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Cancer research showcase—wait there's more!

Tuesday 3 November 2015 4:03pm

Otago Spotlight Series: Cancer Research

Over 16 University of Otago researchers presented bite-sized, lay-friendly snapshots of their research at the cancer coalface in New Zealand.

We were delighted with the attendance and now we can share those recorded presentations with a wider audience.
Jump to our recorded presentations

We showcased both our internationally recognised and distinguished scientists alongside award-winning emerging researchers whose fingers are on the pulse of reducing the incidence and impact of cancer.
Our programme covered:

  • Unlocking the vulnerabilities of cancer cells
  • Diagnosis and treatment advances
  • Minimizing side effects of cancer therapy
  • Screening, and health spending
  • Social and behavioural factors
  • Personal dimensions of cancer journeys

Finalists of the student poster competition presented their research too.
Jump to our recorded presentations

Attendees were able to meet with researchers, and to contribute their views on the cancer priorities for New Zealand via the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge.
Email healthier.lives@otago.ac.nz if you wish to share your views on cancer priorities.

Parry, Di and Sarah
Esteemed researchers Professor Parry Guilford, Associate Professor Di Sarfati, and Associate Professor Sarah Young, all presented their work and chaired the sessions.

Rose Richards Hessell presenting to the audience
Dr Rose Richards Hessell, Co-director of the Cancer Society Social and Behavioural Research Unit, kicks off the research presentations with her work on What does the public know about preventing cancer?

Presentations available for viewing

We have videos (about 15 mins each) and the presenter's slides for most of the programme.

Cancer Overview

Professor Parry Guilford
OSSCR Parry Guilford overview tnDirector, Centre for Translational Cancer Research, Department of Biochemistry, Otago School of Medical Sciences, An interim deputy director of Healthier Lives National Science Challenge, and Chief Scientific Officer of Pacific Edge.

Cancer Overview (video recording)
Cancer Overview (PDF 512KB)

What does the public know about preventing cancer?

Dr Rose Richards Hessell
OSSCR Rose Richards Hessell tnCo-Director, Cancer Society Social and Behavioural Research Unit, Department of Preventive & Social Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine.
Topic: Public knowledge and understanding of what they can do to prevent cancer.

What does the public know about preventing cancer? (video recording)
What does the public know about preventing cancer? (PDF 830KB)

Vaccinating against cancer

Associate Professor Sarah Young
OSSCR Sarah Young tnHead of Department, Department of Pathology, Dunedin School of Medicine.
Topic: Vaccines against cancer.

Vaccinating against cancer (video recording)

Genetic health for personalised cancer care and prevention

Dr Logan Walker
OSSCR Logan Walker tnRutherford Discovery Fellow, HRC Hercus Health Research Fellowship holder and Senior Research Fellow, The Mackenzie Cancer Research Group, Department of Pathology, University of Otago, Christchurch.
Topic: Improving familial risk assessment by providing new knowledge and new tools for genetic screening, particularly for breast and ovarian cancer.

Genetic health for personalised cancer care and prevention (video recording)
Genetic health for personalised cancer care and prevention (PDF 1.4MB)

The gene that stops cancer

Professor Antony Braithwaite
OSSCR Antony Braithwaite tnJames Cook Research Fellow, Research Professor, Department of Pathology, Dunedin School of Medicine.
Topic: The gene that stops cancer.

The gene that stops cancer (video recording)
The gene that stops cancer (PDF 2.8MB)

Molecularly-informed treatment strategies in breast and ovarian cancer

Dr Heather Cunliffe
Heather Cunliffe tnSenior Lecturer, Department of Pathology, Dunedin School of Medicine.
Topic: Discovery and validation of biomarkers to empower evidence-based treatment selection for patients with aggressive subtypes of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Molecularly-informed treatment strategies in breast and ovarian cancer (video recording)
Molecularly-informed treatment strategies in breast and ovarian cancer (PDF 5.4MB)

Transforming existing drugs, one more step in the fight against cancer

Dr Khaled Greish
OSSCR Khaled Greish tn2Senior Lecturer, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Otago School of Medical Sciences

Transforming existing drugs, one more step in the fight against cancer (video recording)
Transforming existing drugs, one more step in the fight against cancer (PDF 3.5MB)

Finding cancer's vulnerabilities

Professor Parry Guilford
OSSCR Parry Guilford fcv tnDirector, Centre for Translational Cancer Research, Department of Biochemistry, Otago School of Medical Sciences.
Topic: Our research programme that aims to identify drugs for the chemoprevention and treatment of specific subtypes of breast and gastric cancer.

