Investing in Medical Research – fighting childhood cancer
Investing $10.8 million for medical research and clinical trials

The Australian Government is investing $10.8 million to fight childhood cancer through research and clinical trials.

Page last updated: 09 May 2017

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The Government will provide $4.4 million to Cancer Australia aimed at increasing Australia’s research capacity to advance diagnosis, treatment, management and analysis of childhood cancer, and to improve data and awareness.

The Government will also provide $1.4 million to Cancer Australia to fast track international research collaborations of paediatric brain cancer in Australia. This includes support for new clinical trials led by the Australia New Zealand Children’s Haematology and Oncology Group, co-funded by the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation, one of which includes the innovative molecular diagnostic profiling for paediatric brain tumours project (AIMPRO). Participating institutions include the Children’s Hospital Westmead, Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Monash Children’s Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital for Children in Western Australia.

In addition, the Government will provide $5 million under the Medical Research Future Fund to CanTeen to improve outcomes for children and young people fighting against cancer.

Further funding of $68 million will also support Australia's first proton beam therapy centre. This builds on the Australian Government’s 2016 election commitment of $20 million for the ground breaking Zero Childhood Cancer Initiative.

Why is this important?

Cancer is the leading cause of death from disease in Australian children. In the 10 years from 2005 to 2014, nearly 1,000 Australian children aged under the age of 15 died from cancer.

There are no known preventive measures for childhood cancer and for some cancers there are no known effective treatments. Survival rates for some cancers common among children have not improved in more than 25 years.

Medical research is the key to a cure for cancer.

These measures make funding of childhood cancer research a priority – delivering research and clinical trials into low survival childhood cancers, improving data, supporting Cancer Australia’s children’s cancer website, and promoting awareness.

This multi-faceted and comprehensive approach will help advance the diagnosis, treatment, management and analysis of childhood cancer and improve outcomes for childhood cancers with low survival rates.

Providing funding to target investment in childhood cancer research will support advancements in the diagnosis, treatment and management of low survival childhood cancers such as brain, central nervous system and types of leukaemia and sarcoma.

Who will benefit?

Children with cancer and their families, as well as researchers and medical professionals, will benefit.

How much will this cost?

These measures will cost $5.8 million from 2017–18 to 2020–21.

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