Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in New Zealand women. Māori women have a high incidence of breast cancer – one of the highest rates in the world. Cancer outcomes are also of concern, with New Zealand having poorer outcomes compared with the outcomes for women in Australia.
Māori women have about twice the death rate from breast cancer as compared with New Zealand European women. Pacifica women also have higher rates of breast cancer, are more likely to be diagnosed at a younger age, with more aggressive types of cancer and are more likely to die from their breast cancer.
The team have were responsible for a major study funded by Health Research Council entitled “Improving outcomes from breast cancer in New Zealand women.” As well as yielding a number of publications, the study supported two PhD scholarships – one through the University of Waikato and one through the University of Auckland.
Since then there have been two further key projects which are being led by Dr Chunhuan Lao
- Costs of Breast Cancer in NZ (funded by HRC partnership with Breast Cancer Foundation)
- Variations in the management and outcomes of women with metastatic breast cancer (funded by Breast Cancer Foundation)
These two projects both record linkage studies, using the Combined Breast Cancer Register, Pharmaceutical Collection (PHARMS), National Minimum Dataset, National Non-admitted Patient Collection and Mortality collection. The purpose of the costing project is to quantify the resources used for breast cancer management in New Zealand and provide up-to-date and detailed costing data, including assessing the cost of breast cancer over time. The results of this project will inform healthcare planning such as decisions to introduce new treatment regimens and cost-effectiveness analyses of new treatments for breast cancer. The detailed comparison of resources used and costs between different ethnic groups will also guide healthcare planners for better resource allocation to reduce inequities in breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, and health outcomes. The metastatic breast cancer will help us understand the variations in the management and outcomes of women with metastatic breast cancer, especially between women with de novo metastatic breast cancer and women with recurrent breast cancer. The detailed Combined Breast Cancer Register data will allow us to understand the impact of treatment accounting for differences in age, ethnicity, biomarker type, sites of metastases, comorbidities, etc.
The University Of University, Waikato Medical Research Centre works closely with University of Auckland Professor Ian Campbell on breast cancer research. Its funding has been principally through the Health Research Council, Waikato Breast Cancer Trust and the Breast Cancer Foundation.
- Lao C, Lawrenson R, Edwards M, Campbell I. Treatment and survival of Asian women diagnosed with breast cancer in New Zealand. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2019 Sep;177(2):497-505. doi: 10.1007/s10549-019-05310-z.
- Lawrenson R, Lao C, Ali A, Campbell I. Impact of radiotherapy on cardiovascular health of women with breast cancer. J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2019 Apr;63(2):250-256. doi: 1
- Lawrenson R, Lao C, Jacobson G, Seneviratne S, Scott N, Sarfati D, Elwood M, Campbell I. Outcomes in different ethnic groups of New Zealand patients with screen-detected vs. non-screen-detected breast cancer. J Med Screen. 2019 May 8:969141319844801. doi: 10.1177/0969141319844801. 0.1111/1754-9485.12838
- Tin Tin S, Elwood JM, Brown C, Sarfati D, Campbell I, Scott N, Ramsaroop R, Seneviratne S, Harvey V, Lawrenson R. Ethnic disparities in breast cancer survival in New Zealand: which factors contribute? BMC Cancer. 2018 Jan 8;18(1):58.
- Elwood JM, Tin Tin S, Kuper-Hommel M, Lawrenson R, Campbell I. Obesity and breast cancer outcomes in chemotherapy patients in New Zealand - a population-based cohort study. BMC Cancer. 2018 Jan 15;18(1):76
- Blackmore T, Lawrenson R, Lao C,Edwards M, Kuper-Hommel M, Elwood M, Campbell I. The characteristics, management and outcomes of older women with breast cancer in New Zealand.Maturitas. 2018 Jun;112:64-70.
- Lawrenson, R., Lao, C., Campbell, I., Harvey, V., Brown, C., Seneviratne, S, Elwood, M. and Kuper-Hommel, M., 2018. The use of trastuzumab in New Zealand women with breast cancer. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology, April, 2018: 14(2), pp.e152-e160. doi: 10.1111/ajco.12766. Epub 2017 Aug 30.
- Lawrenson R, Lao C, Campbell I, Harvey V, Seneviratne S, Elwood M, Sarfati D, Kuper-Hommel M. The impact of different tumour subtypes on management and survival of New Zealand women with Stage I-III breast cancer. N Z Med J. 2018 May 18;131(1475):51-60.
- Campbell I, Lao C, Blackmore T, Edwards M, Hayes L, Ng A, Lawrenson R. Surgical treatment of early stage breast cancer in the Auckland and Waikato regions of New Zealand. ANZ J Surg. 2018 Sep 25. doi: 10.1111/ans.14840.
- Elwood JM, Tawfiq E, TinTin S, Marshall RJ, Phung TM, Campbell I, Harvey V, Lawrenson R. Development and validation of a new predictive model for breast cancer survival in New Zealand and comparison to the Nottingham prognostic index. BMC Cancer. 2018 Sep 17;18(1):897
- Latt PM, Tin Tin S, Elwood M, Lawrenson R, Campbell I. Receipt of radiotherapy after mastectomy in women with breast cancer: Population-based cohort study in New Zealand. Asia Pac J Clin Oncol. 2018 Nov 15. doi: 10.1111/ajco.13101