Cancer at the Crossroads Conference 2019

Here are some of the media releases from this amazing conference.

Professor Richard Sullivan - A global view of cancer treatment

Richard Sullivan is Professor of Cancer & Global Health at Kings College London (KCL), and is the director of the Institute of Cancer Policy. He qualified in medicine, trained in surgery (urology), and gained his PhD in cell signalling.  Sullivan was clinical director of Cancer Research UK between 1999 and 2008. Following a period at the London School of Economics working on complex healthcare systems, he moved to KCL in 2011. His research programmes focus on global cancer policy and conflict & health.  Born in Yemen, Sullivan is employed in high conflict areas including Syria, Libya, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, and the narco-zones of Mexico, to assess medical needs and how to deliver treatment for cancer and other diseases. He is in Wellington this week for the University of Otago's Cancer Care at a Crossroads, where he's given speeches on global challenges in cancer control and innovations in oncology.  Read more and listen here.

Some cancer drugs with a 'huge price' don't work


Some cancer sufferers are spending large sums of money on expensive drugs that will not extend their life, a specialist says.

82856191 - different pills on the table

Photo: 123RF

Professor Richard Sullivan, the director of the Institute of Cancer Policy at Kings College in London, has been in New Zealand for a conference.

He said many of the most expensive cancer drugs simply did not do what they said they would.

For example, some could shrink the cancer itself but do nothing to extend the life of the patient.

"Some drugs are coming with enormous uncertainty about what sort of benefit they really deliver to patients ... but huge price tags.

"Countries and people are being asked to pay a great deal of money for the unknown and a lot of that unknown doesn't pan out.

"When we look backwards over sort of two or three years we discover the drugs actually don't work." Read more and listen to the interview here.




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  • Mr Little, Dr Clark & Mr Blomfield


    Quotes from the press attending the cancer conference :  (


    In 2017, then Labour leader Andrew Little said his party would create a National Cancer Agency and a plan that would provide “access to high quality of cancer care.  We'll provide $10 million to establish the agency and another $10 million will be made available to get the work underway," he said at the time.


    Has that happened yet ?, well, no, it hasn’t.


    Dr Clark said a plan was clearly needed and he had instructed the Health Ministry to begin right away.  "There is widespread agreement that we need stronger leadership of our cancer control," Dr Clark said.  "At the same time the Ministry of Health has become better placed to provide the stronger stewardship and leadership of cancer prevention and control and delivery of better outcomes at the national level."


    We need to make sure we build up these work forces, that's why we've put more money into health."  Dr Clark wouldn't say how much money or resources would be allocated for a cancer care plan.  The Ministry of Health had a comprehensive programme of work underway to develop "people-centred standards of care" to support quality improvement across cancer care and treatment, he said.


    The head of the Ministry, Ashley Bloomfield, said they were starting work this week on a plan that would take account of how patients access care locally and wider issues.  "What we need to do nationally to determine specific standards of care, expectations and to monitor the experience of people as they go through the system, to monitor their access to care, the process of care and the outcomes of care.  Systematic improvements to care must also be part of the plan”, he said.  Dr Bloomfield said he intended to have an interim plan ready in late June.


    Ministry of Health chief executive Ashley Bloomfield said work on a plan starting this week will take into account how patients access care locally.  He said there would be an interim plan in place by June 2019, "so that we can get started in the next financial year, so that we can provide some guidance to district health boards and other key partners about those priority actions.  We're looking to get on and move to action as quickly as possible."

    Cancer conference puts action plan in motion
    A cancer action plan is in the works after a conference on cancer in Wellington highlighted major flaws in the public health system.
  • Are you aware that none of these sites are active ?

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Cancer Dictionary