The Hon Greg Hunt, Minister for Health, has announced his party will invest in world leading cancer research that will focus on more accurate diagnosis, more effective treatments and improved survivorship of a broad range of cancers.
The Liberal National Government, through Cancer Australia, will invest $7.1 million in research grants, with an additional $4.7 million contributed by funding partners Cancer Council Australia, Children’s Hospital Foundation, Cure Cancer Australia, Leukaemia Foundation of Australia, My Room, Pancare Foundation and four studies with The Kids’ Cancer Project
In all, grants will go to 33 new cancer research projects through Cancer Australia’s Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme
The focus of the research projects will include:
- novel and targeted approaches to therapy for cancers of the brain, breast, pancreas, prostate and lung, multiple myeloma, germ cell tumours and medulloblastoma in children, adolescents and young adults
- immunotherapy for thoracic cancers, melanoma and primary central nervous system lymphomas in patients with HIV
- exercise and its role in improving outcomes for patients having chemotherapy for ovarian cancer
- the role of breast density and other breast cancer risk factors.
The funding $592,388 for Dr Misty Jenkins at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research for her important research into developing a CAR-T immunotherapy for the incurable brain cancer in children known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG).
The project has developed a prototype CAR-T immunotherapy specific for DIPG which has shown to effectively kill DIPG cancer cells in vitro, demonstrating proof of concept.
CAR-T cell therapy is an innovative way to redirect the patient’s own T cells to kill their cancer cells.
With TGA having approved the use of CAR-T therapy for blood borne leukaemia in late December 2018, this is the next step for this revolutionary therapy for other cancers including DIPG.
This research has the potential find a cure and the save lives of children with an incurable brain cancer DIPG is an incurable brainstem cancer that accounts for the majority of the 30 to 40 children who die each year from brain cancer in Australia. It is the main cause of death in children with brain cancer.
Diagnosis is usually at five to seven years of age and the median survival time is only 9 months. Our Government’s strong economic management ensures we continue to invest record amounts of funding into medical research, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals.
For a full list of grants visit the Cancer Australia website canceraustralia.gov.au
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