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Funding for cancer projects announced

The New Zealand government has committed NZ$2.7 million to fund three cancer research projects.

The projects will investigate bowel cancer, palliative care and prostate cancer, and will be undertaken by researchers at Auckland and Massey universities over the next three years.

“This research will build our knowledge of the incidence and impact of these particular cancers in New Zealand, and how health professionals from primary care through to specialists work together delivering treatment,” said Tony Ryall, the health minister, in a statement on 31 October.

An Auckland University team has been awarded NZ$1m to study patient outcomes from colorectal cancer. The project has been described as the largest and most comprehensive study of patient outcomes from colorectal cancer undertaken in New Zealand.

Massey University researchers have received NZ$800,000 to look at more efficient palliative care for cancer patients.

The research will involve a partnership between Massey University, Palmerston North and clinical partners at Arohanui Hospice, the National Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient (LCP) Office New Zealand, and Te Wakahuia o Manawatu Trust.

The third grant, worth $900,000, will fund a study of screening programmes for prostate cancer by an Auckland University team based at the Waikato Clinical School.

The research team will investigate the complications of screening for prostate cancer, comparing indigenous and non-indigenous populations, and estimate the costs of care to individuals and the health service.