Medical Oncology | Telemedicine | Teleoncology

Dr Sabe Sabesan BMBS(Flinders) PhD FRCAP, is the Clinical Dean of the Townsville Regional Medical Training network incorporating the Townsville Hospital and Health Services and the Townsville Clinical School of the James Cook University and the director of the department of Medical oncology at the Townsville Cancer Centre, Townsville Hospital. He is a nationally and internationally recognised expert in the area of teleoncology and developed and evaluated various teleoncology models of care to deliver rural cancer care closer to home including the Queensland Remote Chemotherapy Supervision (QReCS) model which is adopted by the Queensland Health and the My- FATE education model (My Family’s Anti-Tobacco Education). To enhance rural and regional access to clinical trials, he developed the Australasian Teletrial Model under the auspices of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia in collaboration with national stakeholders. He is the program lead for the Tropical Centre for Telehealth Practice and Research, a joint initiative between the Townsville hospital and the AITHM. 

Research | Advisory accreditation

His research collaboration includes the Menzies School of health research, Queensland Genomic Health Alliance, various Australian clinical trial groups and clinicians and academics within Queensland Health and James Cook University in the areas of telehealth, rural and Indigenous health. Internationally, he collaborates with clinicians from Sri Lanka and India in the area of telehealth. To date, he has received more than $7 million in grants as a CI and PI relating to NHMRC, Cancer Institute of NSW and Queensland Health Innovation funds.  

Professor Sabesan has primary advisor accreditation, so can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor. 

Leadership | Advocacy

Professor Sabesan has contributed to many national guidelines and frameworks including ANZ melanoma and prostate cancer guidelines (CCA), RACP telehealth and telesupervision guidelines, Cancer Australia’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Framework, Optimal Care pathways for Indigenous patients with cancers and Clinical practice guidelines for teleoncology. He edited the web book “Clinical Oncology for medical students” in collaboration with all medical schools in Australia and New Zealand on behalf of the Cancer Council of Australia. 

As a passionate advocate for medical training and rural and Indigenous health, he serves as the co-chair of the COSA Australian Teletrial Consortium, chair of the QH Teletrial Working Group and steering committee member of the QH Cancer Clinical Network. In these roles, under a national project co-funded by MTP connect, COSA and the teletrial consortium, he is leading the roll-out of the Australasian Teletrial Model across Queensland and Australia in collaboration with pharmaceutical industry, trial groups, commonwealth and state governments and cancer centres.

