School of Medical Sciences

Carcinogenesis and cancer prevention

Principal investigator



We are concerned with defining causes of cancer within New Zealand and establishing ways of protecting the population against this. Particular interests concern properties of food plants and plant components, and their mechanisms of action in cancer protection. Specific materials range from dietary fibre polysaccharides to phenolic components (including antioxidants). The current expertise includes in vitro fractionation and characterisation of active components through to whole animal studies demonstrating protective effects. Mechanistic studies include genotoxic events through to effects on bioactivation.

Selected references

Ferguson L.R. (2000). The role of plant polythenols in genomic stability. Mutation Research guson L.R., Knize M., Felton J.S., Jackson R. (1999) Prostate cancer risk and meat cooking methods. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 191:2038-2044.

Kestell P., Zhao L., Zhu S-T., Harris P.J., Ferguson L.R. (1999). Studies on the mechanisms of cancer protection by wheat bran: effects on the absorption, metabolism and excretion of the food carcinogen 2-amino-3-methylimidazo(4,5-f)quinoline (IQ). Carcinogenesis 20:2253-60.