Professor Peter Gibbs

Professor Peter Gibbs



Peter Gibbs in his office



MBBS Melbourne MD Melbourne FRACP

Joint Division Head

Lab focus: cancer registries and translational research

The medical oncologists in my team are experts in specific cancer types and lead major research efforts across many cancer types, including colorectal, pancreas, prostate, breast and brain tumours.

In a collaborative effort with scientists and clinicians, both within Australia and internationally we are leading efforts to:

  • Develop screening tests and better diagnostics for multiple cancer types
  • Improve the quality of care and outcomes in routine practice
  • Personalise care for each individual by better understanding the multiple factors that impact outcome
  • Markedly increase the number of clinical trials conducted in Australia
  • Develop new therapies for early and late stage cancers

Research interest

A major focus is defining the impact of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA), particularly how this marker of recurrence risk after surgery can be used to guide treatment and improve the survival of patients with early stage colorectal, pancreas and ovarian cancer. Multiple large clinical trials are underway, with patients being recruited at hospitals across Australia. 

We have also established prospective, comprehensive clinical registries in multiple tumour types, including colorectal, pancreas, breast, prostate and brain cancers. Data is being collected on routine care patients at sites throughout Australia and internationally and is supporting a broad range of projects, including studies of care and outcomes in routine practice. This data collection is also supporting many biomarker studies, with a plan to include studies of organoid cultures that will allow us to personalise patient treatments.

We have also initiated registry based randomised controlled trials in multiple tumour types, with the aim of improving the use of available therapies. 

Philip Hemstritch Pancreatic Cancer Research Program

A collaborative research program has been created to identify new treatments for patients with pancreatic cancer.

The Philip Hemstritch Pancreatic Cancer Research Program aims to:

  • Identify new drugs or combination of drugs to treat pancreatic cancer
  • Identify and validate biomarkers that predict tumour progression or monitor a patient’s response to current chemotherapies
  • Determine if circulating tumour DNA in the blood can be used for diagnosing pancreatic cancer and for monitoring a patient’s response to treatments
Associate Professor Peter Gibbs with a patient

Our researchers are trialling a new 'liquid biopsy', which may be able to identify signs of cancer DNA in a patient's blood.  

Two researchers smiling at the camera

An international research team has developed a new blood test for the early detection of eight common cancers, diagnosing tumours before they have spread, when the chance of cure is high.