Dr Andrew Wood
Dr Andrew Wood
All research projects

Precision Paediatric Cancer Project

A Childhood Cancers project
Awarded $2,750,000 in funding
Over 6 years, starting in 2018 via Mission-led research

Using better information for more targeted child cancer treatment

In New Zealand, cancer is the major disease cause of death from ages 1 to 19 years. Every week, an average of 3 children and adolescents under the age of 15 years are diagnosed with cancer.

Paediatric haematologist-oncologist Dr Andy Wood from the University of Auckland, is leading the Precision Paediatric Cancer Project (PPCP). 

The project is a New Zealand first of its kind: a clinical trial jointly funded by Child Cancer Foundation and Cure Kids, that seeks to use a new diagnostic test called Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) to identify the genetic mutations causing cancer in the children who participate in the trial. If specific mutations are identified, this information will be used to treat the child’s cancer in the most targeted way possible.

Currently in New Zealand, child cancer treatment that is non-precision medicine can injure healthy cells while attempting to kill off cancerous cells. 

Life-long side effects can result, including infertility, heart problems and recurring cancer. Advances in gene sequencing (such as NGS) offer the opportunity for more precise treatment, as well as improved outcomes and quality of life for New Zealand children who have cancer

The project aims to deliver tangible benefits to approximately 25 patients and families per year through: 

• greater diagnostic precision,
• helping to ensure no appropriate therapeutic options are missed,
• better information regarding prognosis and possible cancer predisposition, and
• improved understanding of cancer and germline genetics in the New Zealand population, including Māori and Pacific peoples.

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