Date published: 
23 March 2021
Media type: 
Media release
General public

The Morrison Government is providing $2.6 million to researchers at the University of Melbourne to use the latest information technology to improve the lives of people who have survived brain cancer.

Funded by the Morrison Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Australian Brain Cancer Mission ­– 2020 Brain Cancer Survivorship Grant Opportunity, the three-year grant opportunity will allow researchers to develop and demonstrate the impact of an online survivorship platform to better connect patients – and their families and carers – with the health care teams providing treatment.

The platform will also allow patients to connect with other survivors to share experiences and support each other.

New cases of brain cancer are increasing each year. In 2020, 2,000 Australians were diagnosed with brain cancer. Less than a quarter (22 per cent) will be alive in five years.

While brain cancer accounts for just 1.4 per cent of all cancers in Australia, it has high rates of morbidity and mortality. Young people are disproportionately affected – brain cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths for people under 25.

The researchers will look at how information technologies can help ensure survivors are not alone on their brain cancer journey, and tailor a survivorship approach that suits individual needs.

After brain cancer treatment, people often have debilitating conditions, with physical, cognitive and psychosocial symptoms. They may be financially distressed and have to cope alone.

Mostly, post-cancer treatment care is only available when patients attend hospital. We need to better connect them, their families and carers with health professionals, and with other brain cancer survivors.

There are no known prevention measures for brain cancer and for some there are no effective treatments. It is widely recognised that the key to improvements in this area is investment in research.

The Australian Brain Cancer Mission is providing $133 million over 10 years from the MRFF and significant donations from funding partners.

The Mission aims to double the survival rates and improve the quality of life of people living with brain cancer over the decade to 2027, with the longer term aim of defeating brain cancer.