To Find a CURE

The Breast Cancer Research

Trust was founded in 1997 on the vision of Dr John Harman, MBChB, FRACS, Breast & General Surgeon.

At the time of the Trusts formation, there was very little breast cancer research funding available to support researchers in areas that would give them the intellectual freedom to investigate cutting edge research and breakthrough technology. Thanks to the Trust there is now both money and an approval process for breast cancer research that gives certainty to both the projects and the researchers who own those projects.

Since it’s establishment, the Breast Cancer Research Trust has funded many significant research projects in New Zealand, totalling in excess of $6 million in grants. This total includes the funding of a Chair in Breast Cancer at the Auckland University School of Medicine – a huge milestone in accelerating the quality of research into diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer in New Zealand.

Some of the New Zealand institutions to benefit from the Trust’s work include the University of Canterbury, the University of Otago, The Liggins Institute in Auckland and the Malaghan Institute in Wellington.

Research projects range from studies into the use of antibodies as a targeted treatment for controlling growth of breast cancer cells, to work on the use of radar scanning to replace mammograms for the early detection of breast cancer to world leading research in the field of immunotherapy and the harnessing of our own immune systems to combat breast cancer.

The Trust’s work continues to grow in importance, especially as breast cancer in New Zealand continues to grow at epidemic proportions – 5 years ago 1 in 10 women would be diagnosed, now the rate is 1 in 9.

The lives of over 660 of our NZ woman of all ages and from all walks of life are being lost each year. The age at which women are diagnosed is not limited to older women or particular social groups. This disease has a devastating impact on women and their families throughout this country and the continued escalation of its incidence can only have a negative effect on our society.

With virtually no Government funding, and with the governments of today unlikely to be able to finance the search for solutions to the vast number of serious illnesses society is faced with in these times, our world leading researchers are heavily dependent on the private sector and charitable organisations.

The Breast Cancer Research Trust is New Zealand’s only not-for profit organisation established solely to support research into breast cancer and is committed to finding a cure to this disease by 2018.


The Breast Cancer Research Trust Board of Trustees is responsible for corporate governance. The board guides and monitors business affairs, including approval of the distribution of research funds as recommended by the Scientific Advisory Panel.

 Our Management Team:
The Breast Cancer Research Trust is a not-for-profit organisation, proud of its lean operation and 71% flow-through of funds from the public and sponsors to find a Cure for breast cancer by 2018.  We have a management team of 5 who are working hard to deliver our ambitious, yet crucial goal within a ten year countdown  :

“I have committed to doing everything possible to raise awareness of the Trust’s profile and move all of us as fast as possible towards the goal of a future free of the fear of breast cancer.”

The Facts

Nine New Zealand women, on average, will hear the news today that they have breast cancer

Men Get Breast Cancer Too

About 25 men are diagnosed in New Zealand each year

Survival Rates

80% of people with breast cancer survive 10 years or more