A top medical researcher says many patients decline vital genetic tests out of fear they could lose their insurance cover because of it.
Auckland University Centre for Cancer Research acting director Professor Andrew Shelling said that was wrong and it must stop.
He’s part of a group of clinicians, researchers and patient advocates who are calling for a ban on insurers accessing New Zealanders’ genetic test results.
Professor Shelling spoke to Corin Dann.
Genomic discrimination in New Zealand health and life insurance. AGenDA: Against Genomic Discrimination in Aotearoa
Genetic testing to detect risk for conditions like certain cancers, and cardiac or neurological conditions can save lives through early preventative interventions and/or improved targeted therapy.
Over the past 3 years, your support has funded the THYmine2 clinical study. The study is investigating an innovative new test to identify if a patient undergoing treatment for gut cancers is at risk of life-threatening side effects. Lead investigator Dr Nuala Helsby discusses the difference the test could make, and the importance of your support in making it happen. Funding from the CCR Li Family Funding Round enabled this research to succeed and we are so proud of the researchers involved and their award of further funding.
Update on what the Centre for Cancer Research has been up to.
In the past decade, cancer research undertaken at the University of Auckland has changed lives. Our top scientists say it has now entered the next frontier and there’s hope that cancer could eventually be brought under control.
Cristin Print, professor in molecular medicine and pathology, has won a prestigious award for cancer research in Aotearoa New Zealand.
New Zealand can now foot it globally when it comes to advanced clinical trials of the latest cancer drugs. More importantly, trials are saving the lives of patients who had lost hope.
When children have cancer, one of the biggest daily challenges is feeding them. The cancer itself often causes weight loss. Cancer treatment can make children feel nauseous and lose their appetites just when they should be getting better nutrition to help them through the rigours of treatment.
Blood cancers aren’t like other cancers. There’s no lump that can be excised, no solid tumour that can be easily targeted for radiation. Because blood flows through your whole body, so does blood cancer. Many of the symptoms these cancers produce – fatigue, fever, swollen lymph nodes, bruising – are easily mistaken for something else.
Pharmac has been accused of institutional racism and breaching the Treaty of Waitangi for funding drugs for melanoma, but not lung cancer – a disease responsible for a disproportionately high number of cancer deaths among Māori.