The Australian Government is today announcing a $100 million fund in an effort to defeat brain cancer and provide a better life for those suffering from this terrible disease.
The Australian Brain Cancer Mission is a partnership between the Federal Government, philanthropists, medical experts, patients and their families.
The Mission aims to double survival rates of people living with brain cancer over the next 10 years, which hasn’t changed significantly in the past 30 years.
In the long-term our goal is to defeat brain cancer through world-wide collaboration.
As a first step, the Turnbull Government is providing $50 million through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), combined with $10 million from the Minderoo Foundation’s Eliminate Cancer Initiative and a commitment of $20 million from Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.
We expect to announce the remaining $20 million in the coming months.
We are dollar matching every donation up to $50 million to support the Australian Brain Cancer Mission and I am calling on other Australians, government and industry to join this important initiative.
The Australian Brain Cancer Mission is underpinned by a research roadmap developed by Australian and international experts in brain cancer treatment and research, and those affected by brain cancer, their advocates and philanthropic interests.
Brain cancer affects many Australian adults of all ages, but it disproportionately affects children and we lose a classroom of kids each year to brain cancer.
This is an unacceptable statistic that must be reversed.
Our goal is to confine brain cancer mortality to the history books of time and we are aiming to replicate the success of our fight on other cancers such as leukaemia.
A key objective of the Australian Brain Cancer Mission is to ensure every patient, adult and child in Australia has the opportunity to participate in clinical trials.
This will be done by investing in more clinical trials, new discovery work, further international collaborations, expanding research platforms and technologies, and fostering the talent of our researchers.
Prioritised first investments include the establishment of an Australian arm of the GBM AGILE, an international adaptive trial platform for adults with glioblastoma, which will be co-funded by the Turnbull Government, the Minderoo Foundation’s Eliminate Cancer Initiative and Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.
We will also prioritise new funding for Australian and New Zealand Children’s Haematology Oncology Group (ANZCHOG) clinical trial centres and support the consolidation of the national ZERO Children’s Cancer initiative.
There will be opportunities for new research grant projects, scholarships, fellowships and biopharmaceutical industry partnerships to collaborate on drug discovery.
Cancer Australia will administer the Mission supported by a Strategic Advisory Group.
This group will comprise brain cancer patients, clinicians, researchers, co-investors and industry representatives, as well as a member of the MRFF’s Australian Medical Research Advisory Board.
Health and medical research is a focus and pillar of our Long-Term National Health Plan.
Research is essential for preparing Australia for the healthcare challenges of the future.
The MRFF provides Australia with an opportunity to call out national missions to tackle some of these challenges, and brain cancer is the first of more missions to come.
I want to congratulate and thank Nicola and Andrew Forrest AO and the Minderoo Foundation’s Eliminating Cancer Initiative on their contribution of $10 million to help fuel the Mission.
I would like to thank Cure Brain Cancer Foundation for their leadership in the brain cancer space and for committing a further $20 million.
I would particularly like to thank Mr Dustin Perry for his tireless work in raising awareness of the need for more brain cancer research.
The Australian Brain Cancer Mission is bold and delivers new hope.
This Mission builds on a number of Government initiatives including a $13 million clinical trial grant program with a focus on rare cancers, a commitment to establishing the southern hemisphere’s first proton beam therapy facility in South Australia, $20 million for the Zero Childhood Cancer initiative and the brain cancer clinical trial AIM BRAIN.
Missions can be long journeys that include setbacks. But, with the collective commitment they have the potential to deliver the impossible, offering new hope.