Professor Alexandra Leigh McCarthy

BNsg, MNsg, PhD, Credentialled Cancer Nurse (Australia), Dual Registered Nurse (Australia and New Zealand)


Alexandra (who prefers to be called Sandie) relocated to Auckland in April 2017. Prior to that she was joint Clinical Chair of Cancer Nursing, Princess Alexandra Hospital (Brisbane) and the Queensland University of Technology. She has practised extensively in acute cancer care, including chemotherapy administration, in rural and metropolitan settings. Her PhD investigated sociocultural issues related to breast cancer and while she mostly now undertakes intervention research, she maintains an interest in the sociological as well as clinical aspects of cancer care. Sandie’s current funded research has two streams. The first stream focuses upon issues related to the long term outcomes of cancer treatments, using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The second stream concentrates on collaborative interventions to assess and manage the toxicities of acute cancer treatments. Her current program has particular focus on the older cancer patient and women with breast cancer. 

Research | Current

Sandie's research program focuses on the prevention, assessment and management of the short and long-term toxicities of cancer therapy, particularly chemotherapy. She has a particular interest in women's wellness during and after breast cancer therapy and is currently Co-Director of the Women's Wellness after Cancer Program based in the Menzies Institute of Health, Queensland. Her other research field interest is geriatric oncology. In both fields she investigates a range of multimodal interventions (diet, exercise, sleep and stress management) to enhance cancer patient outcomes.

Teaching | Current

Sandie lectures in all content areas related to cancer care.

Postgraduate supervision

Sandie supervises students from nursing, medicine, dietetics and exercise science with a focus on cancer patient outcomes.


Vice Chancellor's Excellence Award, QUT, 2013

Credentialled Cancer Nurse, 2016


Head, School of Nursing, University of Auckland

Areas of expertise

Cancer, breast cancer, physical activity during and after cancer, geriatric oncology.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Associate Editor, European Journal of Oncology Nursing

Executive Committee Member, Exercise Oncology Group, Clinical Oncology Society of Australia

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Botero, L., Agarwal, E., Berry, R., Gillespie, K., Isenring, E., & McCarthy, A. L. (2020). Nutrition risk and mortality in older oncology patients: An exploratory study. Nutrition & dietetics: the journal of the Dietitians Association of Australia, 77 (4), 449-455. 10.1111/1747-0080.12547
  • Marx, W., McCarthy, A., Marshall, S., Crichton, M., Molassiotis, A., Ried, K., ... Isenring, E. (2020). Supplemental prophylactic intervention for chemotherapy-induced nausea and emesis (SPICE) trial: Protocol for a multicentre double-blind placebo-controlled randomised trial. Nutrition & dietetics: the journal of the Dietitians Association of Australia, 77 (1), 144-150. 10.1111/1747-0080.12446
  • Turner, J., Yates, P., Kenny, L., Gordon, L. G., Burmeister, B., Hughes, B. G. M., ... Paviour, A. (2019). The ENHANCES study: a randomised controlled trial of a nurse-led survivorship intervention for patients treated for head and neck cancer. Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, 27 (12), 4627-4637. 10.1007/s00520-019-04748-7
  • Molassiotis, A., McCarthy, A., Charalambous, A., Gibson, F., Lopez, V., & Beaver, K. (2019). Common reasons why an academic paper is rejected: views from the editors. European journal of oncology nursing : the official journal of European Oncology Nursing Society10.1016/j.ejon.2019.05.002
  • Jones, E., Nissen, L., McCarthy, A., Steadman, K., & Windsor, C. (2019). Exploring the Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Cancer Patients. Integrative cancer therapies, 1810.1177/1534735419846986
  • Trong, H. T., Ramsbotham, J., & McCarthy, A. (2019). Translation and Validation Of A Vietnamese Version Of The Modified Clinical Learning Environment Inventory (V-CLEI). Nurse Education in Practice, 34, 117-122. 10.1016/j.nepr.2018.11.019
  • Heywood, R., McCarthy, A. L., & Skinner, T. L. (2018). Efficacy of Exercise Interventions in Patients With Advanced Cancer: A Systematic Review. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation, 99 (12), 2595-2620. 10.1016/j.apmr.2018.04.008
  • McCarthy, A. L., Peel, N. M., Gillespie, K. M., Berry, R., Walpole, E., Yates, P., & Hubbard, R. E. (2018). Validation of a frailty index in older cancer patients with solid tumours. BMC Cancer, 2018 (18)10.1186/s12885-018-4807-6

Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 502 - Bldg 502
Level 2, Room 201
New Zealand