Professor Sudha Sundar

Professor Sudha Sundar

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Professor of Gynaecological Cancer

Contact details

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Vincent Drive
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Sudha Sundar is a gynaecological cancer surgeon and a clinical academic. Her research programme focusses on improving cancer diagnostics, cancer surgery and addressing inequalities in cancer outcomes. Sudha’s research has led to change of NICE guidance to recommend maximum cytoreduction surgery for ovarian cancer. She has recently completed her term as the President of the British Gynaecological Cancer Society (2019-2022), the first women gynaecological oncologist to be elected to this post. 

She is now National Ovarian Cancer audit surgical lead ( 2023 – to date) and is spearheading the innovative use of routinely collected data to drive outcomes for women with ovarian cancer.  


  • Small group and bed side teaching to Year 4 and Year 5 medical students.
  • Personal academic tutor to Year 1 and 2 medical students.

Postgraduate supervision

Trainees interested in pursuing MD or PhD higher research degrees in any of the research areas below are encouraged to email.


My research programme investigates clinical challenges in patients with ovarian cancer with a combined clinical trials/studies and translational research approach. 

Early diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer (OC) is the deadliest and the most common cause of mortality among all gynaecological cancers. In 2012, 239,000 women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 152,000 women died worldwide (CRUK 2014). The high case fatality rate is at least partly attributed to the advanced stage at diagnosis in the majority of ovarian cancers. 

Building on large Cochrane systematic reviews, Cancer diagnostic trials investigating best available tests in secondary care will shortly report ( ROCkeTS), trials in primary care are being planned. A translational effort identify potential new biomarkers of early diagnosis is also underway across cancer genomics ( ROCkeTS-GEN), and collaborating with Imperial University using supermarket loyalty card data (CLOCS). STEMOVA investigates steroid profiles of mucinous ovarian cancer, a rare cancer with unmet diagnostic and treatment challenges.

Surgery in Gynaecological Cancer

Ovarian cancer - We have demonstrated that women undergoing extensive surgery in ovarian cancer have similar quality of life to those undergoing less extensive surgery and that gynaecological cancer centres with greater use of extensive surgery are associated with improved survival. NICE guidance has now changed in response to the evidence from the SOCQER2 study

Current focus is on understanding how complex surgical interventions such as maximal effort cytoreductive surgery can be implemented in the UK . 

Gynaecological cancer surgery -  we have contributed to understanding impacts of COVID on outcomes after gynaecological cancer surgery through the COVIDSurg project. Future research efforts will evaluate interventions to promote surgical training in gynaecological cancer

Addressing inequalities in ovarian cancer in the UK and globally.

Where a women lives will determine how early her ovarian cancer is diagnosed, whether she will receive any anti-cancer treatment and whether she will receive standard of care treatment. We have shown through the National Ovarian cancer feasibility pilot that Ovarian cancer 5 year survival varies from 28% to 49% across cancer alliances in England.

This work has led to the development of national Quality performance indicators that are now used by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in assessing gynaecological cancer centres and in benchmarking such that outcomes from ovarian cancer can be improved locally and globally. Working with the International Gynaecological Cancer Society, the Global Equality in Ovarian Cancer Care Project (GEOCC) aims to identify and implement interventions to improve ovarian cancer globally.

Other activities

  • India Lead for College of Medical and Dental Sciences, 2017 – date.
  • Academic lead for Cancer pillar, Birmingham Health Partners, 2018-date
  • President, British Gynaecological Cancer Society, 2019 - 2022
  • Lead, Ethnic diversity in Cancer Genomics substream, Gender Inequality theme, Institute of Global Innovation 


Copy-number signatures and mutational processes in ovarian carcinoma. Teodora Goranova, Darren Ennis, Anna Piskorz, Geoff Macintyre, Liz-Anne Lewsley, Jon Stobo, Cheryl Wilson, David Kay, Rosalind Glasspool, Michelle Lockley, Eleanor Brockbank, Ana Montes, Axel Walther, Sudha Sundar, Richard Edmondson, Geoff Hall, Andrew R Clamp, Charles Gourley, Marcia Hall, Christina Fotopoulou, Hani Gabra, Susan Freeman, Luisa Moore, Mercedes Jimenez-Linan, Jim Paul, James Brenton, and Iain McNeish. Accepted.  Nature Genetics (NG-A47063R1).

