Associate Professor Kevin Spring

Associate Professor Kevin Spring

Associate Professor, Medical Oncology,
School of Medicine


Associate Professor Kevin Spring is an academic with the School of Medicine, (Medical Oncology) Western Sydney University and is also a conjoint Associate Professor at UNSW and CONCERT Centre Fellow and Group Leader at the Ingham Institute. His main research interest spans oncology in general, but specific focus on colorectal cancer and the clinical utility of liquid biopsy for cancer therapy.

Kevin received his PhD in 1997 from the University of Queensland and made significant contributions in the field of DNA damage with publications in Nature and Nature Genetics and was the first to generate an Atm missense knock-in mutant mouse, demonstrating cancer predisposition in AT heterozygotes. He also made substantial contributions toward defining the serrated neoplasia pathway in colorectal cancer, establishing BRAF mutation and methylation (CIMP) as key molecular features and that sessile serrated adenomas were the precursors of MSI-H cancers.

In February 2013 he moved to with WSU and the Ingham Institute (Sydney) and established a new area of interest on the clinical utility of blood-based liquid biopsies involving circulating tumour cells (CTCs) and circulating nucleic acids (ctNAs) for patient stratification and real-time monitoring of treatment response to guide treatment. In 2014 he established the Thomas Ashworth CTC & Liquid Biopsy Symposium which is now considered the peak liquid biopsy conference in Australia. In addition, he has significant interests in cancer biobanking and clinical data management.

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Spring.


  • PhD University of Queensland

Professional Memberships

  • AGITG (2017 - 2021)
  • ESMO (2018 - 2021)
  • GESA (2004 - 2021)
  • AACR (2009 - 2021)


  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Epigenetics
  • Oncology

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • School of Medicine


Phone: (02) 8738 9032
Location: Off Campus

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Previous Teaching Areas

  • 401277 Clinical Sciences 2, 2021


Chapters in Books

  • Collins, S., Yuen, G., Tu, T., Budzinska, M., Spring, K., Bryant, K. and Shackel, N. (2019), 'In vitro models of the liver : disease modeling, drug discovery and clinical applications', Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Codon Publications 9780994438188.

