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.

She trained in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Oxford and in Gynaecological Oncology at the Three Counties cancer centre, Gloucestershire. Sudha trained in Molecular Oncology as a Cancer Research UK Clinical Fellow at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford. She is the current President of the British Gynaecological Cancer Society, the first women gynaecological oncologist to be elected to this post. 


Small group and bed side teaching to Year 4 and Year 5 medical students.

Postgraduate supervision

Currently supervising 2 MD students and 1 PhD student.


My research programme investigates clinical challenges in patients with ovarian and endometrial 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. 

I am Chief Investigator for the ROCKETS project which aims to achieve earlier diagnosis of ovarian cancer, The project is a collaboration between international experts in the field of ovarian diagnosis – IOTA team KU Leuven, Professor Usha Menon at UCL, and Professor Jon Deeks team at UoB. A translational effort identify potential new biomarkers of early diagnosis is also underway; with Professor Weibke Arlt in steroidomics, Dr James Brenton at Cambridge University in circulating tumour DNA ( ROCkeTS-GEN) and with Dr James Flanagan and Dr Yasemin Hirst at Imperial University investigating purchasing behaviours using supermarket loyalty card data.

Surgery in ovarian cancer

Extensive surgical techniques have been shown to significantly improve survival in ovarian cancer, but may have significant impact on morbidity. I am Chief Investigator of the SOCQER 2 study, which has been commissioned by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE). This is a prospective cohort study of Patient reported and survival outcomes from surgery in advanced stage ovarian cancer in 15 cancer centres in the UK and Melbourne, Australia and in Kolkata, India.

Surgical Outcomes in cancer surgery - I am cancer surgery work package lead for the NIHR global health research unit on Global Surgery[SS1] [SS2] . Which capacity builds for surgical research across sub-Saharan Africa, India and other countries

Ethnic Diversity in Cancer genomics – Working with Professors Ian Tomlinson, Jean-Baptiste Cazier, and partners across India ( PGIMER, PHFI) and Africa we are establishing matched cohort studies UK-India to investigate ethnic diversity in women’s cancer genomics.


  1.  Early Diagnosis for Ovarian Cancer using commercial loyalty card data and purchase behaviours. Conditional offer from CRUK, July 2018 – 2021. amount TBC. Co-investigator.
  2. ROCKETS-GEN: Earlier detection of ovarian cancer using novel genomic technology. Conditional offer from CRUK, July 2018 – 2021, amount TBC (circa 400K). Chief Investigator.
  3. Institute of Global Innovation, University of Birmingham. £75,000 over 2 years. July 2018 – June 2020. Punjab-Birmingham women’s cancer genomics pilot study. Chief Investigator.
  4. MRC Proximity to Discovery funding. £15,500 for Punjab-Birmingham women's cancer genomics pilot study. October 2017. Chief Investigator
  5. Global Surgery Unit. NIHR. £7,000,000. August 2017- July 2021. Co-applicant and Work Package co-lead for Cancer surgery.
  6. Research training fellowship for Dr David Jeevan. Wellbeing of Women. August 2017-July 2019. £181,956. Sundar- Arlt supervisors.
  7. Novel repurposing of anticancer drugs to treat endometriosis. Wellbeing of Women grant. £ 198,864. Sep 2016- Aug 2019. Coinvestigator.
  8. SOCQER2, (Surgery in Ovarian Cancer, Quality of Life Evaluation Research) Medical Technologies Evaluation Panel, NICE award to Birmingham and Brunel external assessment centre, £ 1,538,000. April 2014-2017. Co-applicant
  9. ROCkeTS, Refining Ovarian Cancer Test Accuracy Scores. NIHR HTA. £ 1,000,038. Sep 2014- March 2020. Chief Investigator
  10.  Folic acid for menopausal symptoms in women with breast and gynaecological cancer NIHR RfPB. £250,000. Co-applicant. 2012 – ongoing with no cost extension.

