Cancer researchers to focus on inequities between Māori and non-Māori in New Zealand

Researchers from several universities are coming together to tackle cancer in New Zealand, where they will in part be looking at inequities in cancer that are most significant between Māori and non-Māori.

Source: 1 NEWS

The researchers have been awarded a $2 million grant by the Cancer Society in a bid to better tackle the leading cause of death in New Zealand.

According to a press release from Otago University, four cancer research groups within the University of Otago have joined together with Massey University and Victoria University of Wellington to become the Cancer Society Research Collaboration (CSRC).

The collaboration will be led by senior Otago staff: Professors Janet Hoek, Diana Sarfati and Louise Signal, Associate Professor Sue Crengle and Drs Richard Egan and Rachael McLean.

Dr McLean says the research collaboration is an exciting development in the fight against cancer in New Zealand.

"The University of Otago is delighted to be working with the Cancer Society in this ambitious new programme of work.

Otago researchers leading the new Cancer Society Research Collaboration are (from left); Associate Professor Sue Crengle, Dr Rachael McLean, Professor Diana Sarfati, Dr Richard Egan, Professors Louise Signal and Janet Hoek. Source: Supplied

"It’s establishment is very timely as the Minister of Health is poised to release a new Cancer Plan for New Zealand."

Associate Professor Sue Crengle says New Zealand has well documented inequities in cancer, the most significant between Māori and non-Māori.

The collaboration has a particular focus on finding ways to eliminate these differences.

"The collaborative aims to reduce both the incidence and impact of cancer in New Zealand and to reduce inequities," Professor Crengle says.

Cancer is the leading cause of death globally and in New Zealand accounted for a third of all this country’s deaths in 2015.

New Zealand has some of the highest incidence rates of breast, bowel, prostate and melanoma skin cancer in the world.