Dr Andre van der Westhuizen

Dr Andre van der Westhuizen (MBChB, MMed (Internal Medicine), FRACP, Cert Medical Oncology, Cert Medical Genetics, MSc (Med) Genetic Counselling (Wits), PhD (Medicine)) Senior Staff Specialist, Medical Oncology Advanced Trainee Supervisor, Senior Conjoint Lecturer, University of Newcastle (UON), DNA repair group, and The UON Centre for Drug Repurposing and Medicines Research (HMRI)


Dr Andre van der Westhuizen has been conducting research in the Department of Medical Oncology at Calvary Mater Newcastle since 2010. His main focus in research is cancer genetics and immunotherapy treatments with a specific interest in finding ways to reactivate the immune system against cancer in patients that have shown resistance to immunotherapy. He has been principle investigator in over 20 clinical trials from phase 1 to phase 4 and was involved in the first immunotherapy trials conducted at Calvary Mater Newcastle. He has also initiated his own investigator led clinical trials specifically focusing on immunotherapy resistance and repurposing drugs and treatments to reactivate the immune system against cancer. His main areas of research are melanoma, breast cancer and gastro-intestinal malignancies. He has led several key clinical trials in the systemic treatment of melanoma. He is also a fully qualified medical geneticist with a master’s degree in genetic counselling and has led clinical trials and projects where genetic testing for inherited mutations and genetic counselling play an important aspect in the management of cancer.

Current research:

  • Investigator led clinical research- Early phase II study of Azacitidine and Carboplatin priming for Avelumab in patients with advanced melanoma wo are resistant to immunotherapy
  • Investigator led clinical research- Serial blood collections on patients on immunotherapy to investigate disease response and resistance related to anti-PD1 levels in blood
  • Principle investigator in early phase 1b clinical trials with immunotherapy in patients with resistance to anti-PD1 antibodies (MK1308-001, Artistry)
  • Active member of the DNA repair group since 2013 at the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) with several publications and conference presentations related to research by this group
  • Active member of the University of Newcastle Centre for Drug Repurposing & Medicines Research (HMRI)
  • Ongoing involvement in over 40 clinical trials as Principle and Sub-investigator in Medical Oncology in phase 1, 2 and 3
  • Ongoing involvement in the supervision of advanced trainee projects in the Department of Medical Oncology


Medical Oncology

Research Areas

Melanoma, immunotherapy, breast cancer, gastro-intestinal malignancies, cancer genetics

Publications / Achievements

More information about Dr Andre van der Westhuizen’s academic achievements and publications can be found here:


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