Pinc & Steel

Cancer Rehabilitation Trust

Our Story

The PINC and STEEL Cancer Rehabilitation Programs have been founded and developed by Lou James, Physiotherapist, and Physician and Conjoint Professor of the University of Sydney, Rod MacLeod. 

The PINC Program was previously known as the Pink Pilates Program and was pioneered and developed by Lou James in 2005. 

Lou is an experienced physiotherapist, physical trainer, pilates clinician, former NZ triathlon representative, and the founding trustee of the associated PINC & STEEL Cancer Rehabilitation Trust in New Zealand.

The PINC and STEEL Programs were started in response to Lou seeing first hand in her own physiotherapy practice, the physical and emotional toll that cancer had on the lives of the men and women affected and the people close to them. 

Lou spent four years researching and initially developing the PINC Program, to help women recovering from breast cancer surgery and treatments, and then piloted the program in her Auckland practice.

In 2008, Lou started selecting and training other Physiotherapists to deliver her program throughout New Zealand. 

In 2011 Professor Rod MacLeod joined the Board of PINC and STEEL INTERNATIONAL Ltd and helped drive the development of the male-specific STEEL Cancer Rehabilitation Program, launched in November 2011, as well as the extension of the PINC Program to cater for women recovering from all cancers. 

Professor Rod MacLeod PhD MMedEd FRCGP FAchPM is a Senior Staff Specialist in Palliative Care and Conjoint Professor of the University of Sydney, based at HammondCare’s Greenwich Hospital. Rod had been a long time advocate of the PINC Program and he has a long record of international prominence in the field of palliative care achieved through clinical practice, research, education and service. He has been involved in cancer research for the past 22 years and has conducted research into the benefits of exercise for males recovering from prostate cancer.

Today the PINC and STEEL programs are largest privately prescribed cancer rehabilitation programs in Australasia, and PINC and STEEL International Ltd is also the largest provider of Physiotherapist training for cancer rehabilitation in Australiasia. 

Prof MacLeod and Lou James hope that the PINC and STEEL Programs will help to raise awareness of the importance of prescribed rehabilitation for every person undergoing surgery or treatment for cancer.


Lou James was recognised for her work with PINC & STEEL in 2012, winning the NEXT Woman of the Year, for Service to the Community Category. The judges said, "What a dynamo. What a leader. What a difference Lou has made.  She has given so much of herself to her programs. She has enriched communities everywhere"

In 2013, Lou was awarded with a New Zealander of the Year, local hero medal and in 2014 won a national AMP Scholarship award for her pioneering work and vision for PINC & STEEL.

Prof Rod MacLeod has a key role in the delivery and development of the PINC and STEEL Certification educational training courses, as well as the PINC and STEEL professional development training programs for qualified physiotherapists in cancer rehabilitation.