GCF was founded in 2008 by Professor Michael Findlay, bowel cancer survivor Grant Baker and pancreatic cancer survivor Paul Hargreaves. They, along with other esteemed medical experts and not-for-profit specialists, were inspired by Australia’s GI Cancer Institute, a similar not-for-profit that raises money for the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group (The AGITG).
They were encouraged to establish a similar entity in New Zealand to fill the serious funding gap for clinical research. In addition to sharing the common goal of improving outcomes for gut cancer patients, GCF shares common Board members with the AGITG and maintains a close relationship with this very successful organisation.
To improve the survival rates for gut cancer patients, we must provide funding for clinical research. Clinical trials are the final link in the chain of medical research that take discoveries made in the laboratory and advance them into treatments that can improve survival rates and the quality of life for patients. By participating in clinical trials, patients gain the benefits of early access to leading-edge treatments, and their specialists have the opportunity to provide research-driven cancer care – which is care of the highest quality.
New Zealand patients and their specialists have had limited access to the many clinical trials that have shaped gut cancer treatment globally. The available funds for these ground-breaking clinical studies are insufficient and without better financial support, New Zealanders will miss out on the progress that is ongoing. Through the generosity of our donors, GCF seeks to fill this funding gap to ensure that patients in New Zealand have access to the best possible treatments, faster.