Cancer research funding

University of Otago research is getting a $100,000 boost from the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation.

The foundation is dividing $200,000 between the University of Otago and the University of Auckland for projects targeting triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive form that particularly affects younger women.

In Dunedin, Associate Prof Rhonda Rosengren and her team are trying to develop a low-cost nano-medicine to treat triple negative tumour tissue.

The project would test the drug's safety and efficacy in mice, aiming for human clinical trials in two or three years' time.

''We think we have the potential to radically change the prognosis of triple negative breast cancer patients.

"The ultimate aim is an economical - less than $100 per dose - nano-medicine for clinical use in breast cancer patients,'' Prof Rosengren said.

New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation chief executive Evangelia Henderson said the foundation had been looking for projects targeting triple negative cancer, as it was very hard to treat and had high early relapse rates.

''Auckland and Otago universities have proven capabilities in drug development, so we're very excited about the potential of these projects,'' she said.

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