Associate Professor Vanessa Beesley
Senior Research Officer
Phone: +61 7 3362 0270
Associate Professor Vanessa Beesley is a behavioural scientist and who holds a Bachelor of Public Health, a First Class Honours Degree in Epidemiology and a PhD in Psycho-Oncology. She has dedicated over a decade to working in the specialised field of ‘patient-reported outcomes’ in cancer research. Patient-centred care, based on these outcomes, is now recognised as the benchmark of quality care for people affected by cancer and these outcomes are now mandatory in all clinical trials. Her work spans across many tumour streams including people affected by ovarian, endometrial, pancreatic, head and neck, colorectal cancer, neuroendocrine tumours and melanoma. It has also extended beyond the outcomes for patients, to additionally considered outcomes for family caregivers. She has mainly specialised in analysis of population-based longitudinal data producing evidence of issues experienced over the cancer survivorship continuum. Additionally she has moved the forefront of scientific research from observational evidence to clinical trial evidence, personally leading two supportive care intervention trials to improve the management and outcomes for people affected by pancreatic and ovarian cancers.
She has published around 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and held multiple Cancer Australia contracts to provide recommendations to government about how to improve the care of people affected by cancer.
Current QIMR Berghofer appointment
- 2015 – current: Senior Research Officer, Population Health Department
Other current appointments
- 2018 – current: Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
- 2008 – 2018: Honorary Fellow, School of Public Health and Social Work (SPHSW), QUT
- 2007 – 2015: Research Officer, Population Health Department, QIMR Berghofer
Current Area of Research
A/Prof Beesley is a chief investigator on the following studies and trials:
- PREPARES – Patients and RElatives affected by PAncreatic cancer: Referral, Education and Support trial
- OPAL – Ovarian cancer Prognosis And Lifestyle Study
- PMP-QoL – Primary Melanoma Project – Quality of Life study
- ECHO – Exercise during CHemotherapy for Ovarian cancer trial
- CHANNEL – Care of Head And Neck cancer Needs EvaLuation study
GO PRO – Getting the most Out of Patient Reported Outcomes
- A/Prof Beesley collaborates with scientists within QIMR Berghofer including Professor Penny Webb, Professor Adele Green, Professor Patricia Valery, Associate Professor Louisa Gordon, Associate Professor Rachel Neale and Dr Annika Antonsson.
- A/Prof Beesley collaborates with scientists elsewhere within Brisbane including Professor Raymond Chan, Professor Patsy Yates, Professor Jane Turner, Professor Monica Janda, Professor Sandi Hayes and Associate Professor Kiarash Khosrotehrani.
- A/Prof Beesley is a steering committee member of the Queensland Collaborative for Cancer Survivorship (QCCS) along with clinical and/or research collaborators Professor Raymond Chan, Associate Professor David Wyld, Professor Patsy Yates, Associate Professor Glen Kennedy, Ms Gillian Nasato, Professor Jane Turner, Associate Professor Louisa Gordon, Ms Roslyn Henney and Dr Natalie Bradford.
A/Prof Beesley has published over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles. She has been lead and/or senior author on the following papers:
- Lymphedema after gynecological cancer treatment: Prevalence, correlates and supportive care needs. Cancer 109(12):2607-2614, (2007).
- Unmet needs of gynecological cancer survivors: implications for developing community support services. Psycho-Oncology 17(4):392-400, (2008).
- Gynecological cancer survivors’ health behaviors and their associations with quality of life. Cancer Causes & Control 19(7):775-82, (2008).
- Gynaecological cancer survivors and community support services: referral, awareness, utilisation and satisfaction. Psycho-Oncology 19(1):54-61, (2010).
- Ranked importance of outcomes of first-line versus repeated chemotherapy among ovarian cancer patients. Supportive Care in Cancer 18(8):943-949, (2010).
- Physical activity in women with ovarian cancer and its association with decreased distress and improved quality of life. Psycho-Oncology 20(11):1161-9, (2011).
