Date published: 
15 February 2019
Media type: 
Media release
General public

The Liberal National Government will provide $38.6 million to support 23 new clinical trials to improve treatments and discover cures for debilitating and deadly rare cancers and rare diseases.

The Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Need Clinical Trials program is a competitive program that focuses on clinical trials that address areas of health burden and unmet need including brain cancer.

The program includes a trial to evaluate the effectiveness of different chemotherapy treatments for the highly fatal glioblastoma brain cancer, a trial to use precision medicine in treating relapsed high-grade Glioma, a trial to test the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatments for children and adolescents with Medulloblastoma brain tumours and a trial to use the a new combined chemotherapy treatment to target brain tumours in children.

This funding, through our Government’s landmark Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), aims to enhance clinical trial activity, treatments, cures, and extend and improve quality of life for Australians living with devastating conditions.

The funding announced today includes:

  • $10.8 million for rare cancer clinical trials
  • $18.3 million for rare diseases clinical trials
  • $6.6 million for unmet needs clinical trials
  • $4.5 million for brain cancer clinical trials. The Government will invest $2.9 million with an additional $1.6 being contributed by Carrie’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer and the Mark Hughes Foundation through our Government’s Australian Brain Cancer Mission.

We have seen increased survival rates for cancers such as breast and bowel cancer. However, survival rates for rare cancers such as brain cancer and lymphoma have remained relatively unchanged for some time around the world.

Clinical trial programs like this will bring hope and save lives.

The total $4.5 million funding for four brain cancer clinical trials comprises of Government and private funding will deliver four clinical trials that targets brain cancer in adults and children.

Our Government is partnering with Carrie’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer and the Mark Hughes Foundation to deliver four trials.

This is the third round of grants announced the under Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Need Clinical Trials program taking the total funding announced under this program to $75 million.

We hope and believe that these brain cancer trials will take Australia closer to leading the world in doubling survival rates for those with brain cancer over the next decade.

These brain cancer trials are on top of the $10 million already invested under the Australian Brain Cancer Mission to support the Zero Childhood Cancer Initiative and key brain cancer clinical trials groups for adults and children.

This latest funding builds on more than $36 million already announced under the Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Needs Clinical Trial program, which was launched in January 2018.

The $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund was established as an endowment fund to provide a sustainable source of funding for vital medical research.

It is the single largest boost in health and medical research funding in Australia’s history.