Journal Articles

  • Lim, S., Chua, W., Ng, W., Ip, E., Marques, T., Tran, N., Gama-Carvalho, M., Asghari, R., Henderson, C., Ma, Y., Souza, P. and Spring, K. (2023), 'Circulating tumour cell associated microRNA profiles change during chemoradiation and are predictive of response in locally advanced rectal cancer', Cancers, vol 15, no 16 .
  • Fatima, S., Ma, Y., Safrachi, A., Haider, S., Spring, K., Vafaee, F., Scott, K., Roberts, T., Becker, T. and Souza, P. (2022), 'Harnessing liquid biopsies to guide immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy', Cancers, vol 14, no 7 .
  • Bradley, S., Spring, K., Beran, R., Beran, R., Chatzis, D., Killingsworth, M. and Bhaskar, S. (2022), 'Role of diabetes in stroke : recent advances in pathophysiology and clinical management', Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews, vol 38, no 2 .
  • Erbak Yilmaz, H., Iscan, E., Oz, O., Batur, T., Erdogan, A., Kilic, S., Mutlu, Z., Yilmaz, M. and Spring, K. (2022), 'Considerations for the selection of tests for SARS-CoV-2 molecular diagnostics', Molecular Biology Reports, vol 49, no 10 , pp 9725 - 9735.
  • Alvandi, E., Wong, W., Joglekar, M., Spring, K. and Hardikar, A. (2022), 'Short-chain fatty acid concentrations in the incidence and risk-stratification of colorectal cancer : a systematic review and meta-analysis', BMC Medicine, vol 20, no 1 .
  • Sharma, D., Spring, K. and Bhaskar, S. (2021), 'Neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio in acute ischemic stroke : immunopathology, management, and prognosis', Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, vol 144, no 5 , pp 486 - 499.
  • Toh, J., Phan, K., Reza, F., Chapuis, P. and Spring, K. (2021), 'Rate of dissemination and prognosis in early and advanced stage colorectal cancer based on microsatellite instability status : systematic review and meta-analysis', International Journal of Colorectal Disease, vol 36, no 8 , pp 1573 - 1596.
  • Toh, J., Singh, P., Tangirala, V., Limmer, A. and Spring, K. (2021), 'A simple, accurate and cost-effective capillary electrophoresis test with computational methods to aid in universal microsatellite instability testing', Cells, vol 10, no 6 .
  • Toh, J., Lim, S., MacKenzie, S., Souza, P., Bokey, L., Chapuis, P. and Spring, K. (2020), 'Association between microsatellite instability status and peri-operative release of circulating tumour cells in colorectal cancer', Cells, vol 9, no 2 .
  • Gueven, N., Spring, K., Holmes, S., Ahuja, K., Eri, R., Park, A. and Fitton, J. (2020), 'Micro RNA expression after ingestion of fucoidan : a clinical study', Marine Drugs, vol 18, no 3 .
  • Lim, S., Ip, E., Ng, W., Chua, W., Asghari, R., Roohullah, A., Descallar, J., Henderson, C., Spring, K., Souza, P. and King, M. (2019), 'Health-related quality of life during chemoradiation in locally advanced rectal cancer : impacts and ethnic disparities', Cancers, vol 11, no 9 .
  • Singh, P., Souza, P., Scott, K., Hall, B., Verma, N., Toh, J., Sajinovic, M. and Spring, K. (2019), 'Biomarkers in immune checkpoint inhibition therapy for cancer patients : what is the role of lymphocyte subsets and PD1/PD-L1?', Translational Medicine Communications, .
  • Bond, C., Liu, C., Kawamata, F., McKeone, D., Fernando, W., Jamieson, S., Pearson, S., Kane, A., Woods, S., Lannagan, T., Somashekar, R., Lee, Y., Dumenil, T., Hartel, G., Spring, K., Borowsky, J., Fennell, L., Bettington, M., Lee, J., Worthley, D., Leggett, B. and Whitehall, V. (2018), 'Oncogenic BRAF mutation induces DNA methylation changes in a murine model for human serrated colorectal neoplasia', Epigenetics, vol 13, no 1 , pp 40 - 48.
  • Kalimutho, M., Sinha, D., Jeffery, J., Nones, K., Srihari, S., Fernando, W., Duijf, P., Vennin, C., Raninga, P., Nanayakkara, D., Mittal, D., Saunus, J., Lakhani, S., Lopez, J., Spring, K., Timpson, P., Gabrielli, B., Waddell, N. and Khanna, K. (2018), 'CEP55 is a determinant of cell fate during perturbed mitosis in breast cancer', EMBO Molecular Medicine, vol 10, no 9 .
  • Cutler, S., Doecke, J., Ghazawi, I., Yang, J., Griffiths, L., Spring, K., Ralph, S. and Mellick, A. (2017), 'Novel STAT binding elements mediate IL-6 regulation of MMP-1 and MMP-3', Scientific Reports, vol 7, no 1 .
  • Morosin, T., Ashford, B., Ranson, M., Gupta, R., Clark, J., Gopalakrisna Iyer, N. and Spring, K. (2016), 'Circulating tumour cells in regionally metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma : a pilot study', Oncotarget, vol 7, no 30 , pp 47111 - 47115.
  • Toh, J., de Souza, P., Lim, S., Singh, P., Chua, W., Ng, W. and Spring, K. (2016), 'The potential value of immunotherapy in colorectal cancers : review of the evidence for programmed death-1 (PD-1) inhibitor therapy', Clinical Colorectal Cancer, vol 15, no 4 , pp 285 - 291.
