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-Elect 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, Prof Usha Menon at UCL, and Prof Jon Deeks team at UoB. A translational effort identify potential new biomarkers of early diagnosis is also underway; with Prof 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.

 Global Health research

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 Profs 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 womens 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-Elect, British Gynaecological Cancer Society, July 2018
  • Lead, Ethnic diversity in Cancer Genomics substream, Gender Inequality theme, Institute of Global Innovation 


Recent publications


Kumar, S, Srinivasan, A, Phillips, A, Madhupriya, R, Pascoe, J, Nevin, J, Elattar, A, Balega, J, Cummins, C, Sundar, S, Kehoe, S & Singh, K 2019, 'Does sites of recurrence impact survival in secondary cytoreduction surgery for recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer?', Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

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 2019, 'Serum HE4 and diagnosis of ovarian cancer in postmenopausal women with adnexal masses', American journal of obstetrics and gynecology.

Kumar, S, Long, J, Kehoe, S, Sundar, S & Cummins, C 2019, 'Quality of life outcomes following surgery for advanced ovarian cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis', International Journal of Gynecological Cancer, vol. 29, pp. 1285-1291.

Ghoubara, A, Sundar, S & Ewies, AAA 2019, 'Black women with postmenopausal bleeding have lower prevalence of endometrial cancer than other ethnic groups', Climacteric.

Sharma-Oates, A, Shaaban, A, Tomlinson, I, Wynne, L, Cazier, J-B & Sundar, S 2018, 'Heterogeneity of germline variants in high risk breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility genes in India', Precision Clinical Medicine, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 75-87.

Phillips, A, Sundar, S, Singh, K, Pounds, R, Nevin, J, Kehoe, S, Balega, J & Elattar, A 2018, 'The NICE classification for "Ultra-radical (extensive) surgery for advanced ovarian cancer" guidance does not meaningfully predict post-operative complications: a cohort study', BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

Pounds, R, Phillips, A, Kehoe, S, Nevin, J, Sundar, S, Elattar, A, Teo, HG, Singh, K & Balega, J 2018, 'Diaphragm disease in advanced ovarian cancer: Predictability of pre-operative imaging and safety of surgical intervention', European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, vol. 226, pp. 47-53.

Ghoubara, A, Emovon, E, Sundar, S & Ewies, A 2018, 'Thickened endometrium in asymptomatic postmenopausal women - determining an optimum threshold for prediction of atypical hyperplasia and cancer', Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Ghoubara, A, Sundar, S & Ewies, AAA 2018, 'Endometrial pathology in recurrent postmenopausal bleeding: observational study of 385 women', Climacteric.

Phillips, A, Sundar, S, Pounds, R, Elattar, A, Nevin, J, Kehoe, S, Balega, J & Singh, K 2018, 'Has the ''paradigm shift'' in the management of advanced ovarian, tubal and primary peritoneal caner altered the locations of recurrence?', European Journal of Gynaecological Oncology, pp. 365-371.

Sundar, S, Cazier, J-B & Frampton, J 2018, 'Harnessing genomics to improve outcomes for women with cancer in India: key priorities for research', The Lancet Oncology, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. e102–e112.

Phillips, A, Sundar, S, Singh, K, Nevin, J, Elattar, A, Kehoe, S & Balega, J 2018, 'Complete cytoreduction after five or more cycles of neo-adjuvant chemotherapy confers a survival benefit in advanced ovarian cancer', European Journal of Surgical Oncology.

Ghoubara, A, Sundar, S & Ewies, AAA 2018, 'Predictors of malignancy in endometrial polyps: study of 421 women with postmenopausal bleeding', Climacteric, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 82-87.


BriTROC investigators 2019, 'Correction: Safety and utility of image-guided research biopsies in relapsed high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma—experience of the BriTROC consortium (British Journal of Cancer, (2017), 116, 10, (1294-1301), 10.1038/bjc.2017.86)', British Journal of Cancer, vol. 120, no. 8, 868 .


National Institute for Health Research Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery 2019, 'Global burden of postoperative death', The Lancet, vol. 393, no. 10170, pp. 401-401.

View all publications in research portal


Ovarian Cancer

Patient reported outcomes