Harnessing genomics to improve outcomes from women’s cancer in India – key priorities for researchSudha Sundar, Poonam Khetrapal-Singh, Professor Jon Frampton, Edward Trimble, Preetha Rajaraman, Professor Ravi Mehrotra,Roopa Hariprasad, Arindam Maitra, Professor Paramjit Gill,Professor Vanita Suri, Professor Radhika Srinivasan, Professor Gurpreet Singh,Professor JS Thakur, Preet Dhillon,Professor Jean-Baptiste Cazier. Lancet Oncology. Volume 19, No. 2, e102–e112, February 2018

Diaphragm disease in advanced ovarian cancer; predictability of pre-operative imaging and safety of surgical intervention. Diaphragm disease. Rachel Pounds, Andrew Phillips, Sean Kehoe, James Nevin, SudhaSundar, Ahmed Elattar, Hong Giap Teo, Kavita Singh, Janos Balega. European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Reproductive biology. July 2018, Volume 226, Pages 47–53.

Endometrial pathology in recurrent postmenopausal bleeding – observational study of 385 women. Ahmed Ghoubara, Sudha Sundar, Ayman Ewies. Climacteric (ICMT) Article ID: ICMT 1461825. .

Complete cytoreduction after five or more cycles of neo-adjuvant chemotherapy confers a survival benefit in advanced ovarian cancer. Andrew Phillips, Sudha Sundar, Kavita Singh, James Nevin, Ahmed Elattar, Sean Kehoe, Janos Balega, 2018, European journal of surgical oncology : June 2018, Volume 44, Issue 6, Pages 760–765

Predictors of malignancy in endometrial polyps – study of 421 women with postmenopausal bleeding. Ahmed Ghoubara, Sudha Sundar, Ayman Ewies.  Climacteric. Epub 2018

Predictive value of the Age – adjusted Charlston Co-morbidity Index on peri-operative complications, adjuvant chemotherapy usage and survival in patients undergoing debulking surgery after neo-adjuvant chemotherapy for advanced epithelial ovarian cancer. Phillips, Andrew; Singh, Kavita; Pounds, Rachel; Sundar, Sudha; Kehoe, Sean; Nevin, James; Elattar, Ahmed; Balega, Janos. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2017 Nov;37(8):1070-1075.

Reporting ‘Denominator’ data is essential for benchmarking and qualitystandards in ovarian cancer. Andrew Phillips, Janos Balega, James Nevin, Kavita Singh, Ahmed Elattar, Sean Kehoe, Sudha Sundar. Gynecologic Oncology. Gynecol Oncol. 2017 Apr 12. pii: S0090-8258(17)30786-2.

British Gynaecological Cancer Society (BGCS) Epithelial Ovarian / Fallopian Tube / Primary Peritoneal Cancer Guidelines: Recommendations for Practice. Christina Fotopoulou, Marcia Hall, Derek Cruickshank, Hani Gabra, Raji Ganesan, Cathy Hughes, Sean Kehoe, Jonathan Ledermann, Jo Morrison, Raj Naik, Phil Rolland, Sudha Sundar . European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Reproductive biology. DOI:

BGCS Guidelines for Uterine Cancer.Sudha Sundar, Janos Balega, Emma Crosbie, Alasdair Drake, Richard Edmondson, Christina Fotopoulou, Ioannis Gallos, Raji Ganesan, Janesh Gupta, Nick Johnson, Sarah Kitson, Michelle Mackintosh, Pierre Martin-Hirsch, Tracie Miles, Saeed Rafii, Nick Reed, Phil Rolland, Kavita Singh, Vanitha Sivalingam, Axel Walther . European Journal of Obstertics and Gynaecology and Reproductive biology. DOI: 2017 Volume 213, Pages 71–97