Research Groups and Centres:

  • Institute of Global Innovation
  • CCB
  • IAHR (Deeks team)
  • BCTU

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, July 2018
  • Lead, Ethnic diversity in Cancer Genomics substream, Gender Inequality theme, Institute of Global Innovation 


Recent publications


Ewies, AAA, Ahmed, I, Al-Azzawi, F, Pitkin, J, Gupta, P, Persic, M, Sahu, B, El-Ghobashy, A, Barraclough, L, Woodman, J, Babrah, J, Bowden, S, Stocken, D, Billingham, L, Sundar, S & Rea, D 2021, 'Folic acid supplementation in postmenopausal women with hot flushes: phase III randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial', BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

GlobalSurg Collaborative and National Institute for Health Research Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery 2021, 'Global variation in postoperative mortality and complications after cancer surgery: a multicentre, prospective cohort study in 82 countries', The Lancet, vol. 397, no. 10272, pp. 387-397.

COVIDSurg Collaborative 2021, 'Preoperative nasopharyngeal swab testing and postoperative pulmonary complications in patients undergoing elective surgery during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic', British Journal of Surgery, vol. 108, no. 1, pp. 88-96.

Sundar, S, Cummins, C, Kumar, S, Long, J, Arora, V, Balega, J, Broadhead, T, Duncan, T, Edmondson, R, Fotopoulou, C, Glasspool, R, Kolomainen, D, Leeson, S, Manchanda, R, McNally, O, Morrison, J, Mukhopadhyay, A, Paul, J, Tidy, J & Wood, N 2021, 'Quality of life from cytoreductive surgery in advanced Ovarian cancer: investigating association with disease burden and surgical complexity in the international, prospective, SOCQER2 cohort study', BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

Brewer, HR, Hirst, Y, Sundar, S, Chadeau-Hyam, M & Flanagan, JM 2020, 'Cancer Loyalty Card Study (CLOCS): protocol for an observational case-control study focusing on the patient interval in ovarian cancer diagnosis', BMJ open, vol. 10, no. 9, pp. e037459.

Nepogodiev, D, Adisa, A, Abantanga, FA, Ademuyiwa, A, Chakrabortee, S, Ghosh, D, Glasbey, J, Lapitan, MC, Lawani, I, Maimbo, M, Moore, R, Morton, D, Ntirenganya, F, Qureshi, AU, Ramos-De la Medina, A, Tabiri, S, Pinkney, T, Bhangu, A, Ademuyiwa, A, Adenekan, A, Adewunmi, AS, Adisa, A, Aguilera, ML, Bhangu, A, Biccard, B, Brocklehurst, P, Chakrabortee, S, Costa, A, Cotton, P, Davies, J, Drake, TM, Garden, OJ, Ghosh, D, Glasbey, J, Haque, PD, Harrison, EM, Ingabire, JDLCA, Knight, SR, Lapitan, MC, Lawani, I, Lilford, R, Maimbo, M, Martin, J, Miguelena, LH, Mittal, R, Moore, R, Morton, D, Msosa, V, Naqi, SA, Nepogodiev, D, Ntirenganya, F, Olory-Togbe, JL, Omar, OM, Pinkney, T, Qureshi, AU, Ramos-De la Medina, A, Salem, HK, Smith, M, Sundar, S, Tabiri, S, Yenli, E, Yepez, R, Zoumenou, E, Abantanga, FA, Ademuyiwa, A, Adewunmi, AS, Adisa, A, Aguilera, ML, Bhangu, A, Biccard, B, Brocklehurst, P, Chakrabortee, S, Costa, A, Drake, TM, Ghosh, D, Glasbey, J, Haque, PD, Harrison, EM, Ingabire, JDLCA, Jones, CS, Kajombo, C, Knight, SR, Lapitan, MC, Lawani, I, Lawday, S, Maimbo, M, Martin, J, Miguelena, LH, Mittal, R, Moore, R, Morton, D, Msosa, V, Naqi, SA, Nepogodiev, D, Ntirenganya, F, Nyundo, M, Olory-Togbe, JL, Pinkney, T, Qureshi, AU, la Medina, ARD, Parreno-Sacdalan, D, Salem, HK, Smith, M, Tabiri, S, Yenli, E & Zoumenou, E 2020, 'Delphi prioritization and development of global surgery guidelines for the prevention of surgical-site infection', British Journal of Surgery, vol. 107, no. 8, pp. 970-977.

