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Collaboration secures additional $10 million funding to Australian Brain Cancer Mission for children with brain cancer

The Minister for Health Greg Hunt announced today an additional $10 million investment to the Australian Brain Cancer Mission (the Mission) to bring new hope for children with brain cancer.

Brain cancer kills more children in Australia than any other disease and, despite improvements in patient care and support, survival rates for brain cancer have remained relatively unchanged for the past 30 years.

“Enrolment on a clinical trial provides a means to ensure that children are receiving the newest and most promising therapies, provide hope for children with brain cancer and their families,” said Minister Hunt.

“Clinical trials are the gold standard in treating children with brain cancer. New therapies tested in clinical trials will, over time, contribute to improvements in survival rates.”

The Mission was established in 2017 by the Australian Government with the goal of doubling survival rates and improving the quality of life of people living with brain cancer over the next decade to 2027, with the longer term aim of defeating brain cancer.

Prior to today’s announcement, the Australian Government’s contribution to the Mission was $55 million through the Medical Research Future Fund. The Mission encourages collaborations between philanthropy, non-government organisations and governments.  Collaboration is the best way to achieve meaningful progress.

This additional $10 million comprises investments by the Financial Markets Foundation for Children ($5m), Robert Connor Dawes Foundation ($1.25m), Carrie’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer ($0.4m) and an additional investment of $3.35 million by the Australian Government, bringing the total investment to the ABCM to $124.65 million.

Coordinated by the Australia and New Zealand Children’s Haematology and Oncology Group (ANZCHOG), this funding will optimise access to clinical trials and support all nine dedicated children’s cancer centres across Australia, so that every child in Australia with brain cancer can benefit from clinical trials and innovative new treatments no matter where they live.

Participating in global, collaborative clinical trials offers the best hope for increasing survival rates and improving quality of life for children in Australia with brain cancer. Clinical trials recently funded by the Mission for children with brain cancer include:

  • COZMOS: Phase I/Ib trial of COmbined 5'-aZacitidine and carboplatin for recurrent/refractory paediatric brain and solid tuMOurs (Dr Jordan Hansford of Monash University).*
  • SJ-ELiOT: St Jude - Phase 1 Evaluation of LY2606368, Molecularly-Targeted CHK1/2i Therapy, in Combination with Cyclophosphamide or Gemcitabine for Children and Adolescents with Refractory or Recurrent Medulloblastoma Brain Tumours (Associate Professor Nicholas Gottardo of Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth).**

The Australian Brain Cancer Mission is coordinated and managed by Cancer Australia on behalf of the Australian Government.