Research: advancing knowledge and driving positive change

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Health and medical research will improve the health and wellbeing for all in our community. It draws on knowledge of the human body and the world around us to find ways to identify, cure and prevent disease; reduce injury and disability; improve the delivery of health services; and help all of us to lead healthier lives.

Current Research Projects

PARAGON 2 - Innovative Gynecological Cancer Research

PARAGON 2 is groundbreaking research that is taking place across multiple sites in Australia and New Zealand. And thanks to your generosity, this important research will be available in Canberra for the very first time as the inaugural recipient of the Deborah Rolfe AM Perpetual Grant for Research. 

Meaning, patients will be able to stay close to loved ones during treatment.

The Research

PARAGON 2  research aims to improve outcomes for incurable gynaecological malignancies, potentially transforming patient care and quality of life. It's revolutionising treatment for hormone-sensitive cancers by combining the medication Letrozole with cutting-edge oral treatments. 

The innovative PARAGON 2 research includes rare cancers such as certain endometrial and ovarian cancers, offering new hope where few treatment options exist.

PARAGON 2 research includes rare cancers

BreastScreen ACT - Assisted Compression Clinics 

Many people experience pain and discomfort during mammograms and BreastScreen ACT acknowledges that this can be a barrier to accessing its free breast screening service. 

To address this concern, BreastScreen ACT will introduce client assisted compression clinics, whereby the client will be in control of the compression applied to the breast during the examination. 

The research:

To evaluate whether the same image quality required can be achieved, if the client has control using a handheld compression device during the procedure. To determine this, clients presenting for a screening mammogram will be invited to participate in a unique procedure, guided by a Radiographer. The image quality factors will be compared to images obtained by the Radiographer. 

The aim of this research is to assess whether the same image quality factors are achieved. Reducing pain and stress associated with compression while maintaining diagnostic accuracy.

Clients will be invited to participate

Restoring Mouth Opening in Patients with Oral Cancer 

Trismus (restricted mouth opening) is a major problem after oral cancer treatment, causing significant functional and quality of life impairments. 

Thanks to the generosity of Eden Monaro Eden Monaro Cancer Research Committee we have been able to fund research to help people who suffer from this debilitating and dangerous condition.  

The research aims to establish the safety and efficacy of existing devices used in restoring mouth opening in patients with mouth cancers and to determine the effect of force, duration and frequency of jaw stretching exercises on trismus following oral cancer treatment.

Patient using existing jaw stretching device 


"The more research we do, the more impact we will have on individuals now and into the future."  Associate Professor Alison Davis

Deborah Rolfe AM Perpetual Grant for Research

Research is a powerful tool that drives progress, innovation, and understanding across all fields of human endeavour. Its influence extends far beyond the realms of science shaping our societies, economies, and the way we perceive the world.

The establishment of the Deborah Rolfe AM Perpetual Research Grant by the Canberra Hospital Foundation marks a significant step forward in advancing medical research and improving health outcomes in the region. 

Named in honour of Deborah Rolfe AM, a distinguished community leader, philanthropist, and advocate for medical research, the fund represents her enduring commitment to supporting vital initiatives that benefit the community.

Through this fund, the Canberra Hospital Foundation seeks to help empower researchers and healthcare professionals by providing them with the resources they need to pursue ambitious projects. These projects could lead to new discoveries, improved patient care, and the development of novel therapies and medical technologies.

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The establishment of this fund not only honours Deborah Rolfe's remarkable legacy but also demonstrates the Canberra Hospital Foundation's commitment to fostering a vibrant and dynamic research community. By supporting researchers in their quest for knowledge and innovation, the fund will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of healthcare in the Canberra region and beyond.