Professor Gardiner’s research aims to develop better methods for detection and examines treatments to improve the management of patients with prostate cancer. 

Together with colleagues at Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital Urology Unit, Professor Gardiner’s lab has recently completed a large randomised controlled trial of robotic and open prostatectomy. This study, supported by a large grant from Cancer Council Queensland, has received support from colleagues in the Northern Section of the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand and the medical administration of the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

Together with Associate Professor Ken Pakenham (UQ Psychology), Professor Gardiner undertook the only randomised controlled trial of anti-hormone therapy in prostate cancer. This research demonstrated significant negative cognitive as well as quality of life effects compared to the control group and the wider general population. 

In addition, a collaboration with Dr Chris Schmidt (QIMR), led to the first two dendritic cell vaccine trials in Australia for men with advanced prostate cancer including a randomised controlled trial with dendritic cells and Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen peptides. 

Current studies include: 

  • Early detection of prostate cancer
  • Randomised trial of robotic and open prostatectomy for prostate cancer
  • Psycho-social studies in prostate cancer
  • New approaches to the management of prostate cancer

Early detection of prostate cancer

The group has pioneered research into non-invasive early detection of prostate cancer using ejaculate and other bodily fluids. Our work is focused on detection and prognosis through RNA and protein profiling. 

Randomised study robotic and open prostatectomy trial

The lab is evaluating findings from the first randomised study of robotic and open prostatectomy in a multi-disciplinary collaborative study with support from colleagues of the Northern Section of the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand to: 

  • Examine standard clinical and oncological parameters in both groups
  • Evaluate comprehensively Quality of Life in both arms
  • Compare economic costs to patients and health service
  • Determine life-expectancy profiles for patients prospectively
  • Relate actual results to prognostic profiling with prostatic fluid

Psycho-social studies in prostate cancer

In close collaboration with Professor Chambers and Northern Section colleagues, we are undertaking NHMRC-supported prospective studies of: 

  • Active Surveillance and other treatment options for prostate cancer with Professor Penelope Schofield (Swinburn University
  • Randomised controlled trial of early intervention to improve sexual & couple functioning after prostate cancer

New approaches to the management of prostate cancer

  • Improving the sexual health of men with prostate cancer: randomised controlled trial of exercise and psychosocial therapies with Professors Rob Newton and Daniel Galvao (Edith Cowan University)
  • Examining the roles of atorvastatin and metformin in early prostate cancer with Drs John Yaxley, Geoff Coughlin and Troy Gianduzzo (RBWH)