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New Zealand Cancer Centre’s Funded for New Research and Technologies on Cancer Treatment

Cancer care centres in New Zealand are under strain due to a lack of resources and an increase in demand for their services. This demand is expected to rise significantly over the next 15 years. Despite a decrease in age-standardised cancer incidence rates, the demand for cancer services is increasing as a result of an ageing population, earlier diagnosis, improved survival rates and the availability of newer, more targeted chemotherapy medicines.

Through its scientific 2020 Grant Round, New Zealand has funded more than NZ$ 1,000,0000 in new cancer research. Among the projects funded is an Associate Professor’s research into the impact of HPV vaccination on pre-cancerous changes in cervical cancer.

The Cancer Society in New Zealand wishes to draw attention to cancer prevention by utilising new technologies and researchers for people who are diagnosed with cancer. They funded research into middle-aged drinkers’ attitudes in order to better understand and engage this group, which is at risk of developing alcohol-related cancers. Although alcohol is the most socially acceptable and widely used carcinogen, most people are unaware of the link between alcohol and cancer. The Cancer Society of New Zealand is the country’s leading organisation dedicated to lowering cancer incidence and providing the best cancer care for New Zealanders.

In addition, they have also funded research into the link between a specific virus and the risk of developing breast cancer, as well as new funding for a study of a potential new cancer treatment drug.

Cancer Society Medical Director says: “Cancer remains New Zealand’s biggest killer, and more than one in three people will die from cancer. This means we need better prevention, early detection, and treatments.” The Cancer Society is the largest private funder of cancer research in New Zealand. Over the last 10 years, invested over 52 million dollars in total into research.

“Research is the first step towards reducing the rates of cancer and improving the chance of cure. We believe that by funding cutting-edge cancer research in New Zealand, we can make a major contribution to a global problem. None of this would be possible without the generous support we receive from New Zealanders every year on Daffodil Day,” ends the Medical Director.

OpenGov Asia reported that also recently, St George’s Hospital in Christchurch has unveiled new high-tech facilities. The Governor-General officially opened the Cressy Wing, a four-storey unit with a fluorescent imaging system, on July 2, 2021. The fourth and final building to be built as part of St George’s eight-year redevelopment includes a new maternity centre, digital operating theatres, laundry, and a medical supply room.

Surgeons use advanced imaging technology to isolate small tumours and cancer cells that are invisible to the naked eye. It works by using fluorescent dye to illuminate a patient’s anatomy. St George’s is the South Island’s only private hospital that uses the system for cardiothoracic surgery. One of the first cardiothoracic surgeons in New Zealand to use the technology was a Christchurch surgeon.

“The fluorescence feature lights up the nodules, so they turn a bright green, which means we can easily pinpoint where they are and excise them during surgery. It essentially provides us with a combined diagnostic and treatment tool, using a minimally invasive procedure,” he said. It provides patients with a conclusive diagnosis a lot faster than what would previously be done.

New cancer treatment technology has also altered how doctors and patients view radiation. Many people believe that radiation therapy has an impact on and even damages healthy parts of the body surrounding cancerous tumours. Technology advancements have reduced much of that risk and transformed radiation into a safer, more effective form of treatment.

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