Research Interests

Ben’s research interests are in clinical trials and immunotherapy. He has extensive experience managing patients on clinical trials across a wide spectrum of cancers. In addition to his hospital appointments, he is an Oncology Research Fellow with the Neuro-Oncology Cooperative Trials Group at the National Health and Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Centre.

He completed a PhD in cancer immunology through the University of Sydney with the Dendritic Cell Research Group at the ANZAC Research Institute where his research was focussed on evaluating dendritic cell vaccination for use in treating human cancers.

Research Appointments

The University of Sydney
Clinical Lecturer
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National Health and Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Centre (NHMRC CTC)
Oncology Clinical Research Fellow
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2019 – Present

Awards & Achievements

Sydney Catalyst Top-Up Scholarship (valued at $19,000 over two years) 2017
Australian Postgraduate Award, University of Sydney Merit Award (valued at $15,000 over three years, merit-based award based on academic record) 2016
Australian Postgraduate Award for PhD in Chemistry (declined to enrol in MBBS) 2002
RAASN DAO Prize (highest ranked student entering Physical Chemistry Honours), University of Sydney 2001


Presentation: “Big Data and Personalised Medicine in Clinical Trials”
HealthTech Sydney
Interview: “Race Against Time for Kids with Brain Cancer”.
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Publications & Presentations

