James is an anatomical pathologist at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Sydney and visiting scientist at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre. James works with the prostate cancer group which aims to identify genes and pathways whose expression changes can predict the development of aggressive life-threatening prostate cancer or resistance to chemotherapy used for the treatment of advanced stage prostate cancer.
Professor Kench’s major research interest in prostate cancer is focussed on diagnosis and prognostic biomarkers; he is one of the Chief Investigators of a current multicentre Phase 3 biomarker clinical trial, involving RPAH, RNSH, St Vincent’s Hospital and the Garvan Institute. This trial follows a previous Phase 2 study demonstrating that loss of AZGP1 expression is a strong predictor of clinical recurrence, metastasis and death in prostate cancer. He is also a Chief Investigator on an $11million NHMRC Program grant that is partly focussed on cancer molecular phenotypes, including that of prostate and pancreatic cancer. Professor Kench is the only Australian member of the International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting (ICCR) Prostate Review Panel, which is defining and standardising reporting of the key pathological factors that determine prognosis and response to therapy in prostate cancer. In the field of pancreatic cancer, he was a founder and executive committee member of the NSW Pancreatic Cancer Network and has been active in clinical research utilising the NSW PCN database to evaluate the completeness of the minimum pathology data set in traditional narrative pathology reports and in structured/synoptic reports of pancreatic cancer—the standardisation and completeness of such data is integral to the success of translational research, clinical trials and to the Australian contribution to the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC).