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Breast Cancer and Biotechnology

The learning resources presented in these web pages explore the topic of breast cancer, the hallmarks of cancer and biotechnologies that are being used to treat cancerous cells.

About the Learning Resources


Breast cancer impacts thousands of New Zealand women and men every year and is a leading cause of cancer-related death. Biotechnologies play a major role in the quest to understand cancer at a molecular level which can lead to the development of effective treatments. Cutting-edge scientific research in New Zealand and world-wide have resulted in substantial advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of this disease, to the point where there is hope that one day, breast cancer will become a chronic but manageable disease. For example, the discovery of new drugs, knowledge of risk factors, early detection technologies, surgeries, targeted therapies, genetic testing or manipulation mean that the death rate from breast cancer is declining.


The resources and discussions in these web pages will provide an opportunity for you to learn more about the way that breast cancer develops. You will be able to explore the use of different biotechnologies in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. You will learn about important work that a team of New Zealand researchers at the Liggins Institute within the University of Auckland are doing to contribute to knowledge of development of this disease.

Resource Links


What is Breast Cancer?

A page for teachers and senior students summarising key concepts associated with breast cancer and biotechnology.



Understanding Breast Cancer: Case Study

Learn about the research scientists at the Liggins Institute have conducted into the link between increased autocrine hGH and breast cancer.



Discussion Questions

Resource questions designed to further discussion on the topic of breast cancer and biotechnology.


Question and Answer

Challenge Questions

Further questions on the subject of breast cancer and biotechnology designed to stimulate more in-depth conversation and learning.



Seminar Recording

An in-stream version of the seminar series the resources on these web pages originate from.



Seminar Paper

Download the seminar paper.



Links to Curriculum and Assessment of Learning

Information for teachers on how these resources link to current curriculum objectives.



Further Resources

Additional resources for teachers to further understand the resources presented in these web pages.