Date published: 
13 June 2020
Media type: 
Media release
General public

Australia is at the global forefront of cancer research and the Morrison Government is committed to consolidating that position, with the Cancer Council NSW to receive funding of more than $3.5 million to research what demand for cancer treatment will look like over the next five years.

The research into five-year patterns in cancer incidence is one of six projects that will share in more than $12 million through the Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

Health system costs for cancer are escalating as the population ages and new high-cost technologies are developed. Predicting changes in cancer trends will be critical to ensuring treatments are based on the best evidence, are targeted to the individual patient and are available where and when needed.

Under this research scheme, Cancer Council NSW will build on its leading work in modelling complex cancer trends and related interventions. This will be used by Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee and the Medical Services Advisory Committee in making decisions about the drugs and treatments that should be subsidised by Government for patients with cancer.

Another of the six projects is a $2.3 million grant to the University of Melbourne to help predict the impact of current and new cancer treatments.

The listing of new cancer treatments on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Medical Benefits Schedule has become complicated because of the uncertainty in the number of patients who may actually benefit from a treatment, and the implication for delivery of the treatment on the health system.

This project will support the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee to more accurately quantify the health benefits of medicines proposed to be subsidised by Government for use in children.

Other research projects will examine services such as the on-going quality of life for patients who had previously required paediatric care, and epidemiological modelling to deliver better care for Australian patients with myeloma.

The six projects will be conducted over the next three to five years.

This crucial research is part of the Government’s more than $260 million investment over 10 years in the MRFF’s Preventive and Public Health Research Initiative.

This initiative aims to support targeted research to find new ways to address risk factors for chronic and complex diseases in Australia.

The Government’s Medical Research Future Fund is a $20 billion initiative, announced in 2015. The MRFF is a long-term investment supporting Australia’s best and brightest researchers.

Further information about the MRFF is available at




Cancer Council NSW

Modelling, five-year patterns in cancer incidence, staging and related health services


University of Melbourne

Predicting the population health economics impact of current and new cancer treatments


Monash University

Epidemiological modelling to deliver better care for Australian patients with myeloma


Australian National University

Tools to value health change in paediatric populations


University of Melbourne

Measuring and valuing changes in child health to facilitate robust decision making


University of Sydney

Evidence on the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of digital breast tomosynthesis in identifying breast cancer compared to standard imaging in populations at risk of breast cancer. 


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