Associate Professor Lovell is a Palliative Medicine physician and senior staff member with HammondCare in Northern Sydney and a Clinical Senior Lecturer at Sydney Medical School. Lovell was awarded her PhD in 2009 from The University of Sydney and then went on to become Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in December of 2001.

A/Prof Lovell is currently the Director of Clinical Trials at Greenwich Hospital and also chairs the Working Party which develops and updates the Australian Cancer Pain Guideline on the Cancer Council Australia wiki platform. The National Breast Cancer Foundation granted funding to undertake a randomised controlled trial of the guideline and implementation strategies to improve uptake of the guideline recommendations, of which Melanie is the lead investigator. She is also actively involved in teaching medical students palliative care, cancer pain assessment and management and spirituality.


Research Interests

A/Prof Lovell is interested in palliative care, palliative care research including clinical trials and health systems research, pain research and spirituality.

Evaluation of pharmaceutical cannabinoids and standardised botanical leaf cannabis for anorexia in advanced cancer: A pharmacokinetic and feasibility pilot Phase II study; and Phase III double-blind double-dummy multi-site parallel-arm randomised controlled trial

NSW Health 2015

Implementing a national clinical pathway for pain to ensure equitable, cost-effective, evidence-based, person-centred care for people with advanced breast and other cancers

National Breast Cancer Foundation Grant 2014

Implementing evidence-based care for people with cancer pain

Implementation Research Project Funding Northern Translation Cancer Research Unit 2013

Neurobiological, psychological and existential contributors to pain: an integrated approach

Australian New Zealand College of Anaesthaetists 2013

Improving Palliative Care through Clinical Trials (ImPaCCT) – the NSW collaborative trials group in palliative care

Cancer Institute NSW 2013

Levels and associations of existential distress in people with persistent pain

Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists 2012

Development of a Clinical Pathway to manage cancer pain

Bill and Patricia Ritchie Foundation 2013

Development of a Clinical Pathway to manage cancer pain

HammondCare 2011

STrategies to decrease pain thrOugh implementing a dual clinical PAIN PATHway. Stop Pain Path Phase 1

University of Technology 2012

Piloting of a clinical pathway to manage cancer pain

Pfizer Australia 2011

Translational Research Unit Grant

Cancer Institute NSW 2011

Translational Research Unit Grant

Cancer Institute 2011

Case Conferencing in Advanced Dementia

Department of Health and Ageing Local Palliative Care 2010

Research infrastructure grant

Cancer Institute NSW 2011

A double-blind placebo controlled study of subcutaneous ketamine in the management of cancer pain

National Health and Medical Research Council Palliative Care 2007

Year Award/ Honour Institution
1991 Dun Prize in Surgery and Clinical Surgery University of Sydney, Faculty of Medicine
2004 University of Sydney Postgraduate Award University of Sydney, Faculty of Medicine
2012 ANZCA Rapid Presentation runner-up Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists
2013 Research Award, top ranked grant application in the area of pain “Levels and associations of existential distress in people with persistent pain”, with Professor Phillip Siddall as lead author Australian & New Zealand College of Anaesthetists

Estacio, C., Butow, P., Lovell, M., Dong, S., Clayton, J. (2018). Exploring symptom meaning: perspectives of palliative care physicians. Supportive Care in Cancer, 26, 2769-2784. [More Information]

Franklin, A., Lovell, M., Boyle, F. (2017). A Case of Opioid Toxicity on Conversion From Extended-Release Oxycodone and Naloxone to Extended-Release Oxycodone in a Patient With Liver Dysfunction. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 53(2), e1-e2. [More Information]

Forster, B., Proskurin, H., Kelly, B., Lovell, M., Ilchef, R., Clayton, J. (2017). Psychiatry trainees’ views and educational needs regarding the care of patients with a life-limiting illness. Palliative and Supportive Care, 15(2), 231-241. [More Information]

Corbett, M., Lovell, M., Siddall, P. (2017). The role of spiritual factors in people living with chronic pain: A qualitative investigation. Journal for the Study of Spirituality, 7(2), 142-153. [More Information]

Estacio, C., Butow, P., Lovell, M., Dong, S., Clayton, J. (2017). What is symptom meaning? A framework analysis of communication in palliative care consultations. Patient Education and Counseling, 100(11), 2088-2094. [More Information]

Luckett, T., Phillips, J., Lintzeris, N., Allsop, D., Lee, J., Solowij, N., Martin, J., Lam, L., Aggarwal, R., McCaffrey, N., Lovell, M., McGregor, I., et al (2016). Clinical trials of medicinal cannabis for appetite-related symptoms from advanced cancer: A survey of preferences, attitudes and beliefs among patients willing to consider participation. Internal Medicine Journal, 46(11), 1269-1275. [More Information]

Dong, S., Butow, P., Agar, M., Lovell, M., Boyle, F., Stockler, M., Forster, B., Tong, A. (2016). Clinicians’ Perspectives on Managing Symptom Clusters in Advanced Cancer: A Semistructured Interview Study. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 51(4), 706-717.e5. [More Information]

Dong, S., Butow, P., Tong, A., Agar, M., Boyle, F., Forster, B., Stockler, M., Lovell, M. (2016). Patients’ experiences and perspectives of multiple concurrent symptoms in advanced cancer: a semi-structured interview study. Supportive Care in Cancer, 24(3), 1373-1386. [More Information]

Zdenkowsk, N., Tesson, S., Lombard, J., Lovell, M., Hayes, S., Francis, P., Dhillon, H., Boyle, F. (2016). Supportive care of women with breast cancer: key concerns and practical solutions. Medical Journal of Australia, 205(10), 471-475. [More Information]

