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Wouter

Over the last 40 years cancer survival rates have more than doubled. Whilst thousands of people are alive today because of advances in cancer research, there is still work to do.

Wouter van Leeuwen (pictured left) is a researcher at the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre. His work focuses primarily on pancreatic cancer. He explains:

“95% of people with pancreatic cancer won’t survive past five years. Whilst there have been breakthroughs in treatment for other types of cancer – pancreatic cancer has fallen behind. Within ten years it is projected to become the second biggest cause of cancer related deaths.”

Wouter is currently developing drugs that only affect cancer cells – leaving healthy cells unharmed so patients won’t experience the severe side effects other treatments can cause.

These new drugs are only activated when they reach cancer cells. Wouter explains:

“Low oxygen levels exist in about half of all tumours…The drugs we are working on are activated where there is low oxygen, so they have the potential to work in many different kinds of tumours.”

That’s why your donations to Cancer Society are so powerful – you are helping researchers like Wouter find drugs that could save the lives of thousands of cancer patients. Thank you for this priceless gift.

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