- Loss of lifestyle: health behaviour and weight changes after becoming a caregiver of a family member diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Supportive Care in Cancer 19(12):1949-1956, (2011).
- Safety, feasibility and effects of a walking intervention for women undergoing chemotherapy for ovarian cancer: a pilot study. BMC Cancer 11(1):389-398 (2011).
- Changes in supportive care needs after first-line treatment for ovarian cancer: identifying care priorities and risk factors for future unmet needs. Psycho-Oncology 22 (7):1565-1571 (2013).
- Quality of life among women with platinum-resistant versus platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer treated for progression: A prospective study. Gynecologic Oncology 132 (1):130–136 (2014).
- Prevalence, predictors and correlates of supportive care needs among women 3-5 years after a diagnosis of endometrial cancer. Supportive Care in Cancer 23(5):1205-14 (2015).
- Supportive care needs, anxiety, depression and quality of life among newly diagnosed patients with localised invasive cutaneous melanoma in Queensland, Australia. Psycho-Oncology 24(7):763-770 (2015).
- Incidence, risk factors and estimates of a woman’s risk of developing secondary lower limb lymphedema and lymphedema-specific supportive care needs in women treated for endometrial cancer. Gynecologic Oncology 136 (1): 87-93 (2015).
- A tsunami of unmet needs: pancreatic and ampullary cancer patients’ supportive care needs and use of community and allied health services. Psycho-Oncology 25(2):150-7 (2016).
- Risk factors for current and future unmet supportive care needs of people with pancreatic cancer. A longitudinal study. Supportive Care in Cancer 24(8):3589-99 (2016).
- Variations in supportive care needs of patients after diagnosis of localized cutaneous melanoma: a 2-year follow-up study. Supportive Care in Cancer 25(1):93-102 (2017)
- Association between change in employment participation and quality of life in middle-aged colorectal cancer survivors compared with general population controls. Psycho-Oncology 26(9):1354-1360 (2017)
- Anxiety, depression and quality of life in people with pancreatic cancer and their carers. Pancreatology 17(2):321-327 (2017)
- Association between pancreatic cancer patients’ perception of care coordination and patient outcomes. Palliative and Supportive Care (2017 Jul 3. Epub ahead of print)
- A systematic literature review of the prevalence and risk factors of supportive care needs among women with gynaecological cancer and their caregivers. Supportive Care in Cancer 26(3):701-710 (2018)
- Coping strategies, trajectories and their associations with patient-reported outcomes among women with ovarian cancer. Supportive Care in Cancer (In press)
- Perceptions of care and patient-reported outcomes in people living with neuroendocrine tumours. Supportive Care in Cancer (2018 Mar 29. Epub ahead of print)
- The imperative for a triumph-over-tragedy story in women’s accounts of undergoing chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. Qualitative Health Research (In press)
- A complete list of A/Prof Vanessa Beesley’s publications can be viewed at her PubMed page.
A/Prof Beesley has been the lead chief investigator (CI-A) of five projects worth $300,000 and a chief investigator of seven additional major national grants (3 NHMRC, 2 ARC, 1 Cancer Australia and 1 Christie NHS Foundation Trust) totalling almost $3,000,000. She has also been awarded seeding funding totalling $225,000 for three pilot projects and $42,000 for her Ph.D project. Throughout her research career she has been awarded $84,000 for three scholarships (honours, Ph.D and write-up) and $286,000 for an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship.
- Queensland Collaborative for Cancer Survivorship (QCCS)
- Psycho-Oncology Co-operative Research Group (PoCoG)
- Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA)
- Australian New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group (ANZGOG)
- Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC)
- 2007: PhD (Psycho-oncology), Queensland University of Technology, Australia
- 2000: B.A. (Health Science), Hons (First class), Queensland University of Technology, Australia
- 1999: B.A. (Health Science), Queensland University of Technology, Australia