Robyn Saw is an Associate Professor in Surgery at The University of Sydney. She is a Surgical Oncologist with MIA and also a General Surgeon at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Robyn has a specific interest in the surgical management of melanoma and other skin cancers.
Research that can translate into clinical benefit for patients is the focus for her research activity. This includes a research interest in the development of lymphoedema (swelling of a limb) following lymph node surgery. As the Principal Investigator for a study looking at lymphoedema following axillary and groin sentinel node biopsy (supported by the NSW Cancer Council in 2005-2007 for 3 years for $180,000), the findings were presented at the 7th World Congress of Melanoma in Vienna 2009. A further paper has been published looking at lymphoedema following groin dissection in association with Prof Andrew Spillane.
A current project aims to establish an innovative stage III melanoma pre- and post-lymph node dissection clinic that combines physiotherapy, clinical nurse consultants and surgical consultants (with associated research opportunities to study patients preoperatively and postoperatively). This has the potential to improve the quality of care of all Stage III melanoma patients, and hopefully subsequently the quality of life of patients.
Currently, she is involved as Principal Investigator for an investigator led trial of “High Dose Vitamin D in High Risk Melanoma Patients” RPM Saw, B Armstrong, R Mason. R Morton (recruitment started Dec 2010). Involvement from the start with development of the trial protocol, and currently active in recruitment of patients, coordination of resources, supervision of trials staff, managing trial complications and advertising the trial has required commitment and significant time resources. This trial has generated significant international interest.
Intense involvement in the MIA BioSpecimen Bank and contributing patients for various clinical projects has also been on the agenda. She has also initiated banking of serial serum for all stage III melanoma patients in the future hope of development of serum biomarkers for assessment of prognosis and identifying early stage IV melanoma.
A range of students and junior medical staff have been supervised for research projects, including honours students for MBBS, interns interested in research and surgical trainees undertaking research projects as part of their Masters of Surgery research requirement.