Amid the Turnbull Government cabinet reshuffle announced on 19 December 2017, The Hon Greg Hunt, Minister for Health, posted news of an $8 million boost for cancer research projects.
Through Cancer Australia, the Government will invest $6.5 million combined with $2.1 million from Cancer Australia’s funding partners.
It brings the total funding for the 2017 round of Cancer Australia’s Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme (PdCCRS)
to $8.6 million.
The 24 successful grant recipients lead projects focusing on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a range of cancer types.
These include a range of adult specific cancers as well as those that can affect children such as acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and leukaemia.
There is also a focus on improving the outcomes of specific childhood cancers.
Funding is going to a study into childhood brain cancer treatments lead by Clinical Associate Professor Nick Gottardo
of University of Western Australia. Brain cancer is a disease that kills more Australian children than any other.
, the most common type of solid tumour in children under the age of five years, is also in the spotlight with two grants awarded to Young Investigators. Drs Pei Liu and Orazio Vittoria, both from University of New South Wales, are leading separate projects to treat the disease that attacks the central nervous system.
Cancer Australia’s PdCCRS has provided $124 million for priority-based cancer research since its inception in 2007.
Owen Finegan, CEO of The Kids’ Cancer Project, is pleased to see childhood cancer research be brought to the fore.
“In the past 12 months we have seen terrific growth in funding and support for the science that will have the greatest impact on helping kids with many different types of cancer,” he said.
“Since 2015, The Kids’ Cancer Project has provided $730,000 in grants to several studies which has led to $2.2 million of collaborative research funding with PdCCRS and other partners,” he said.
This latest round of federal grant funding complements existing programs like the Australian Brain Cancer Mission which was announced in October 2017.
The Australian Government announced a $100 million fund to defeat brain cancer and provide better outcomes for people suffering from the devastating disease.
Earlier in December, the Government announced a $640 million investment to support Australia’s world-leading health and medical researchers as they continue their work to find the next medical breakthrough.
And on 18 December, the mid-year budget update confirmed over half a billion dollars extra for the fight against cancer with additional funding for new medicines, screening and testing.
These announcements bring 2017 to a gratifying close for Col Reynolds OAM, Founder and Director of The Kids’ Cancer Project.
“I thank each and every one of our supporters, volunteers, scientists and staff for all they have done this year,” he said.
“Everything I have believed in for children with cancer is ventured through science and research. Our team at The Kids’ Cancer Project has made a positive mark I could not be more proud of them for giving their energy and strengths for this most important of causes.”
“All I want for Christmas is better treatment and nothing less than a cure for every child with cancer. That's all I ever wanted.”