Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


New child cancer specialist for Auckland

New child cancer specialist for Auckland


Paediatric oncologist, Dr Andrew Wood has returned to the University of Auckland to research the genetic mistakes driving childhood leukaemias.

Dr Wood graduated from the University of Auckland’s School of Medicine, and trained as a paediatrician at Starship Children’s Hospital before going to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as a Fulbright Scholar.

His research programme will study and model the genetic mistakes driving childhood leukaemias with “the ultimate goal of finding Achille’s heels that can be exploited to treat leukaemia in new ways”.

After seven years at the United States’ number one ranked children’s hospital, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), he returned to New Zealand for family and friends and because there was a small but committed and capable team doing exciting work that he wanted to be part of.

Dr Wood specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers in children and adolescents. Alongside treating patients at Starship Children’s Hospital he will lead a research team and collaborate internationally with the aim of making childhood cancer a “stumbling block, not a road block.”

He hopes his research will contribute to the long-term aim of improving survival rates for Kiwi kids with cancer and to cure “more gently”.

Cure Kids will be a major contributor to his programme of research that is based out of the University of Auckland. His repatriation to New Zealand is also supported by the Auckland Medical Research Foundation through a Goodfellow Repatriation Fellowship.

Cure Kids CEO Vicki Lee says Dr Wood’s appointment is “a huge win for New Zealand child cancer research.”

Cancer survival rates for children are a success story of modern medicine as diseases that were once death sentences now carry an average five-year survival rate of 80 percent.

“There is no room for complacency as one in five children are still dying and survivors may bear life long physical and psychological scars from their disease and treatment,” says Dr Wood.

As survivors are now living much longer, about one in three survivors will have a late life-threatening side effect from their chemotherapy. Diseases generally seen in late adulthood - heart disease, stroke and adult cancers - may strike when survivors are only 20 to 40 years old.

“Traditional chemotherapy is like firing a shotgun at a bull’s eye - you can hit the target but you are guaranteed to damage healthy tissues,” he says. “Modern targeted therapies aspire to be more like a sniper’s rifle firing precisely at the underlying genetic mistakes that are causing the cancer.”

“Because these genetic mistakes are not present in healthy tissues these targeted therapies may be effective with fewer side effects,” says Dr Wood. “In some cancers these targeted therapies have been like watching a miracle, but for the majority of children afflicted by cancer there are no targeted therapies available.”

“We’re delighted to play a part in getting such a talented physician and scientist home. It’s vital that New Zealand stays on the cutting edge of child health research so Kiwi children can get the same level of care that children in the USA or the UK do,” says Ms Lee from Cure Kids.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Wine: 20% Of Marlborough Storage Tanks Damaged By Quake

An estimated 20 percent of wine storage tanks in the Marlborough region, the country’s largest wine producing area, have been damaged by the impact of the recent Kaikoura earthquake. More>>

ALSO:

ACC: Levy Recommendations For 2017 – 2019 Period

• For car owners, a 13% reduction in the average Motor Vehicle levy • For businesses, a 10% reduction in the average Work levy, and changes to workplace safety incentive products • For employees, due to an increase in claims volumes and costs, a 3% increase in the Earners’ levy. More>>

Women's Affairs: Government Accepts Recommendations On Pay Equity

The Government will update the Equal Pay Act and amend the Employment Relations Act to implement recommendations of the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Increase In Seasonal Workers For RSE

The current cap will be increased by 1,000 from 9,500 to 10,500 RSE workers for the 2016-17 season. Mr Woodhouse says the horticulture and viticulture industry is New Zealand’s fourth largest export industry, producing almost $5 billion in exports. More>>

ALSO:

Hurunui: Crown Irrigation Invests Up To $3.4m In North Canterbury

Crown Irrigation Investments will invest up to $3.4m in the Hurunui Water Project, an irrigation scheme that will be capable of irrigating up to 21,000 hectares on the south side of the Hurunui River in North Canterbury. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Great:Butterfly Eradication Success

The invasive pest great white butterfly has been eradicated from New Zealand in a world-first achievement, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry say. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Government’s Tax Cuts Fixation

Long before the earthquake hit, the dodginess of the government tax cuts programnme was evident in the language of its packaging. It is being touted as a “tax cuts and family care” package... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news