Professor Jane Young is a cancer epidemiologist and health services researcher with a focus on improving equity in cancer care and patient outcomes. Her research focuses on identifying and addressing evidence-practice gaps and unwarranted variations in cancer care between different population groups which lead to disparities cancer survival and quality of life outcomes. Jane undertakes both descriptive and interventional studies (randomised control trials).
A major area of interest is research into variations and delays in the pathways to diagnosis of cancer. Jane was a NSW lead for the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership studies investigating pathways to diagnosis and treatment for lung, colorectal, ovarian and breast cancer and am a Chief Investigator in a Cancer Australia-funded study comparing pathways to diagnosis and treatment for Anglo-Australian and CALD patients with lung cancer in Australia. With recently-completed PhD student, Rebecca Venchiarutti, and clinical colleagues at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, they have investigated the timeliness and nature of diagnostic and treatment pathways for people with head and neck cancer, comparing the experience and outcomes of those in regional and rural New South Wales with their Sydney-based counterparts. In the EnRICH Program within the Sydney Catalyst Translational Cancer Research Centre, they are investigating variations diagnostic pathways for lung cancer.
Professor Young’s current research to improve patient outcomes through optimal treatment includes an investigation of clinicians’ perspectives on the intractable issue of apparent under-use of neoadjuvant radiotherapy for rectal cancer and a second study examining unwarranted variations in, and departures from Optimal Care Pathways for, lung cancer care across NSW hospitals in the EnRICH Program (both studies are Cancer Institute NSW funded projects). With a focus on reducing the high complication rate following major exenterative surgery for pelvic cancer, she is a CIA for an NHMRC-funded randomised trial of an intensive, pre-operative exercise intervention that is recruiting patients in NSW and Victoria. She has a long-standing interest in the potential for cancer care coordination to improve the delivery of care and reduce variations and lead ongoing studies on this topic.