Kumar, S, Srinivasan, A, Phillips, A, Madhupriya, R, Pascoe, J, Nevin, J, Elattar, A, Balega, J, Cummins, C, Sundar, S, Kehoe, S & Singh, K 2020, 'Does sites of recurrence impact survival in secondary cytoreduction surgery for recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer?', Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, pp. 1-8.

Leung, E, Pervaiz, Z, Lowe-Zinola, J, Cree, S, Kwong, A, Marriott, N, Cole, F, Arum, U, Szopinski, B, Elattar, A, Sundar, S, Kehoe, S, Singh, K, Balega, J & Yap, J 2020, 'Maintaining surgical care delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic: A comparative cohort study at a tertiary gynecological cancer centre', Gynecologic oncology.

Dai, D, Balega, J, Sundar, S, Kehoe, S, Elattar, A, Phillips, A & Singh, K 2020, 'Serum Albumin as a Predictor of Survival after Interval Debulking Surgery for Advanced Ovarian Cancer (AOC): A Retrospective Study', Journal of Investigative Surgery, pp. 1-6.

Gentry-Maharaj, A, Burnell, M, Dilley, J, Ryan, A, Karpinsky, C, Gunu, R, Mallett, S, Deeks, J, Campbell, S, Jacobs, I, Sundar, S & Menon, U 2020, 'Serum HE4 and diagnosis of ovarian cancer in postmenopausal women with adnexal masses', American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, vol. 222, no. 1, pp. 56.e1-56.e17.

Boyle, W, Williams, A, Sundar, S, Yap, J, Taniere, P, Rehal, P & Ganesan, R 2020, 'TMP3-NTRK1 rearranged uterine sarcoma: A case report', Case Reports in Women's Health, vol. 28, e00246.

Ghoubara, A, Sundar, S & Ewies, AAA 2019, 'Black women with postmenopausal bleeding have lower prevalence of endometrial cancer than other ethnic groups', Climacteric, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 632-636.

Commissioned report

Nordin, A, Jones, A, Rennison, R, Wakefield, C, Platt, M-C, Sundar, S, Nieto, J, Turner, C, Knott, C & Paley, L 2020, Ovarian cancer audit feasibility pilot: Disease profile in England: Incidence, mortality, stage and survival for ovary, fallopian tube and primary peritoneal carcinomas. Public Health England. <>

Review article

Sundar, S, Manchanda, R, Gourley, C, George, A, Wallace, A, Balega, J, Williams, S, Wallis, Y, Edmondson, R, Nicum, S, Frost, J, Attygalle, A, Fotopoulou, C, Bowen, R, Bell, D, Gajjar, K, Ramsay, B, Wood, NJ, Ghaem-Maghami, S, Miles, T & Ganesan, R 2021, 'British Gynaecological Cancer Society/British Association of Gynaecological Pathology consensus for germline and tumor testing for BRCA1/2 variants in ovarian cancer in the United Kingdom', International Journal of Gynecological Cancer, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 272-278.

Newton, C, Nordin, A, Rolland, P, Ind, T, Larsen-Disney, P, Martin-Hirsch, P, Beaver, K, Bolton, H, Peevor, R, Fernandes, A, Kew, F, Sengupta, P, Miles, T, Buckley, L, Manderville, H, Gajjar, K, Morrison, J, Ledermann, J, Frost, J, Lawrence, A, Sundar, S & Fotopoulou, C 2020, 'British Gynaecological Cancer Society recommendations and guidance on patient-initiated follow-up (PIFU)', International Journal of Gynecological Cancer, vol. 30, no. 5, pp. 695-700.

View all publications in research portal


Ovarian Cancer

Patient reported outcomes