Student Projects

Use of dietary supplements and outcomes after a diagnosis of ovarian cancer

Project Supervisor/s

Suitable for a Masters (preferably part-time) or Honours student. Some experience in biostatistics and data analysis is essential and a background in epidemiology and/or an interest in cancer are highly desirable.

The use of dietary supplements by cancer patients is common but contentious, particularly during chemotherapy. Survivors often take supplements in the hope these will improve their wellbeing, alleviate chemotherapy side effects, boost immune function, and perhaps improve their long-term survival. There is, however, a growing body of evidence suggesting that supplements, particularly antioxidants, might interact with conventional chemotherapeutic treatments and thus be detrimental to health. In recent analyses of patients with breast cancer enrolled in a randomised clinical trial, there was a suggestion that those who used multivitamin supplements experienced less neurotoxicity during treatment while those who used supplements other than multivitamins had poorer survival.


To evaluate the relation between use of dietary supplements, particularly antioxidants, by women with ovarian cancer before diagnosis, during and after treatment, and (i) wellbeing and (ii) survival.


Analysis (linear and logistic regression/survival analysis) using individual-level data from women in the OPAL study who provided information about dietary supplement use before and after diagnosis (3-monthly for the first year then annually to 4 years).

To apply for this project, please contact the project supervisor/s

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