  • Publications
    • Kong BY, Sim H-W, Barnes EH, Nowak AK, Hovey EJ, Jeffree R, Harrup R, Parkinson J, Gan HK, Pinkham MB, Yip S, Hall M, Tu E, Carter C, Koh E-S, Lwin A, Dowling A, Simes JS, Gedye C. “Multi-Arm Glioblastoma Australia (MAGMA): protocol for a multiarm randomised clinical trial for people affects by glioblastoma” BMJ Open 2022 12:e058107.
    • Kong BY, Sim HW, Nowak AK, Yip S, Barnes EH, Day BW, Buckland ME, Verhaak R, Johns T, Robinson C, Thomas MA, Giardina T, Lwin Z, Scott AM, Parkinson JK, Jeffree R, de Abreu Lourenco R, Hovery J, Cher M, Kichendasse G, Khasraw M, Hall M, Tu E, Amanuel B, Koh E-S, Gan HK “LUMOS – Low and Intermediate Grade Glioma Umbrella Study of Molecular Guided Therapies at relapse”. BMJ Open Dec 2021.
    • Kong BY, Carter C, Nowak A, Hovery E, Lwin Z, Hahighi N, Gan HK, Sim H-W, Ziegler DS, Barton K, Parkinson J, Leonard R, Khasraw M, Foote M “Barriers and potential solutions to international collaboration in neuro-oncology clinical trials: Challenges from the Australian perspective”. Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology 2022: 18, 259-266.
    • Fromm PD, Silveira PA, Hsu J, Papadimitrious M, Lo TH, Ju X, Kupresanin F, Romano A, Hsu W- H, Bryant C, Kong BY, Abadir E, Mekkawy A, McGuire H, Fazekas de St Growth B, Cunningham I, Newman E, Gibson J, Hogarth M, Hart DNJ, Clark GJ “Distinguishing Human Peripheral Blood CD16+ Myeloid Cells Based on Phenotypic and Functional Characteristics”. Journal of Leucocyte Biology Accepted 8th Nov 2019.
    • Kong BY, Bolton H, Kim JW, Silveira PA, Fromm PD, Clark GJ, “On The Other Side: Manipulating the Immune Checkpoint Landscape of Dendritic Cells to Enhance Cancer Immunotherapy”. Frontiers in Oncology; EPub 2019: 6 Feb.
    • Eroglu Z, Zaretsky JM, Hu-Lieskovan S, Kim DW, Algazi A, Johnson DB, Liniker E, Kong B, Munhoz R, Rapisuwon S, Gherardini PF, Chmielowski B, Wang X, Shintaku IP, Wei C, Sosman JA, Joseph RW, Postow MA, Carlino MS, Hwu WJ, Scolyer RA, Messina J, Cochran AJ, Long GV, Ribas A, “High response rate to PD-1 blockade in desmoplastic melanomas” Nature, 553:347- 350.
    • Bryant CE, Sutherland S, Kong B, Papadimitrious MS, Fromm PD, Hart DNJ “Dendritic cells as cancer therapeutics” Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology. EPub 2018: 21 Mar.
    • Hsu JL, Bryant CE, Papadimitrious MS, Kong B, Gasiorowski RE, Orellana D, McGuire HM, Groth BFS, Joshua DE, Ho PJ, Larsen S, Iland HJ, Gibson J, Clark GJ, Fromm PD, Hart DN, “A blood dendritic cell vaccine for acute myeloid leukemia expands anti-tumor T cell responses at remission”. Oncoimmunology. EPub 2018: 25 Jan.
    • Long GVL, Atkinson V, Cebon JS, Jameson MB, Fitzharris BM, McNeil CM, Hill AG, Ribas A,
    • Atkins MB, Thompson JA, Hwu WJ, Hodi FS, Menzies AM, Guminski AD, Kefford R, Kong BY, Tamjid B, Srivastava A, Lomax AJ, Islam M, Shu X, Ebbinghaus S, Ibrahim N, Carlino MS, “Standard-dose pembrolizumab in combination with reduced-dose ipilimumab for patients with advanced melanoma: the open-label, phase 1b KEYNOTE-029 study”. Lancet Oncology, 18(9):1202-1210.
    • Vilain RE, Menzies AM, Wilmott JS, Kakavand H, Madore J, Guminski A, Liniker E, Kong BY, Cooper AJ, Howle JR, Saw RPM, Jakrot V, Lo S, Thompson JF, Carlino MS, Kefford RF, Long GV, Scolyer RA, “Dynamic changes in PD-L1 expression and immune infiltrates during treatment predict response to PD-1 blockade in melanoma”. Clin Cancer Res, 23(17):5024-5033.
    • Hwang SJ, Kong BY, Chou S, Wakade D, Carlino MS, Fernandez-Penas P, “Acute truncal lymphoedema secondary to axillary metastatic melanoma presenting like cellulitis”. Case Reports in Medicine, 201:5462929. EPub 2017: Jan 15.
    • Naidoo J, Wang X, Woo KM, Iyriboz T, Halpenny D, Cunningham J, Chaft JE, Segal NH, Callahan MK, Lesokhin AM, Rosenberg J, Voss MH, Rudin CM, Rizvi H, Hou X, Rodriguez K, Albano M, Gordon RA, Leduc C, Rekhtman N, Harris B, Menzies AM, Guminski AD, Carlino MS, Kong BY, Wolchok JD, Postow MA, Long GV, Hellman MD, “Pneumonitis in patients treated with anti- programmed death-1/programmed death ligand 1 therapy”. J Clin Oncol 305:709-717.
    • Bowyer S, Prithviraj P, Lorigan P, Larkin J, McArthur G, Atkinson V, Millward M, Khou M, Diem S, Ramanujam S, Kong B, Liniker E, Guminski A, Parente P, Andrews MC, Parakh S, Cebon J, Long GV, Carlino MS, Klein O, “Efficacy and toxicity of treatment with the anti-CTLA-4 antibody ipilimumab in patients with metastatic melanoma after prior anti-PD-1 therapy”. British J Cancer, 114(10):1084-9.
