Science Media Centre

Science Media Centre

Reflections On Science

Can we eradicate cervical cancer in New Zealand? – Peter Sykes

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on April 27th, 2018.

Last month, Australian media ran articles predicting Australia would be the first country in the world to eradicate cervical cancer. University of Otago’s Associate Professor Peter Sykes asks whether that’s realistic and if it could be achieved in New Zealand. An excerpt (read in full): We can prevent cervical cancer by preventing the HPV infection. […]

Alcohol industry misleads public on cancer link – Expert Reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on September 8th, 2017.

A UK study has found that alcohol industry groups misrepresent the alcohol-related risk of cancer in public information. By surveying websites and documents from 27 alcohol industry organisations, including Australia’s Drinkwise, the researchers found denial and misrepresentation of the cancer risk from consuming alcohol, and distraction from the effects of alcohol on common cancers like […]

Low Vitamin C speeds up leukaemia in mice – Expert Reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on August 22nd, 2017.

US researchers have uncovered a reason why low vitamin C may speed up the development of leukaemia in mice.  Unlike humans, mice can make vitamin C in their bodies, but the researchers genetically engineered mice so they couldn’t any longer — making them reliant on vitamin C from food. These mice had higher rates of […]

Inside the immunotherapy revolution – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on May 30th, 2017.

New Zealand researchers are at the forefront of the latest war on cancer: immunotherapy. NZ Herald science reporter Jamie Morton goes inside the revolution. An excerpt (read in full…) “Let’s not mince words: it’s a barn-storming, breathless revolution.” Professor Graham Le Gros doesn’t mean to come off sounding over the top. It’s just he’s palpably […]

Te Kiri Gold scrutiny – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on April 10th, 2017.

A water-based tonic that is claimed to help treat cancer has been put under a critical spotlight by reporters at the NZ Herald and the Waikato Times. Te Kiri Gold is marketed by Taranaki dairy farmer Vernon Coxhead as an organic liquid that acts in a similar way to the body’s immune system. But at $100 […]

Lifestyle changes could cut bowel cancer burden – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on December 16th, 2016.

Targeting six lifestyle factors could considerably reduce bowel cancer rates, according to a new study investigating risk factors for the disease. Published today in the New Zealand Medical Journal, the study examined the bowel cancer risk factors associated with obesity, alcohol consumption, smoking and consuming red and processed meat – plus the benefits associated with […]

Sunglasses not up to scratch – Expert Reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on August 26th, 2016.

A new study suggests sunglasses’ UV filters need to be more rigorously tested as the current test is unrealistic, especially for people living in the Southern Hemisphere. The Brazilian-led research, published in Biomedical Engineering Online, found the ageing test used to determine safety standards for sunglasses was not sufficient to ensure protection for the average […]

Anti-cancer vaccines – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on August 25th, 2016.

New Zealand scientists are preparing to move to human clinical trials on a vaccine they hope will aid in the treatment of bowel cancer. The University of Otago researchers studying a potential vaccine for colorectal cancer presented their findings at a Melbourne conference this week. PhD candidate Braeden Donaldson said the vaccine worked differently from […]

Pharmac confirms funding for melanoma drug – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on August 3rd, 2016.

Drug-buying agency Pharmac officially announced funding for the melanoma treatment Keytruda on Tuesday. It followed a provisional decision in June to fund the drug and funding for the alternate Opdivo (nivolumab). Pharmac had previously said it had received mixed advice on the long-term benefits of Keytruda (pembrolizumab), but operations director Sarah Fitt said new evidence […]

‘Very hot’ drinks probably cause cancer, coffee redeemed – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on June 16th, 2016.

The World Health Organization’s cancer agency has found no conclusive evidence that coffee causes cancer but that drinking very hot drinks (65 °C or above) probably causes cancer of the oesophagus. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said the finding suggests that it is the temperature of drinks rather than the drinks themselves […]

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