Mater’s Professor Lewis Perrin has been honoured by Cancer Australia for his lifetime commitment to treating and researching gynaecological cancers—and saving women’s lives.
Prof Perrin, who is Director of Gynaecological Oncology at Mater Hospital Brisbane, has received the 2022 Jeannie Ferris Cancer Australia Award for his outstanding contribution to improving care for women with gynaecological cancers.
Prof Perrin has pioneered innovations such as laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery and Heated Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) for gynaecological cancer patients, and has led translational research into the molecular drivers of gynaecological tumours and on the evaluation of new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.
He leads the Gynaecological Oncology Group at Mater Research and is a Professor of Gynaecological Oncology at The University of Queensland.
The award honours the late Jeannie Ferris, Senator for South Australia, who campaigned to raise awareness about gynaecological cancers before her death from ovarian cancer in 2007.
Prof Perrin said the award was a recognition of the transformation of gynaecological cancer care in Queensland over many years.
“When I began my training in Brisbane in 1993 there were only two other gynaecological oncologists in the entire state and there was a desperate need for more specialists,” Prof Perrin said.
“Today there are 12 of us and Queensland women receive the highest quality of care available in Australia.
“The award is a recognition of the whole team at Mater and those who work with us, including researchers and all my gynaecological oncology colleagues.”
February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month—an opportunity to warn women of the symptoms of ovarian cancer and to raise funds for vital research.
Mater is the leading treatment and research centre for ovarian cancer in the state, treating around 130 of the 285 Queensland women who were diagnosed last year.
Prof Perrin said forging a strong relationship between Mater clinicians, Mater Research and UQ researchers was one of his proudest achievements.
“When I became Director at Mater, one of the initiatives was to make research an important part of our collaborative care,” he said.
“Researchers are now involved in our multidisciplinary treatment discussions
and we try to involve every patient in a clinical trial.
“As a result we have been able to improve and personalise care for each patient, improving both the survival rate and the quality of life of women with cancer.
“It’s been an honour to work with so many dedicated people and, of course, it’s been very rewarding to be able to help so many courageous women.”
Professor Dorothy Keefe, CEO of Cancer Australia, paid tribute to Prof Perrin’s work and impact on women’s health.
“The dedication, commitment and achievements of Professor Perrin have made an invaluable contribution to better outcomes through improved gynaecological cancer awareness, support, treatment and research,” Prof Keefe said.