    • Kong BY, Menzies AM, Saunders CAB, Liniker E, Ramanujam S, Guminski A, Kefford RF, Long GV, Carlino MS, “Residual FDG-PET metabolic activity in metastatic melanoma patients with prolonged response to anti-PD-1 therapy”. Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research, 29(5):572-577.
    • Kong BY, Micklethwaite KP, Swaminathan S, Kefford RF, Carlino MS, “Autoimmune haemolytic anemia induced by anti PD-1 therapy in metastatic melanoma”. Melanoma Research. 26(2):202- 204.
    • Hwang SJ, Carlos G, Wakade D, Byth K, Kong BY, Chou S, Carlino MS, Kefford R, Fernandez- Penas P, “Cutaneous adverse events of anti-programmed cell death 1 therapy in patients with metastatic melanoma: A single-institution cohort”. J Am Acad Derm. 74(3):455-461 Epub 2016: Jan 12.
    • Kong BY, Carlino MS, Menzies AM, “The biology and treatment of BRAF mutant metastatic melanoma”, Melanoma Management 3(1):33-45.
    • Clarke RJ, Apell H-J, Kong BY, “Allosteric Effect of ATP on Na+, K+-ATPase Conformation Kinetics”, Biochemistry, 46:7034-7044.
    • Buhagiar KA, Hansen PS, Kong BY, Clarke RJ, Fernandes C, Rasmussen HH, “Dietary cholesterol alters Na+/K+ selectivity at intracellular Na+/K+ pump sites in cardiac myocytes” Am J Physiol Cell Physiol, 286(2): C398-405.
    • Kong BY, Clarke RJ, “Identification of potential regulatory sites of the Na+,K+-ATPase by kinetic analysis”, Biochemistry, 43(8):2241-50.
    • Hansen PS, Buhagiar KA, Kong BY, Clarke RJ, Gray DF, Rasmussen HH, “Dependence of Na+, K+ pump current-voltage relationship on intracellular Na+, K+, and Cs+ in rabbit cardiac myocytes”, Am J Physiol Cell Physiol, 283(5):C1511-21.
    • Kong BY, Carter C, Nowak AK, Hovey E, Lwin Z, Haghighi N, Gan, HK, Sim H-W, Ziegler DS, Barton K, Parkinson J, Leonard R, Khasraw M, Foote M” Barriers and potential solutions to international collaboration in neuro-oncology clinical trials: Challenges from the Australian perspective”.Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology 24 June 2021
  • Presentations
    • Kong BY, Kim JW, Fromm PD, Bui KT, Linton A, Kaufman K, Beale PJ, Buckland M, Clark GJ“The immune landscape of blood dendritic cells in glioblastoma multiforme: implications for DC vaccination combined with checkpoint inhibition”, Oral presentation at the 2018 Society for Neuro-Oncology Annual Scientific Meeting, New Orleans, USA
    • Kong BY, Kim JW, Fromm PD, Bui KT, Linton A, Kaufman K, Beale PJ, Buckland M, Clark GJ, “In vitro evaluation of DC vaccination combined with immune checkpoint inhibition for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) using patient derived peripheral leucocytes”, Oral presentation at Neuro-Oncology Co-operative Trials Group Annual Scientific Meeting, October 2018, Brisbane, Australia.
    • Kong BY, Fromm PD, Kim JW, Linton A, Bui KT, Kaufman K, Buckland M, Beale PJ, Clark G, “Translation of dendritic cells in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)”, Oral presentation at Sydney Catalyst Postgraduate and Early Career Researcher Symposium, April 2018, Sydney, Australia
    • Kong BY, Saunders CAB, Liniker EL, Ramanujam S, Kefford RF, Guminski A, Menzies AM, Long GV, Carlino MS, “Metabolic activity in metastatic melanoma after long-term treatment with anti-PD-1 antibodies”. Oral presentation at European Cancer Congress, October 2015, Vienna, Austria
    • Kong BY, Saunders CAB, Liniker EL, Ramanujam, Kefford RF, Scolyer RA, Guminski A, Menzies AM, Long GV, Carlino MS, “FDG-PET Metabolic activity in metastatic melanoma after long-term treatment with anti-PD-1 antibodies”, Oral presentation at Medical Oncology Group of Australia, Annual Scientific Meeting, May 2015, Hobart, Australia
    • Kong BY, Wong M, “Treatment related thrombocytopenia as a prognostic factor in glioblastoma multiforme”, Poster presentation, COGNO ASM (Neuro-Oncology Co-operative Trials Group) October 2014, Melbourne, Australia

Location & Contact

Prince of Wales Hospital – Nelune Comprehensive Cancer Centre
Services: Lung cancer, head and neck cancer
Corner Avoca & High St Randwick, NSW, 2031
(02) 9382 5111
Sydney Medical Oncology
Services: Genitourinary (prostate and bladder), lung cancer, general oncology and 2nd opinions
The Poche Centre, Suite 3 & 4, Level 2, 40 Rocklands Rd, Wollstonecraft, NSW, 2065
Sydney Medical Oncology Website
(02) 9911 7258