the non-curative cancer setting, tolerability of treatment is a key yet often under acknowledged component to be weighed in treatment decision making. She uses her skills in computer programming, biostatistics, and clinical experience discussing treatment with patients to develop methods using existing clinical trial data that better capture and compare treatment tolerability. This includes understanding toxicity trajectories over time, the impact of chronic low-grade toxicity on patient quality of life, and the impact of dose alterations for toxicity on treatment outcomes. She also believes that to understand and communicate tolerability we need to incorporate the patient’s voice and experience, utilizing tools such as patient reporting of adverse events, as a standard of care.