New Melanoma Trial Co-ordinator

The Melanoma Research Institute of New Zealand announced on 17th June it will provide funding for a melanoma trials co-ordinator at Auckland City Hospital.

Once appointed, the new co-ordinator will work alongside Dr Rosalie Fisher and Dr Mike McCrystal on the Auckland District Health Board’s Cancer and Blood Service team. Both doctors are welcoming the news of an extra set of hands, as it will boost the hospital’s capacity to hold vital trials for melanoma research.

“This is a very important step in increasing the capacity to undertake clinical trials in patients with melanoma,” said Dr Fisher. “I hope it will ultimately result in better survival rates of the Kiwis who are battling this devastating disease.” 

Currently only two clinical trials are open to recruitment in New Zealand, but the Melanoma Research Institute is working to ensure there are more options available. Melanoma Research Institute director Dr Edward Watson said the new role is part of this push for greater access.

“The Institute has been working to increase access to clinical trials for New Zealanders suffering from advanced melanoma skin cancer and this new position will be a significant step forwards in achieving this aim,” Dr Watson said.

“We are enormously grateful to Mrs Paddy Carter, who has made this new role possible through her generous donation, which she made in remembrance of her husband Ron.”

Dr Watson said research is essential in order to combat melanoma in New Zealand, which has the highest incidence rate of anywhere in the world.

“The new treatments available today are a result of people participating in clinical trials in the past, so research is crucial,” Dr Watson said. “Taking part in a clinical trial also gives patients, especially those with advanced cancer, a chance to access new therapies that wouldn’t otherwise be available.”

The new trial co-ordinator will start at Auckland City Hospital on 1 July.