Satyam Kumar, Joanna Long, Sudha Sundar, Carole Cummins. Quality of life outcomes following surgery in advanced ovarian cancer. PROSPERO 2016:CRD42016048139

Refining Ovarian Cancer Test accuracy Scores (ROCkeTS) - protocol for a prospective longitudinal test accuracy study to validate new risk scores in women with symptoms of suspected ovarian cancer. Sudha Sundar, Caroline Rick, Francis Dowling, Pui Au, Kym Snell, Nirmala Rai, Rita Champaneria, Hilary Stobart, Richard Neal, Clare Davenport, Susan Mallett,  Andrew Sutton, Sean Kehoe, Dirk Timmerman, Tom Bourne,  Ben Van Calster, Aleksandra Gentry-Maharaj, Usha Menon,  Jon Deeks.  BMJ Open 2016;6:e010333. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010333

Symptoms, ultrasound imaging and biochemical markers alone or in combination for the diagnosis of ovarian cancer in women with symptoms suspicious of ovarian cancer. Rai N, Champaneria R, Snell K, Mallett S, Bayliss SE, Neal RD, Balogun M, Kehoe S, Deeks JJ, Sundar S, Davenport C. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD011964. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD011964.

Outcomes Following Interval Debulking Surgery in Primary Peritoneal Carcinoma. Caroline F Connolly, Sundus Yahya, Kiong Kong Chan, Kavita Singh, Sudha Sundar, Suhail M Anwar, Indrajit Fernando. Anticancer Research January 2016 vol. 36 no. 1 255-259

Patient-Reported Outcomes After Extensive (Ultraradical) Surgery for Ovarian Cancer. Results from a Prospective Longitudinal Feasibility Study. San Soo Hoo, Natalie Marriott, Aimee Houlton, James Nevin, Janos Balega, Kavita Singh, Jason Yap, Ramya Sethuram, Ahmed Elattar, David Luesley, Sean Kehoe, and Sudha Sundar. International Journal of Gynaecological Cancer. Sep 2015.  25 (9), 1599-1607.

Diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer. Sudha Sundar, Richard D Neal, Sean Kehoe. 5 Sep 2015. BMJ 2015;351:h4443

A novel method to triage adnexal masses in female paediatric patients. S Sundar. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Article first published online: 9 FEB 2015. DOI: 10.1111/1471-0528.13317

Outcomes following implementation of symptom triggered diagnostic testing for ovarian cancer. Nirmala Rai, James Nevin, Gabrielle Downey, Parveen Abedin, Moji Balogunb, Sean Kehoe, Sudha Sundar. European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Feb 2015.

Sentinel lymph node biopsy in vulval cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis. Catherine Meads, Andrew Sutton, Sylwia Małysiak, Monika Kowalska, Anna Zapalska, Ewelina Rogozińska, Peter Baldwin, Adam Rosenthal, Raji Ganesan, Ewa Borowiack, Pelham Barton, Tracy Roberts, Khalid Khan, Sudha Sundar. Br J Cancer. 2014 Jun 10;110(12):2837-46. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2014.205. Epub 2014 May 27.

Evaluating PET-CT in routine surveillance and follow-up after treatment for cervical cancer: a cost-effectiveness analysis. Auguste P, Barton P, Meads C, Davenport C, Małysiak S, Kowalska M, Zapalska A, Guest P, Martin-Hirsch P, Borowiack E, Khan K, Sundar S, Roberts T.  BJOG. 2013 Dec 3. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.12460. 

Cost-effectiveness of sentinel lymph node biopsy vs inguinofemoral lymphadenectomy in women with vulval cancer. Sutton AJ , Barton P , Sundar S , Meads C , Rosenthal AN , Baldwin P , Khan K , Roberts TE . Br J Cancer. 2013 Oct 15. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2013.631.

Evaluating PET-CT in the detection and management of recurrent cervical cancer: systematic reviews of diagnostic accuracy and subjective elicitation. Meads C, Davenport C, Małysiak S, Kowalska M, Zapalska A, Guest P, Martin-Hirsch P, Borowiack E, Auguste P, Barton P, Roberts T, Khan K, Sundar S.  BJOG. 2013 Dec 3. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.12488. 

