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Clinical Professor Nigel Spry

Professor Nigel Spry is an Adjunct Professor at ECU’s Exercise Medicine Research Institute, with expertise in radiation oncology and prostate cancer.


Professor Spry is an eminent radiation oncologist and academic in the field of prostate cancer.

Clinical Professor Nigel Spry is a co-founder of the Trans-Tasman Radiation Oncology Group (TROG), which is now the major radiation research group in Australia and New Zealand. He was extensively involved in the development of TROG, taking the administrative roles of Group chairperson and also secretary, and chair of the Quality of Life subcommittee and member of quality assurance and trial audit panels. Its achievements with innovative new treatment approaches have gained international recognition in Gastrointestinal Urological and Head and Neck cancer. Furthermore, he has been centrally involved in the initiation of or part of the trial management committees of the many past TROG studies. He has given more than 70 presentations at meetings of national and international importance. He is the initiator and principle investigator of 4 current research studies, one of which is the subject of a PhD thesis. In the last 5 years he has been part of the controlling management committee for more than 20 multicentre cancer studies, and has supervised 11 departmental studies. He has been a member of the SWAN working party for the development of a 3D radiotherapy treatment plan review and database system for use in clinical trials since its inception in 2001.

Professor Spry has a strong record in developing interdisciplinary collaboration, especially across traditional discipline barriers e.g. first national Urology research study to combine radiation, surgical and medical oncology disciplines e.g. first gastrointestinal study to include radiation medical surgical oncology and molecular oncology e.g. first national radiation oncology study to require technique accreditation QA before beginning patient accrual. His busy clinical workload and broad clinical background (4 clinical fellowships) facilitate his understanding of the needs of different craft groups. He has been an invited speaker to the annual scientific meetings of the Royal Australian college of Surgeons, Royal Australasian college of Radiologists, Urological Society of Australasia, and Australian Gastrointestinal Study Group, on Urologic and Upper Gastrointestinal Cancer topics. He promotes and supervises Nursing and other allied science research projects.

Professor Spry has achieved national standing in the areas of hormonal and radiotherapy management of Prostate cancer, in the Radiotherapy management of Pancreatic cancer, and of quality of life assessment in cancer medicine. He is developing an international quality of life instrument for the assessment of proctitis (an unpleasant but poorly defined complication of high dose pelvic radiotherapy) with the intention that the instrument become the reference tool for assessment of this condition. He has an International profile in the hormonal treatment of prostate cancer, and is part of an international meta-analysis group assessing intermittent hormonal therapy of prostate cancer. He is also an Australian representative for the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group (AGITG) to the European Study Group for Pancreatic Cancer (ESPAC). He has also been co-opted to two federal committees - as the RANZCR representative for MSAC committee for the assessment of ‘SIR microsphere treatment’ for hepatic metastases, on account of his previous work developing procedures for palliative hepatic radiotherapy. He is also a current panel member of the NH&MRC committee developing guidelines for the management of advanced prostate cancer.

Research Areas and Interests

  • Clinical medicine and science
  • Exercise oncology
  • Radiotherapy
  • Oncology
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Clinical trial
  • Prostate cancer
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