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Drug development

Many disciplines to address evasion of treatment

The Centre for Translational Cancer Research has investigators trained in many disciplines, ranging from biology and chemistry to oncology and surgery. As tumours have multiple ways of evading treatment and becoming resistant to chemotherapy, we need multiple ways to target the cancer throughout its progression. This requires drugs being targeted to many proteins which have diverse functions.

Three avenues of approach

Medicinal chemistry involves integrating approaches to increase effectiveness and minimise harm.

  • Better drug accessibility to cells
  • Lower required dose and increased drug safety
  • Target drugs to cancer cells only


Diagnostics, Drugs, Devices and Discovery. The D4 network at Otago is working alongside CTCR to target cancer treatments.

Bioactive Molecules

Using natural products as a start point for synthesis of compounds with significant biological activity, the Hawkins group are focusing on bioactive molecules.

Clinical trials

Clinical trials play an vital role on the pathway to offering a new drug. We work with Cancer Trials New Zealand.
Cancer Trials NZ website

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