Brain cancer has been brought into focus today, after Gold Logie winner and television personality Carrie Bickmore dedicated her award to her late husband, Greg Lange, who passed away from the disease in 2010.
Over 1800 people are expected to be diagnosed with brain cancer in Australia this year, with more men diagnosed than women. Brain cancer accounted for 1.5 per cent of new cancer cases in 2011.
The risk of developing brain cancer increases with age and the average age of diagnosis is 58.7 years. The five-year relative survival for people diagnosed with brain cancers in Australia is 21.6 per cent.
Cancer Australia works to improve outcomes for people affected by cancer in Australia and supports funding for brain cancer research through the Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme (PdCCRS) and the Support for Cancer Clinical Trials program. Through the PdCCRS, Cancer Australia partners with key organisations to coordinate the funding of cancer research to maximise investment in cancer research at a national level.
Since 2007, Cancer Australia and its funding partners have supported eleven research projects with a focus on brain cancers, to a total value of $2.82 million. These projects have included research into glioma, glioblastoma and medulloblastoma.
Cancer Australia also provides funding through the Support for Cancer Clinical Trials program. Clinical trials are fundamental to establishing if new cancer treatments or new ways of using existing therapies, diagnostic tests, preventative or supportive interventions are effective and safe and they help generate the evidence for best-practice cancer care.
Through the Support for Cancer Clinical Trials program Cancer Australia funded establishment of the Cooperative Trials Group for Neuro-Oncology (COGNO) in 2008. Funding of more than $2.98 million between 2009 and 30 June 2016 is being provided to COGNO to build its capacity to develop cancer clinical trial protocols in neuro-oncology, including brain cancers.