Dean’s Commendation for PhD – Congratulations Dr Adel Aref

The Centre congratulates Dr Adel Aref on being awarded his PhD and for receiving the Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence.

Adel Aref MBBCh, ESMOc, SCMO (UK), PhD
Defining the role of lipids and metabolic factors as risk factors for prostate cancer incidence and aggressiveness.
Supervisors: Prof Lisa Butler, Dr Andrew Vincent, Dr Michael O’Callaghan, Dr Andrew Hoy, Professor Gary Wittert

Summary: For his PhD, Adel examined the effect of obesity and other metabolic factors like diabetes and hypertension on the diagnosis and presentation of prostate cancer.  Using databases from Australia and the USA, he pinpointed how obesity can lead to delay in prostate cancer diagnosis due to its effect on PSA levels (the tumor marker that is used for prostate cancer diagnosis) and has shown that adjusting PSA criteria for obesity and the presence of other metabolic comorbidities can lead to an improvement in the effectiveness of prostate cancer screening. He defined how obesity-related changes in the the ratio of sex-hormones at diagnosis may predict more aggressive cancer.

Impact:  The findings from Adel’s research will be applied to improve the efficacy of prostate cancer testing (screening) in general practice.

We wish Adel and his family all the best, and Adel for an exciting career ahead as he pursues a Post-doctoral research position overseas in clinical oncology.


  • Aref AT, Vincent AD, O’Callaghan ME, Martin SA, Sutherland PD, Hoy AJ, Butler LM, Wittert GA. The inverse relationship between prostate specific antigen (PSA) and obesity. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2018 Nov;25(11):933-941. doi: 10.1530/ERC-17-0438.  View abstract
  • Nassar ZD, Aref AT, Miladinovic D, Mah CY, Raj GV, Hoy AJ, Butler LM. Peri-prostatic adipose tissue: the metabolic microenvironment of prostate cancer. BJU Int. 2018 May;121 Suppl 3:9-21. doi: 10.1111/bju.14173. View abstract
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