Cost-effectiveness of sentinel lymph node biopsy vs inguinofemoral lymphadenectomy in women with vulval cancer. Sutton AJ , Barton P , Sundar S , Meads C , Rosenthal AN , Baldwin P , Khan K , Roberts TE . Br J Cancer. 2013 Oct 15. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2013.631.

PET-CT imaging in detecting and managing recurrent cervical cancer: Systematic review of evidence, elicitation of subjective probabilities and economic modelling. Authors: Catherine Meads, Peter Auguste, Clare Davenport, Sylwia Małysiak, Sudha Sundar, Monika Kowalska, Anna Zapalska, Peter Guest, Shakila Thangaratinam, Pierre Martin-Hirsch, Ewa Borowiack, Pelham Barton, Tracy Roberts, Khalid Khan. Health Technol Assess. 2013 Mar;17(12):1-323. doi: 10.3310/hta17120

Sentinel lymph node (SLN) status in vulval cancer: Systematic reviews of test accuracy and decision analytic model-based economic evaluation.  Catherine Meads, Andrew Sutton, Sylwia Małysiak, Monika Kowalska, Anna Zapalska, Ewelina Rogozińska, Peter Baldwin, Adam Rosenthal, Raji Ganesan, Ewa Borowiack, Pelham Barton, Tracy Roberts, Sudha Sundar, Khalid Khan. Peer reviewed HTA report, in press.

Sundar S, Wu J, Hillaby K, Yap J, Lilford R. A systematic review evaluating the relationship between progression free survival and post progression survival in advanced ovarian cancer. Gynecol Oncol. 2011 Dec 8. [Epub ahead of print]

C. Connolly, K. K. Chan, K. Singh, S. Sundar, D. Luesley, M. S. Anwar, I. N. Fernando;
Outcomes following interval debulking surgery in primary peritoneal carcinoma. J Clin Oncol 29: June 9; 2011 (suppl; abstr e15515)

Evans T, Sany O, Pearmain P, Ganesan R, Blann A, Sundar S.  Differential trends in the rising incidence of endometrial cancer by type: data from a UK population-based registry from 1994 to 2006. Br J Cancer. 2011 Apr 26;104(9):1505-10.

Voss MA, Gordon N, Maloney S, Ganesan R, Ludeman L, McCarthy K, Gornall R, Schaller G, Wei W, Berditchevski F, Sundar S.  Tetraspanin CD151 is a novel prognostic marker in poor outcome endometrial cancer.  Br J Cancer. 2011 May 10;104(10):1611-8. 

Voss MA, Gordon N, Maloney S, Ganesan R, Ludeman L, McCarthy K, Gornall R, Schaller G, Wei W, Sundar S.  Should grade 3 endometrioid carcinoma be considered a type 2 cancer - a clinical and pathological evaluation. Available online August 2011 doi:10.1016/j.ygyno.2011.07.030

Nevin J, Luesley D, Chan KK, Singh K, Balega J, Sundar S.  Meeting the challenge of developing and maintaining radical hysterectomy skills. BJOG. 2010 Jan;117(1):1-4. 

Maloney SL, Sullivan DC, Suchting S, Herbert JM, Rabai EM, Nagy Z, Barker J, Sundar S, Bicknell R.  Induction of thrombospondin-1 partially mediates the anti-angiogenic activity of dexrazoxane. Br J Cancer. 2009 Sep 15;101(6):957-66.

Jadoon BA, Kehoe S, Romain K, Clelland C, Sundar SS.  Analysis of outcome in women with borderline glandular change on cervical cytology.  Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2009 Nov;147(1):83-5

Sundar SS, Ganesan TS.  Role of lymphangiogenesis in cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2007 Sep 20;25(27):4298-307. 

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists – Specialist advisory committee commissioned opinion paper. Optimum Surgery in Advanced Ovarian Cancer. Naik, McIndoe, Mould and Sundar.

View all publications in research portal


Ovarian Cancer

Patient reported outcomes