Mater Research leads in palliative care oncology research

16/May/2023     HealthMater GroupResearch

Mater Clinical Trial Coordinator Georgie Huggett spent more than 10 years working in palliative care oncology before accepting what was supposed to be a temporary role with Mater Research. 

She has worked at the leading research institute ever since and her current role is in the Mater Research Palliative Care and Supportive Care team, led by Professor Janet Hardy. The team focuses on the implementation and testing of new drugs and symptom relief methods, aimed at reducing patient and family suffering and improving overall quality of life. 

“The great thing about working in research is that it’s the best of both worlds. I have patient contact time and I am also involved in administration activities. It’s a bit different to ward nursing,” Georgie said.  

“We are focused on what we can do for our patients – to relieve suffering and improve quality of life. We have lots of contact with our patients and their families while they are in our care.  

“Patients who are facing end of life are keen to support new and alternative treatment options that may assist them and others in the future. Our patients have often taken part in trials in oncology and haematology.” 

Mater is a world leader in randomised controlled trials of medicinal cannabis for palliative care patients in the advanced stages of cancer and is currently focused on the potential benefits of cannabidiol. 

The team has recently completed the first trials looking at cannabidiol CBD alone to see whether it improved the symptoms of advanced cancer.  

The team’s next trial is Med Can3, which is investigating whether cannabis has any benefit to the side effects of chemotherapy in patients with advanced cancer, such as pain, nausea, shortness of breath, anxiety and depression. It is currently recruiting participants for this trial. 

An exciting opportunity ahead for the Mater Research Palliative and Supportive Care team is a collaboration with the Australian Teletrial Program which would allow eligible people to participate in trials not normally offered in rural or regional areas. The partnership will improve equity in access to research for Queenslanders who live in rural and regional parts of the state. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the activities of the Mater Research Palliative and Supportive Care team, click here to view its current trials or contact the team via email on

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