ACMD Events
ACMD Challenge Seminar - Bowel Cancer Screening
Bowel Cancer: early detection – can we do better?
About this Event

We will be focusing on Australia’s second deadliest cancer, Bowel Cancer.

Almost 99 per cent of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated, if detected early. However, of the eligible population to receive government test kits, only 40 per cent are returned. And we are seeing the rise of young-onset cancer. For this Challenge Seminar our speakers include Stephanie Bansemer-Brown, from Bowel Cancer Australia, and Associate Professor John Ding, Gastroenterologist, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, along with Dr Christina Trambas and Bree James, from the Department of Biochemistry at St Vincent’s Pathology. Stephanie will share a patient’s perspective about her cancer journey after being diagnosed with Stage 3 bowel cancer at the age of 41. Ten years on, she is cancer free and dedicates her time to raising awareness about the disease. A/Prof Ding will speak about the doctor-patient role, focusing on improving sampling and early detection, while Dr Trambas and Bree will cover an overview of the total testing pathway for bowel cancer screening using immunochemical faecal occult blood tests, including analytical performance and potential barriers to successful testing.

Challenge Seminar Speakers

  • Stephanie Bansemer-Brown, Bowel Cancer Australia
  • Associate Professor John Ding, Gastroenterologist, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne
  • Dr Christina Trambas and Bree James, Department of Biochemistry at St Vincent’s Pathology

Date: Monday, 7 February 

Time: 2:00pm – 3:00pm

“Bowel cancer is Australia’s second deadliest cancer after lung cancer. Screening is crucial for early detection and ultimately better survival rates, but 60% of people who receive screening kits do not perform it. We want to design a process that will lead to better bowel cancer screening rates through increased awareness and closing the loop on this preventable cancer.”

Associate Professor John Ding

Challenge Seminar Speakers

Stephanie Bansemer-Brown
Stephanie Bansemer-Brown was diagnosed with Stage 3 bowel cancer at the age of 41. 10 years on she is cancer free and dedicates her time to raising awareness for the disease. A marketing and communications specialist with over 25 years’ experience, Stephanie now works as head of marketing and publicity at Bowel Cancer Australia. Here she is able use her entertainment knowledge to provide a commercial lens in promoting bowel cancer symptoms and raise the profile of Australia’s second deadliest cancer with public health campaigns that truly resonate with Australians to assist with real behavioural change. Integral in Bowel Cancer Australia’s award winning “Give a $#*! About Your Bowel” Campaign, Stephanie also hosts The Bottomline Podcast and moderates Bowel Cancer Australia’s closed facebook group The Movement. Stephanie’s lived experience coupled with her extensive media and marketing expertise place her in good stead to lead Bowel Cancer Australia’s communication strategy into the future.
Associate Professor John Ding
A/Prof John Ding was the founding member and Chair of the Young Gastroenterology Society of Australia and lead gastroenterologist for the National bowel cancer program at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne. Having completed his PhD at one of the world’s leading centres in Colorectal cancer and IBD care, St Mark’s Hospital, London, he now divides his time between private practice and a senior medical specialist appointment at St Vincent’s Hospital where he is a part of the gastroenterology and inflammatory bowel disease units. He teaches gastroenterologists and trainees and is an invited speaker nationally and internationally in the field of gastroenterology. He has held numerous grants awarded by government through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO), with an appointment onto its European committee. His PhD research investigating the personalization of medical therapy for patients with IBD using microbiome and metabolic profiling has led to numerous publications and been cited internationally. A/Prof John Ding engages and leads on research projects in numeous areas through International consortium (GETAID), Imperial College, St Vincent’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne. He additionally holds the position of head of the IBD Clinical trials Unit at St Vincent’s Hospital and lead for the National Bowel Cancer Program. He supervises PhD students and post-doctoral researchers who actively investigate causes for bowel and gastrointestinal diseases. His current research also focuses on young onset- bowel cancer and how to improve access to screening. He has co-founded and is the director of a Medical healthcare company, Medcompanion.com.au that is aimed at improving patient care with bowel preparation instructions for colonoscopy.
Dr Christina Trambas
Head of Biochemistry
Christina Trambas is a Chemical Pathologist who joined St Vincent’s Pathology as Head of Biochemistry in late 2020. A medical graduate of The University of Melbourne, Christina trained in Chemical Pathology at Alfred Health and Melbourne Pathology and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia and the Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists.
Bree James
Senior Scientist
Bree James is a Senior Scientist in the Department of Biochemistry at St Vincent’s Pathology and has a Bachelor of Laboratory Medicine from the University of South Australia and a Master of Biomedical Science from Greenwich University. Bree has more than ten years of experience in Senior Scientist roles for Sonic in the United Kingdom, including Lead Biomedical Scientist at the Royal Free Hospital, London and Biochemistry Manager of Sonic UK’s flagship Laboratory HSL Halo in London. Bree also has experience with large scale automation of faecal immunochemical tests.
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7 February 2023
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2:00pm – 3:00pm
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Online via zoom

For this Challenge Seminar and Workshop the ACMD acknowledges the support of the Australian Medtech Manufacturing Centre. This Victorian Government partnership brings together health and industry stakeholders from across the ecosystem to co-design solutions to frontline healthcare challenges, and grow clinician-led innovation that stimulates local manufacturing, procurement, and industry innovation.

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