The search for new and better anti-cancer drugs received a significant boost this year when the Genesis Oncology Trust awarded a three-year PhD scholarship to medicinal chemist Caryn Burgess of the University of Auckland.
DMXAA is a New Zealand developed anti-cancer drug that works by attacking the blood vessels that feed the tumour. In order to maximise the effect of this drug, it is important to identify the receptor on the cancer cells which bind the drug. Biochemist Dr See-Tarn Woon has made considerable progress with this project and this grant will enable her to complete this work.
With continuing treatment many women with breast cancer now survive for five or more years. There have been suggestions that some treatments may affect mood, memory and fatigue. This study will explore through interviews, questionnaires and simple tests, if and when such side-effects are experienced, how severe they are, when they resolve and how they affect quality of life. The outcome of this research will assist women to make informed choices regarding treatment options, adopt appropriate coping strategies, and maintain their quality of life.
Palliative care is rapidly developing into a specialist field. In order to provide the best quality of life for people in the final stages of cancer, specialist training is required. A grant from the Genesis Oncology Trust will be used to provide general medical practitioners with six months training in palliative care medicine at the Mary Potter Hospice in Wellington.
Hospices provide palliative care for terminally ill cancer patients throughout New Zealand. This education project will increase knowledge and skills of doctors, nurses and co-ordinators of volunteers. Funding will be used to provide in-service education through breakfast lectures, nurse education scholarships, and printing and distribution of guidelines.
The Auckland District Health Board Hospital Palliative Care team has developed an award winning, computer based system to manage delivery of palliative care (PISCE). The grant will enable the system to be developed to a point where it can be implemented in other centres across New Zealand.
This grant will enable MidCentral Health's Regional Cancer Treatment Service to employ a Clinical Nurse Specialist to develop educational initiatives for all health providers.
New Zealand has an acute shortage of medical physicists. The New Zealand branch of the Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine, in conjunction with the Clinical Training Agency, has developed a 5-year training programme for medical physicists. The trainee physicists (registrars) are attached to a hospital for the five years. During the training the registrars are required to take a one year university MSc course (unpaid). Grants from the Genesis Oncology Trust will be used to provide scholarships for this part of the training.
In New Zealand, one in every 12 women will develop breast cancer and the incidence is increasing. Chemotherapy has been shown to reduce the relative risk of recurrence after surgery by 30% and can produce responses in 50% of patients with metastatic breast cancer. However, the development of drug resistance is responsible for the failure of chemotherapy in 50% of patients. This grant will be used to investigate the causes of the development of drug resistance so that more effective treatments can be developed.
The Palliative Care Handbook is a valuable resource for those who care for the terminally ill. Written by a clinical pharmacist and two palliative care consultants, it contains symptom control guidelines and drug information to aid in the care of dying patients. It is also used as a teaching aid for medical and nursing students. This grant will be used to update and reprint this valuable resource.
Support the attendance of an overseas speaker to the International P53 Workshop in New Zealand.
To attend an advanced pain and symptom management course in the United Kingdom.
To undertake courses in oncoplastic breast surgery.
To attend the 2004 Annual Conference of the Society of Clinical Research Associates in Canada.
To complete Graduate Diploma in Palliative Care (Adelaide).
To attend the World Conference on Health Promotion and Health Education in Melbourne.