A researcher for Otago University is hoping to find a way to stop cancer spreading.
Currently nine out out ten cancer deaths are caused by the spread, or the metastasising of the disease, to other parts of the body.
Dr Aniruddha Chatterjee said said once doctors understand how cancer spreads, they can begin to find a way to stop it.
"Within in five years I hope we have a good idea of what those switches are that lead from primary cancer to metastatic cancer."
Chatterjee's studying the spread of melanoma and bowel cancers, because New Zealand has high rates of both.
He said the research should be complete within five years.
"From that point onwards we'll be able to design intervention and therapies that might be able to target them."
LISTEN ABOVE AS ANIRUDDHA CHATTERJEE CHATS TO MIKE HOSKING