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A Wellington PhD student has been recognised for her research into a designer vaccine for cancer treatment.
Dianne Sika-Paotonu, of the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research at Victoria University of Wellington, has been awarded the 2008 Colmar Brunton New Zealand Research Excellence Award.
Ms Sika-Paotonu's research has shown the cancer killing immune response generated by a particular vaccine was significantly improved when it was used in combination with a unique sea sponge extract.
By identifying ways to maximise the vaccine's anti-tumour immune response, the research offers the promise of a more effective cancer therapy without the side effects of current treatments.