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$13.6 million for reproductive, childhood brain and other cancer clinical trials

A media release about a $13.6 million Australian Government investment to support 10 clinical trials to find innovative cancer treatments for melanoma, reproductive and gynaecological cancers and childhood brain cancer.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Former Minister for Health and Aged Care

Media event date:
Date published:
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Media release
General public

The Morrison Government will provide $13.6 million to support ten clinical trials to find innovative cancer treatments for melanoma, reproductive and gynaecological cancers and childhood brain cancer.

Childhood brain cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in Australian children, with around 100 children diagnosed each year and an estimated 36 children dying from the disease last year according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 

Our Government will invest $3 million across four childhood brain cancer clinical trials to improve the quality of life of children living with the condition, and in the long-term, to find a cure to defeat the disease.

The clinical trials will address gaps in knowledge; produce evidence on the effectiveness of new treatments drugs and devices; engage health service delivery partners to implement findings as quickly as possible; and making trials accessible to patients and parents who might otherwise not be involved.

The clinical trials will be led by researchers from Monash University and the University of New South Wales, and will be accessible for children between the ages of 0-14 years.

$6.5 million in funding will be invested by our Government to support four clinical trials for endometrial cancer, epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube and peritoneal cancer, and the role of hormonal therapy in treating gynaecological cancers.

An estimated 6,454 Australian women will be diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer this year, and 19,871 women will live their lives with these devastating diseases.

From this investment, Australian women will soon have access to a three year trial that will help find new treatments, medicines and devices to support those living with one of these rare cancers.

The Morrison Government will also provide $4.1 million in funding for two world class international clinical trials to help improve therapy for patients living with two of Australia’s deadliest conditions - melanoma and cardiovascular disease.

Melanoma is the fourth most common cancer in Australia and the second most common in young adults. Although it is curable when detected early, survival rates for metastatic melanoma are low.

DETECTION, is an international trial led by researchers from the University of Melbourne, examining a new way to reduce deaths from advanced melanoma.

The clinical trial will study more than 1000 patients with Stage 11 melanoma, to find whether a blood test containing tumour DNA (ctDNA) can identify those at high risk of a relapse after surgery for localised melanoma.

It will also evaluate if treating these patients early with immunotherapy based on the ctDNA positive result will improve their overall survival.

Each of the aforementioned clinical trials is backed by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) through which $614 million has been committed to the Clinical Trials Activity, with a significant proportion allocated to research focused on rare cancers, rare diseases and unmet medical needs.

The Morrison Government recognises clinical trials are absolutely essential for evaluating the effectiveness and safety of medicines, devices, services and interventions to help prevent, detect or treat illness and disease.

We will be monitoring the outcomes of this research closely and we look forward to seeing much needed support and access to better treatments roll out to children and their families.

More information about the MRFF is available at

Childhood brain cancers

Funded Institution

Project Name

Chief Investigator/Project Lead

Total Grant Value (GST exclusive)

Monash University

CONNECT 1903: A Pilot and Surgical Study of Larotrectinib for Disease Control in Children with Newly-Diagnosed High-Grade Glioma with NTRK Fusion

Associate Professor Nicholas Gottardo


University of New South Wales

LOGGIC: A phase III, randomised international multi-centre trial for LOw Grade Glioma In Children and adolescents

Associate Professor David Ziegler


Monash University

MET-MED Trial: A phase III randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial of metformin for cognitive recovery and white matter growth in paediatric medulloblastoma patients.

Doctor Jordan Hansford


Monash University

The TiNT Trial: A phase II clinical trial of trametinib in paediatric patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 associated progressive optic pathway gliomas

Associate Professor Geoffrey McCowage


Total funds allocated




Reproductive and gynaecological cancers

Funded Institution

Project Name

Chief Investigator/Project Lead

Total Grant Value (GST exclusive)

University of Sydney

PARAGON-II: Phase 2 basket study of an ARomatase inhibitor plus PI3KCA inhibitor or CDK4/6 inhibitor in women with hormone receptor positive recurrent/metastatic Gynaecological Neoplasms


Doctor Chee Khoon Lee


University of Sydney

Adjuvant Tislelizumab plus chemotherapy after post-operative pelvic chemoradiation in high risk endometrial cancer: the ADELE study


Associate Professor Linda Mileshkin


University of Sydney

HyNOVA - A randomised study comparing Hyperthermic and Normothermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy following interval cytoreductive surgery for stage III epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube and primary peritoneal cancer


Doctor Rhonda Farrell


The University of Queensland

EnhAnCing treatment oUtcoMes after gynaEcological caNcer (ACUMEN): Using exercise to promote health after cancer therapy


Professor Alexandra McCarthy


Total funds allocated




International clinical trial collaborations

Funded Institution

Project Name

Chief Investigator/Project Lead

Total Grant Value (GST exclusive)

University of Melbourne

Transfusion Triggers in Cardiac Surgery Australia trial

Professor David Scott



University of Melbourne

Circulating Tumour DNA guided Therapy for stage IIB/C BRAF mutant positive Melanoma after Surgical resection


Dr Shahneen Sandhu



Total funds allocated




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