GCF launch unique new fundraising event; Gastrofest – New Zealand’s Biggest Dinner Party
The Gut Cancer Foundation (GCF) and acclaimed Kiwi chef Geoff Scott have launched a unique charity event which aims to raise funds for Gut Cancer research and clinical trials; Gastrofest – New Zealand’s Biggest Dinner Party.

In a twist on the Gala Dinner concept, Gastrofest hosts will sign up to cook a beautiful 5-course meal for 8 guests on Saturday, October 3rd, 2020. All ingredients for the meal will be delivered direct to the host with Geoff creating a fun, instructional video to help them create their very own culinary masterpiece, from the comfort of their own home.

Guests and hosts will be asked to donate a minimum of $100 per person to the Gut Cancer Foundation for their Gastrofest experience. On the night, dinner parties around the country will be brought together by a live stream and auction, hosted by legendary NZ Paralympian, Liam Malone.

Gastrofest – New Zealand’s Biggest Dinner Party takes place on Saturday, October 3rd. Anyone can sign up to be a Gastrofest host by visiting gastrofest.nz.

Click here to read the full press release.


The Gut Cancer Foundation is delighted to welcome Dr Lorraine Chantrill to the board of trustees. Dr Chantrill is a Senior Staff Specialist Medical Oncologist and Head of Service for Medical Oncology across the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD), and Area Clinical Director of Clinical Trials. Dr Chantrill treats patients with any cancers of the digestive tract as well as gynaecological cancers and lung cancers.

She is a key opinion leader and expert in the field of pancreas cancer. Lorraine completed a PhD by research in the Pancreas Cancer Group at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre in pancreas cancer genomics. Lorraine continues to be an active clinician-researcher trying to bridge the gap between the bench and the bedside.

She has extensive experience managing Oncology Clinical Trials and is the Principal Investigator on several clinical trials in gastrointestinal cancers. Lorraine is a passionate advocate for clinical trials, believing they are not only vital for research but offer hope to participants. Lorraine is keen to help GCF build the number of clinical trials on offer in NZ, to give patients access to some new and emerging therapies.

Lorraine has served on the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group (AGITG) Upper GI Working party since its inception in 2011 and has chaired the Working Party 2014-2019. She was appointed to the Board of Directors of AGITG in August 2016 and in May 2020 became the first female Chair of the AGITG and GI cancer institute. AGITG create and facilitate clinical trials in cancers of the digestive tract. GCF supporters help fund the opening of New Zealand sites enabling Kiwis to participate in AGITG trials.

The team at GCF would like to thank Dr Chantrill’s predecessor, Professor Tim Price for his dedication and expertise during his 6 years as chair of AGITG and a member of the GCF board. Lorraine’s appointment to the board of the Gut Cancer Foundation continues our long association with the AGITG as she is now the 3rd chair to be appointed to our board. We welcome Dr Chantrill to the GCF family and look forward to working with her.

The Gut Cancer Foundation is delighted to announce the award of $35,000 Dr Cositha Santhakumar for her study into the role of the tumour microenvironment and its implication as a therapeutic target in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Every year over 360 New Zealanders are diagnosed with liver cancer, with significantly higher incidences reported in Maori, Pacifica and Asian populations. Unfortunately, outcomes remain poor with just 15% of liver cancer patients expected to survive beyond 5 years.

Hepatocellular carcinoma’s (HCC’s) account for 90% of all primary liver cancers. It is believed that the environment in which HCC’s develop has an effect on the biology of the tumour. The study aims to better understand this environment with novel imaging techniques, and determine the role of targeting various components of this environment with immune directed therapies. Dr Santhakumar aims to identify which patients will benefit most from these therapies resulting in tailored patient care and better outcomes.

Click here for a detailed overview of the research project.

GCF is grateful to the Sir Ernest Davis Estate proudly managed by Perpetual Guardian as sole trustee of his charitable trust, for their support of this research.