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  • AMRF

Breakthrough Funding: Pioneering Endometrial Cancer Research Receives Major Grant

Auckland researchers aim for breakthroughs in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention that could reshape the landscape of women's health in New Zealand.

Funding Grant Awarded for Endometrial Cancer Research

The Equity Team within Service Improvement and Innovation unit of Te Whatu Ora Auckland - Waitematā has successfully secured a $174,834 project grant for pioneering endometrial cancer research. The grant from the Auckland Medical Research Foundation (AMRF) is the first to be awarded to a study run by the Māori Health Pipeline, and will progress work aimed at improving diagnosis, treatment and ultimately prevention for this significant health issue for women in this country.

The 7 members of the research team
Front (l-r): Roimata Tipene (Research Manager), Dr. Karen Bartholomew (Director), Dr. Olivia Perelini (Clinical Research Lead), Kaz Bautista (Research Assistant) Back: Phillip Manako (Research Assistant), Anastacia Oloapu (Research Assistant), Lucy Brown (Equity Frameworks Lead)

While endometrial cancer incidence has been rising internationally, Aotearoa has observed even more rapid increases in incidence, particularly among Pacific women - now one of the highest in the world and is continuing to climb steeply.

Endometrial cancer related mortality is now also the most significant contributor to the life expectancy gap for Pacific women.

Research Manager Roimata Tipene explains, “wāhine Māori and Pacific women are more likely to get endometrial cancer, get it at a much earlier age and have worse outcomes. Relevant research in Aotearoa is urgently needed to make a difference to these statistics.”

The benchmarking study will work with Mayo Clinic (US) investigators to understand whether the relationship found in their work, between a bacteria called Porphyromonas somerae and endometrial cancer can also be found here, where women are more likely to be younger and premenopausal. The New Zealand study aims to determine the proportion of women with and without endometrial cancer who have carriage of P. somerae and to characterise the baseline endometrial microbiome in diverse subpopulations.

Patient information resources pamphlet
Māori Health Pipeline, endometrial cancer microbiome research (qualitative pre-study), patient information resources.

The study, set to start in 2024, involves over 250 women and many specialists and researchers across the country. It will form part of a broader endometrial cancer work programme, Pacific Health Pipeline, which the Equity team is developing with the Pacific Health Group.

Interested in participating? Contact Roimata Tipene, Māori Health Pipeline, Te Whatu Ora, Auckland - Waitematā. Phone 021415266, email


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