Dong, S., Costa, D., Butow, P., Lovell, M., Agar, M., Velikova, G., Teckle, P., Tong, A., Tebbutt, N., Clarke, S., King, M., et al (2016). Symptom Clusters in Advanced Cancer Patients: An Empirical Comparison of Statistical Methods and the Impact on Quality of Life. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 51(1), 88-98. [More Information]

Agar, M., Koh, E., Gibbs, E., Barnes, E., Hovey, E., Livingstone (nee Ratcliffe), A., Sawkins, K., Chye, R., Lovell, M., Clark, K., Vardy, J., King, M. (2016). Validating self-report and proxy reports of the Dexamethasone Symptom Questionnaire -Chronic for the evaluation of longer-term corticosteroid toxicity. Supportive Care in Cancer, 24(3), 1209-1218. [More Information]

Lovell, M., Luckett, T., Boyle, F., Stubbs, J., Phillips, J., Davidson, P., Oliver, I., von Dincklage, J., Agar, M. (2015). Adaptation of international guidelines on assessment and management of cancer pain for the Australian context. Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology, 11(2), 170-177. [More Information]

Phillips, J., Lovell, M., Luckett, T., Agar, M., Green, A., Davidson, P. (2015). Australian survey of current practice and guideline use in adult cancer pain assessment and management: The community nurse perspective. Collegian, 22(1), 33-41. [More Information]

Lovell, M., Phillips, J., Luckett, T., Agar, M. (2015). Improving the system for managing cancer pain. Internal Medicine Journal, 45(3), 361-362. [More Information]

Sanderson, C., Quinn, S., Agar, M., Chye, R., Clark, K., Doogue, M., Fazekas, B., Lee, J., Lovell, M., Rowett, D., et al (2015). Pharmacovigilance in hospice/palliative care: net effect of gabapentin for neuropathic pain. BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care, 5(3), 273-280. [More Information]

Clark, K., Quinn, S., Doogue, M., Sanderson, C., Lovell, M., Currow, D. (2015). Routine prescribing of gabapentin or pregabalin in supportive and palliative care: what are the comparative performances of the medications in a palliative care population? Supportive Care in Cancer, 23(9), 2517-2520. [More Information]

Siddall, P., Lovell, M., MacLeod, R. (2015). Spirituality: What is Its Role in Pain Medicine? Pain Medicine, 16(1), 51-60. [More Information]

Currow, D., Clark, K., Kamal, A., Collier, A., Agar, M., Lovell, M., Phillips, J., Ritchie, C. (2015). The Population Burden of Chronic Symptoms that Substantially Predate the Diagnosis of a Life-Limiting Illness. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 18(6), 480-485. [More Information]

Lovell, M., Luckett, T., Boyle, F., Phillips, J., Agar, M., Davidson, P. (2014). Patient Education, Coaching, and Self-Management for Cancer Pain. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 32(16), 1712-1720. [More Information]

Dong, S., Butow, P., Costa, D., Lovell, M., Agar, M. (2014). Symptom Clusters in Patients With Advanced Cancer: A Systematic Review of Observational Studies. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 48(3), 411-450. [More Information]

Luckett, T., Davidson, P., Green, A., Boyle, F., Stubbs, J., Lovell, M. (2013). Assessment and Management of Adult Cancer Pain: A Systematic Review and Synthesis of Recent Qualitative Studies Aimed at Developing Insights for Managing Barriers and Optimizing Facilitators Within a Comprehensive Framework of Patient Care. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 46(2), 229-253. [More Information]

Lovell, M., Agar, M., Luckett, T., Davidson, P., Green, A., Clayton, J. (2013). Australian Survey of Current Practice and Guideline Use in Adult Cancer Pain Assessment and Management: Perspectives of Palliative Care Physicians. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 16(11), 1403-1409. [More Information]

Tai, V., Lovell, M. (2013). Pain relief and the end of life. Medicine Today, 14(4), 16-24.

Clark, K., Smith, J., Lovell, M., Currow, D. (2012). Longitudinal pain reports in a palliative care population. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 15(12), 1335-1341. [More Information]

Lovell, M. (2012). Preparation is the key to death being our friend. BMJ, 344, e436. [More Information]

Lovell, M., Smith, R. (2012). Should doctors respect patients’ requests not to know? Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes, 4(14-15), 29-30.

Lovell, M., Forder, P., Stockler, M., Butow, P., Briganti, E., Chye, R., Goldstein, D., Boyle, F. (2010). A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Standardized Educational Intervention for Patients with Cancer Pain. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 40(1), 49-59. [More Information]

Lovell, M., Boyle, F. (2010). Cancer Pain Management. Medicine Today, 11(1), 33-38.

Lovell, M., Boyle, F. (2017). Communication strategies and skills for optimum pain control. In D. Kissane, B. Bultz, P. Butow, C. Bylund, S. Noble & S. Wilkinson (Eds.), Oxford Textbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative Care (Second Edition), (pp. 244-248). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lovell, M., Boyle, F. (2010). Communication strategies and skills for optimal pain control. In David Kissane, Barry Bultz, Phyllis Butow, Ilora Finlay (Eds.), Handbook Of Communication In Oncology And Palliative Care, (pp. 315-326). Oxford: Oxford University Press. [More Information]

Lovell, M., Boyle, F. (2013). Overcoming cancer pain: a guide for people with cancer, their families and friends. Australia: Cancer Council Australia.

For more information contact

Phone: 02 9903 8293

Email: [email protected]

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