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Cancer Society announces over $1m in new research to combat cancer

The Cancer Society of New Zealand has funded more than $1,000,000 in new research to combat cancer through its scientific 2020 Grant Round.

Among the projects funded include research into the impact of HPV vaccination on pre-cancerous changes in cervical cancer, led by Associate Professor Peter Sykes.

The Cancer Society also wants to focus attention on preventing cancer. Alcohol is our most socially acceptable and widely used carcinogen, yet most people don't fully understand the relationship between alcohol and cancer. We funded research into understanding the attitudes of middle age drinkers to better understand and engage this group who are at risk of developing alcohol-related cancers.

In addition, we have funded research looking at the relationship between a specific virus and the risk of developing breast cancer and new funding for a study of a potential new drug for cancer treatment.

Cancer Society Medical Director Dr Chris Jackson 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, we 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 Dr Chris Jackson.

Read more:

Detailed summaries of the funded 2020 Grant Round research projects here available on our website:


Background information:

About the 2020 Grant Round
The Cancer Society is a major funder of life-saving and world-class cancer research through our Research Grants Programme. We consider proposals from prominent and well-published researchers aimed at preventing, detecting and treating cancer more effectively.

The National Scientific Advisory Committee, with oncology and public health experts, assessed 41 applications. The 2020 Grant Round progress was impacted by Covid-19 related delays. The Cancer Society Board has entered into funding agreements for six project grants, one post-doctoral fellowship, and one PhD scholarship.

The members of the National Scientific Advisory Committee are: Dr Melanie McConnell (Chair) Professor Peter Browett, Professor Bridget Robinson, Professor Chris Bullen, Professor Richard Edwards, Associate Professor Gabi Dachs, Dr Moana Tercel, Dr Sharon Pattison and Dr Chris Jackson


For more information:

To schedule an interview with Dr Chris Jackson or one of the researchers, please contact:

Linda Heerink
Communications Advisor Cancer Society of New Zealand
021 757 603

About the Cancer Society of New Zealand
The Cancer Society of New Zealand is the country's leading organisation dedicated to reducing the incidence of cancer and ensuring the best cancer care for New Zealanders. We are committed to working with communities and decision makers by providing leadership and advocacy in cancer control, with core services in information and support, research and health promotion.