The Morrison Government is providing $9 million to support research into the causes, biology and progression of cancer among children and young adults.
Cancer is the leading cause of death from disease among Australian children. In the decade to 2015, nearly 1000 Australian children under the age of 15 died from cancer.
Delays in diagnosing childhood cancers can limit treatment options, and for some cancers, there are currently no effective treatments.
Tragically, survival rates for some cancers among children have not improved in more than 25 years, and new analysis of records held by the Australian Childhood Cancer Registry shows the rates of several childhood cancers are slowly rising.
This $9 million investment from the Government’s ground-breaking Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) will provide grant opportunities for Australia’s world-leading researchers to accelerate options to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer in children and adolescents.
The Grant Opportunity will fund projects in two streams of research:
- Cancers that occur in children aged 0-14 years.
- Cancers that occur in adolescents aged 10-19 years.
Funding of $3 million will be allocated to each of the two streams. The remaining $3 million will be earmarked to support the overall best research, irrespective of streams.
In April 2019 Minister Hunt announced the funding to Owen Finegan, CEO of The Kids' Cancer Project at a meeting held in Canberra.
Consultation with The Kids’ Cancer Project and Cancer Australia, has informed the scope and priorities of the 2020 Childhood Cancer Research Grant Opportunity.
Owen Finegan, The Kids’ Cancer Project CEO praised the Federal Government for its vision and said he was deeply honoured the charity has been acknowledged.
“The Government’s commitment to join with The Kids’ Cancer Project to take greater steps to eradicate childhood cancer is great news,” said Finegan. “This will have a direct impact on children and their families while simultaneously supporting the finest medical research minds and futureproofing childhood cancer research.”
“We look forward to continuing to advocate for better treatment, survival and quality of life. This announcement complements The Kids’ Cancer Project's commitment as a founding partner of the Zero Childhood Cancer program, our $2.65 million commitment to the Australian Brain Cancer Mission and our investment to survivorship programs that has recently culminated in a further $1.9 million from the MRRF being awarded into brain cancer survivorship," he said.
“Together, we will ensure adequate support of programs that will supercharge childhood cancer research, advancing the diagnosis, treatment, management, analysis, access to clinical trials and improved outcomes for all children with cancer.”
“We will also continue to execute our vision by engaging other charities, Australian business and the broader community in raising awareness and funds to bring about 100 per cent survival of all children diagnosed with cancer,” said Finegan.
The Government’s MRFF is a $20 billion endowment fund. The MRFF is a long-term investment supporting Australia’s best and brightest researchers.
Further information about the MRFF is available at www.health.gov.au/mrff.