The Gastroenterology and Liver Services at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital supports the gastrointestinal health of a large number of patients from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.  The department also fosters a culture of innovation  in a range of clinical fields primarily related to cancer detection and inflammatory bowel disease.

Our goals

As part of a 1AB hospital, the unit can provide a range of endoscopic services not widely available throughout NSW including radiofrequency ablation of Barrett’s oesophagus, endoscopic ultrasound and biopsy, enteroscopy and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography.  Our research has allowed us to be at the forefront of oesophageal, gastric, biliary, colonic, and pancreatic cancers and inflammatory bowel diseases. 

Active areas of research within the group include:

  • Prof Shan Rajendra: Investigating the role of viruses in gastrointestinal cancers with extensive experience in HPV in relation to Barrett’s oesophagus and oesophageal adenocarcinoma.
  • A/Prof Darren Pavey: Endoscopic ultrasound based techniques in treatment of locally advanced pancreatic cancer (including insertion of peri-tumoural fiducials) and the role of HPV in Barrett’s dysplasia.
  • Dr Christopher Meredith: Improving the diagnostic yield of biliary brushings during ERCP for early detection of biliary malignancy, improving the diagnostic yield using SurePath in Endoscopic Ultrasound biopsies of pancreatic and submucosal lesions and Enteroscopy. Research into optimising ERCP to reduce rates of post-ERCP pancreatitis.
  • A/Prof Ahmad Alrubaie: Investigating IBD environmental risk factors in patients with Middle Eastern migration to Australia, double-balloon Enteroscopy in obscure gastrointestinal bleeding and research into optimising ERCP to reduce rates of post-ERCP pancreatitis.

Research strengths

  • Collaborative and supportive department.
  • Access to specialist public clinics for patients with inflammatory bowel disease and advanced liver disease
  • Collegial relationship with surgical and oncology departments
  • Affiliations with external research institutes and groups
  • Strong connections with previous members of the department both domestically and internationally

Our results

Over the past decade, the department has published over 50 articles and presented at major Gastroenterology conferences including Australian Gastroenterology Week (AGW), the United European Gastroenterology Week (UEGW) and Digestive Disease Week (DDW).

Four main areas of interest where publications have been successful and where the unit has expertise include:

Barrett’s Oesophagus and investigation into GI viral oncogenosis

Over 15 publications including demonstrating transcriptionally active HPV being associated with Barrett’s dysplasia (ACG, 2013) and associated with favourable prognosis (JAMA Open, 2018).

Pancreato-biliary endoscopic diagnostics

Over 10 studies showing increased yield of Surepath and alternate cytology collection and analysis for increasing diagnostic yield of EUS and ERCP (UEGW and AGW presentations).

Inflammatory bowel disease

Active IBD research group with supportive research staff. Previous and active trials investigating multiple oral, IV and subcutaneously injected biological therapies and non-medication/ faecal microbiota transplant based therapies.

Advanced endoscopy including double-balloon enteroscopy and confocal endomicroscopy

Previous publications into confocal endomicroscopy and double-balloon Enteroscopy investigating small bowel pathology.

Our affiliate partners

  • Ingham Institute for Applied Medical research – GI Viral Oncology Group.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Research group as part of the Australian and New Zealand IBD (ANZIBD) Consortium.