  • MD4012: Integrated Pathology and Clinical Medicine Part 2 of 3 (Level 4; TSV)
  • MD4013: Integrated Pathology and Clinical Medicine Part 3 of 3 (Level 4; TSV)
  • MD5010: Integrated Clinical Practice Part 1 of 3 (Level 5; TSV)
  • MD5020: Integrated Clinical Practice Part 2 of 3 (Level 5; TSV)
  • MD5030: Integrated Clinical Practice Part 3 of 3 (Level 5; TSV)
  • MD6010: Advanced Clinical Medicine Part 1 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • MD6020: Advanced Clinical Medicine Part 2 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • MD6030: Advanced Clinical Medicine Part 3 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • Completed: 2014 Remote chemotherapy model in North Queensland, Honours project, James Cook University
  • Completed: 2014 Role of telesupervision for trainees, Honours project, James Cook University
  • Completed: 2013 Safety of teleoncology, Advanced trainee projects, Royal Australian College of Physicians
  • Completed: 2012 Teleoncology for Indigenous patients, Advanced trainee projects, Royal Australian College of Physicians
  • Completed: 2011 Cost analysis of teleoncology, Advanced trainee projects, Royal Australian College of Physicians
  • Completed: 2010 Effectiveness of low dose weekly cisplatin in head and neck cancers, Advanced trainee projects, Royal Australian College of Physicians
  • Development and Coordination of Oncology curriculum, James Cook University
  • Coordination of oncology clinical placement
  • Contribution to the development of ANZ melanoma guidelines, Cancer Council of Australia
  • Contribution to the development of ANZ prostate guidelines, Cancer Council of Australia
  • Supervision of medical oncology advanced trainees, RACP
  • Strategic vertical and horizontal integration of medical training across Townsville region
  • Telehealth models of care, Rural and Indigenous health, Medical training Health Service delivery and research
  • 2012 to present - Clinical Dean, Regional Medical Training, Townsville . Director of Medical Oncology, Townsville Cancer Centre (Townsville)
  • 2004 to present - Senior Medical Oncologist, Townsville Hospital (Townsville)
  • 2014 - Acting Director of Research, Townsville Hospital (Townsville)
  • 2004 to 2012 - Senior Lecturer and coordinator of oncology education, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2002 to 2003 - Visiting scientist, Queensland Institute of Medical Research (Brisbane)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • Townsville hospital Private practice trust fund: Patterns of care of lung and head and neck cancers among rural NQ patients, Principal investigator, Grant 189,000$ over 2 years.
  • 2014 - Best oral presentation at the Medical Oncology Group of Australia ASM 2014, Sydney
  • 2010 - Finalist at the Qld premier’s award for public service 2010
  • 2009 - Queensland Health Telehealth roll out, Project: Townsville Teleoncology Network, AUD866,000 over 3 years.
  • 2013 to 2017 - Strategic Research Partnership to improve cancer control for Indigenous Australians (STREP Ca-CIndA) $2,434,430 , Cancer Council NSW, Managed by Menzies
  • 2012 to 2017 - Centre of Research Excellence in Discovering Indigenous Strategies to improve Cancer Outcomes via Engagement, Research Translation and Training (DISCOVER –TT) $2,499,998, NHMRC #1041111Managed by Menzies
  • 2013 to 2016 - Health Innovation Fund-Queensland Health, Project: North Queensland Remote Chemotherapy Supervision Project, Project lead, AUD2.4 Million over 3 years
  • 2013 to 2016 - North Queensland Remote chemotherapy Supervision project, $2,400,000, Health Innovation Fund, Queensland Health Managed by THHS
  • 2011 to 2013 - A comparative study: Patterns of Care, Comorbidities and Quality of Life of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people with lung, head & neck, breast or gynaecological cancers, $610,731, NHMRC #1004643, Managed by Menzies
  • Member of the Australian Gastro Intestinal Trialist Collaborative Group
  • Member of the melanoma guideline working group – Cancer Council of Australia
  • Member of the Australian, American and European Societies of Medical Oncology.
  • Member of the Oncology Education Committee- Cancer Council of Australia.
  • Member of the executive committee of the Queensland Co-operative Oncology Group – Queensland Cancer Fund.
  • 2015 to 2017 - Exec member Queensland Clinical senate
  • 2013 to 2016 - QH Telehealth Governance Committee
  • 2013 - Strategic planning committee of the Statewide Cancer Network
  • 2004 - Oncology Education Committee, Cancer Council, Australia
  • 2014 to 2015 - Chair- Regional and rural group, Clinical Oncology Society of Australia
  • 2012 to 2015 - QLD Statewide rural and remote clinical network
  • 2012 to 2013 - RACP Telehealth working party

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 68+ research outputs authored by Prof Sabe Sabesan from 2005 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre Limited - Contract Research

Genomics of lung cancer in Indigenous people of North Queensland

Indicative Funding
$50,000 over 1 year
Cancer genomic profiling is a major determinant of chemotherapy selection for non-small cell lung cancer and is widely used internationally. Indigenous genomes carry ~10X more uncharacterised DNA sequence variation than people of European heritage. THHS is currently trialling the use of whole exome sequencing, instead of the existing 4 gene panel, to base choice of targeted therapies in lung cancer. This creates an opportunity to study whether the cancer-associated variation currently being used to select therapies is adequate, and if not, these data will form the foundation for an NHMRC funding application to identify improved markers.
Alan Baxter, Sabe Sabesan, Martin Nakata, Margaret Jordan, Justin Lee and Letitia Smith in collaboration with Matt Brown and Trevor Prior (College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, Townsville Hospital and Health Service, Indigenous Education & Research Centre and Queensland University of Technology)
Cancer; Non-small cell lung cancer; Genomics; Whole exome sequencing; Indigenous health care; Closing The Gap

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Development and Implementation of a Breast Cancer Care Pathway in Townsville Region - A Study Looking into Feasibility, Governance, Patient Centred Outcomes and Economics (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Implementation and evaluation of referral pathways for people with Lung Cancer in Townsville Health Service District (PhD , Primary Advisor)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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