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Stan Walker helped by Biochemistry research

Tuesday 27 March 2018 1:53pm

Picture of singer Stan Walker from the documentary 'Stan'.

In a documentary screened last Sunday, the singer Stan Walker shared his roller coaster ride dealing with his family’s legacy of inherited stomach cancer.

Thanks to research lead by the Otago Department of Biochemistry’s Professor Parry Guilford, the mutation leading to the cancer was identified some time ago.

Members of families with this type of cancer can now be tested for the mutation, and if they have it, they can choose to have their stomachs removed to prevent developing cancer.

You can watch the documentary here (you will need to log in, but this only requires an email address):

Stan: His Inspirational Journey

(See if you can spot some footage of a very young Professor Guildford at the lab bench.)

More recently, Prof Guilford has been growing tiny "stomachs" in the lab to test new anticancer drugs on. Called organoids, the micro-stomachs are tiny tissue cultures that can only be seen through a microscope.

Read more about this research in the NZ Herald:

Stan Walker's stomach cancer: Scientist who discovered faulty gene makes stomachs in lab

You can also read a recent interview with Prof Guilford here:

Science Made Simple: Parry Guilford on cancer