Finding cancer's vulnerabilities (video recording)
Finding cancer's vulnerabilities (PDF 375KB)

The Healthier Lives National Science Challenge

Professor Parry Guilford
OSSCR Parry Guilford HLNSC tnDirector, Centre for Translational Cancer Research, Department of Biochemistry, Otago School of Medical Sciences.
Topic: The rapid response to cancer progression.

Healthier Lives National Science Challenge: The rapid response to cancer progression (video recording)
Healthier Lives National Science Challenge: The rapid response to cancer progression (PDF 370KB)

Health gain and cost-effectiveness in cancer prevention and management 

Professor Tony Blakely
OSSCR Tony Blakely tnResearch Professor and Director of Health Inequalities Research Programme (HIRP), and The Burden of Disease Epidemiology, Equity and Cost-Effectiveness Programme (BODE3), with Dr Nisha Nair Senior Research Fellow.
Topic: We will present modelling results for health gain and cost-effectiveness for preventing cancer by enhancing tobacco control (particularly tobacco tax). Similarly, for providing HPV vaccination for girls and boys. The cost-effectiveness of various cancer treatment and management interventions will also be described – including for cancer care coordinators. We will also detail recent work on the OSSCR Nisha Nair tncost of cancer in New Zealand.

Tony Blakely: Health gain and cost-effectiveness in cancer prevention and management (video recording)
Nisha Nair: Health gain and cost-effectiveness in cancer prevention and management (video recording)
Health gain and cost-effectiveness in cancer prevention and management (PDF 2.9MB)

Improving patient outcomes in colorectal cancer care

Dr Chris Jackson
Senior Lecturer, Department of Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine, and oncologist for Southern District Health Board.
Topic: Our research examines the delivery and implementation of colorectal cancer care to identify how we can improve health services in order to deliver the best outcomes for patients across the country.

(Chris Jackson's material is currently unavailable)

Cancer, comorbidity and care

Associate Professor Di Sarfati
OSSCR Di Sarfati tnCo-Head of Department, Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington, and Director of Cancer Control and Screening Research Group.
Topic: Our research investigates the interactions between comorbidity and cancer, with a particular focus on how both care and outcomes can be improved for cancer patients in New Zealand.

Cancer, comorbidity and care (video recording)
Cancer, comorbidity and care (PDF 1.6 MB)

Inequalities in testicular cancer

Dr Jason Gurney
OSSCR Jason Gurney tnOtago Early Career award winner and Senior Research Fellow, Cancer Control and Screening Research Group, Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington.
Topic: Ethnic inequities in testicular cancer incidence and mortality: a mystery to be solved.

Inequalities in testicular cancer (video recording)
Inequalities in testicular cancer (PDF 4.5MB)

Presentations by students

Poster competition finalists (PhD and masters' students) give a two-minute presentation of their research to sway the judges in their favour!

OSSCR Ruth Cunningham tnRuth Cunningham

Estimating the effect of recent serious mental illness on breast cancer survival (video recording)

OSSCR Christina Ernst tnChristina Ernst

The role of ascorbate in controlling hypoxia factors in renal cell carcinoma (video recording)

OSSCR Chris Hakkaart tnChristopher Hakkaart

Screening for predisposition for gastric cancer (video recording)

OSSCR Connie Gilfillan tnConnie Gilfillan, Poster Competition Winner

Cross-presenting dendritic cells are necessary for anti-tumour immunotherapy by m.smegmatis and monosodium urate crystals (video recording)

Reducing skin damage in radiation therapy

Associate Professor Patries Herst
OSSCR Patries Herst tnDepartment of Radiation Therapy, University of Otago, Wellington.
Topic: Development and use of silicon dressings to reduce skin damage for those undergoing radiation therapy.

Reducing skin damage in radiation therapy (video recording)
Reducing skin damage in radiation therapy (PDF 905KB))

Psycho-social-spiritual dimensions of care

Dr Richard Egan
OSSCR Richard Egan tnSenior Lecturer, Cancer Society Social and Behavioural Research Unit, Department of Preventive & Social Medicine, Dunedin School of Medicine.
Topic: A cancer diagnosis impacts the whole person and family/whanau: physically, psychologically, socially and spirituality. Our work focuses on the psycho-social-spiritual dimensions of care in cancer and hospice / palliative care.

Psycho-social-spiritual dimensions of care (video recording)
Psycho-social-spiritual dimensions of care (PDF 1.4 MB)