  • Randall-Demllo, S., Fernando, R., Brain, T., Singh Sohal, S., Cook, A., Guven, N., Kunde, D., Spring, K. and Eri, R. (2016), 'Characterisation of colonic dysplasia-like epithelial atypia in murine colitis', World Journal of Gastroenterology, vol 22, no 37 , pp 8334 - 8348.
  • Rush, A., Christiansen, J., Farrell, J., Goode, S., Scott, R., Spring, K. and Byrne, J. (2015), 'Biobank classification in an Australian setting', Biopreservation and Biobanking, vol 13, no 3 , pp 212 - 218.
  • Lim, S., Spring, K., de Souza, P., MacKenzie, S. and Bokey, E. (2015), 'Circulating tumour cells and circulating nucleic acids as a measure of tumour dissemination in non-metastatic colorectal cancer surgery', European Journal of Surgical Oncology, vol 41, no 3 , pp 309 - 314.
  • Lim, S., Chua, W., Henderson, C., Ng, W., Shin, J., Chantrill, L., Asghari, R., Lee, S., Spring, K. and de Souza, P. (2015), 'Predictive and prognostic biomarkers for neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy in locally advanced rectal cancer', Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology, vol 96, no 1 , pp 67 - 80.
  • Gasch, C., Plummer, P., Jovanovic, L., McInnes, L., Wescott, D., Saunders, C., Schneeweiss, A., Wallwiener, M., Nelson, C., Spring, K., Riethdorf, S., Thompson, E., Pantel, K. and Mellick, A. (2015), 'Heterogeneity of miR-10b expression in circulating tumor cells', Scientific Reports, vol 5 .
  • Gasch, C., Plummer, P., Jovanovic, L., McInnes, L., Wescott, D., Saunders, C., Schneeweiss, A., Wallwiener, M., Nelson, C., Spring, K., Riethdorf, S., Thompson, E., Pantel, K. and Mellick, A. (2015), 'Heterogeneity of miR-10b expression in circulating tumor cells', Scientific Reports, vol 5 .
  • Rush, A., Spring, K. and Byrne, J. (2015), 'A critical analysis of cancer biobank practices in relation to biospecimen quality', Biophysical Reviews, vol 7, no 4 , pp 369 - 378.
  • Lim, S., Ng, W., Chua, W., Descallar, J., Spring, K. and Souza, P. (2015), 'Psychological parameters and circulating tumor cells in locally advanced rectal cancer', Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology, vol 11, no Suppl. 3 , pp 57 - 57.
  • Becker, T., Caixeiro, N., Lim, S., Tognela, A., Kienzle, N., Scott, K., Spring, K. and de Souza, P. (2014), 'New frontiers in circulating tumour cell analysis : a reference guide for bimolecular profiling towards translational clinical use', International Journal of Cancer, .
  • Fernando, W., Miranda, M., Worthley, D., Togashi, K., Watters, D., Leggett, B. and Spring, K. (2014), 'The CIMP phenotype in BRAF mutant serrated polyps from a prospective colonoscopy patient cohort', Gastroenterology Research and Practice, vol 2014 .
  • Caixeiro, N., Kienzle, N., Lim, S., Spring, K., Tognela, A., Scott, K., de Souza, P. and Becker, T. (2014), 'Circulating tumour cells : a bona fide cause of metastatic cancer', Cancer and Metastasis Reviews, vol 33, no 2-3 , pp 747 - 756.
  • Lim, S., Becker, T., Chua, W., Ng, W., de Souza, P. and Spring, K. (2014), 'Circulating tumour cells and the epithelial mesenchymal transition in colorectal cancer', Journal of Clinical Pathology, vol 67, no 10 , pp 848 - 853.
  • Lim, S., Becker, T., Chua, W., Caixeiro, N., Ng, W., Kienzle, N., Tognela, A., Lumba, S., Rasko, J., de Souza, P. and Spring, K. (2014), 'Circulating tumour cells and circulating free nucleic acid as prognostic and predictive biomarkers in colorectal cancer', Cancer Letters, vol 346, no 1 , pp 24 - 33.
  • Shi, W., Bain, A., Schwer, B., Al-Ejeh, F., Smith, C., Wong, L., Chai, H., Miranda, M., Ho, U., Kawaguchi, M., Miura, Y., Finnie, J., Wall, M., Heierhorst, J., Wicking, C., Spring, K., Alt, F. and Khanna, K. (2013), 'Essential developmental, genomic stability, and tumour suppressor functions of the mouse orthologue of hSSB1/NABP2', PLoS Genetics, vol 9, no 2 .
  • Walsh, M., Buchanan, D., Pearson, S., Glendenning, M., Jenkins, M., Win, A., Walters, R., Spring, K., Nagler, B., Pavluk, E., Arnold, S., Goldblatt, J., George, J., Suthers, G., Phillips, K., Hopper, J., Jass, J., Baron, J., Ahnen, D., Thidodeau, S., Lindor, N., Parry, S., Walker, N., Rosty, C. and Young, J. (2012), 'Immunohistochemical testing of conventional adenomas for loss of expression of mismatch repair proteins in Lynch syndrome mutation carriers : a case series from the Australasian site of the colon cancer family registry', Modern Pathology, vol 25, no 5 , pp 722 - 730.
  • Rosty, C., Buchanan, D., Walsh, M., Pearson, S., Pavluk, E., Walters, R., Clendenning, M., Spring, K., Jenkins, M., Win, A., Hopper, J., Sweet, K., Frankel, W., Aronson, M., Gallinger, S., Goldblatt, J., Woodall, S., Arnold, J., Walker, N., Jass, J., Parry, S. and Young, J. (2012), 'Phenotype and polyp landscape in serrated polyposis syndrome : a series of 100 patients from genetics clinics', American Journal of Surgical Pathology, vol 36, no 6 , pp 876 - 882.

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