We were pleased that the 2017-18 Federal Budget announced support for childhood cancer research, facilities and clinical trials.
Children’s Cancer Institute is the only research institute wholly dedicated to childhood cancer in Australia. We are acutely aware of the need for government and community support to work towards a cure for children’s cancer.
Our Executive Director, Professor Michelle Haber AM is pleased that fighting childhood cancer is a focus for the medical research aspects of the Budget.
“We’re thrilled at the Federal Government’s ongoing commitment to support medical research aimed at fighting childhood cancer. This support is so important because cancer kills more Australian children than any other disease.”
“The new initiatives in this year’s Federal Budget focused on targeting childhood cancers are a welcome addition to the government’s support for the Zero Childhood Cancer national child cancer personalised medicine program, led by Children’s Cancer Institute in partnership with the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, announced last year,” she said.
Following last year’s $20M funding for the program, we’re pleased to see ongoing commitment to this world-class program which will benefit children around the country with the most aggressive cancers.
Specific budget measures
Among a number of medical research-related announcements, the Federal Government announced increased investment in childhood cancer research including:
- $1.4 million over four years from 2017-18 to fast track two new international collaborations of clinical trials of paediatric brain cancer in Australia. Brain cancers like Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) are the most aggressive of all children’s cancers. Our Targeted Therapy researchers are expanding understanding of DIPG and looking for treatments.
- $4.4 million over three years from 2017-18 to Cancer Australia to increase Australia’s capacity to diagnose, treat, manage and conduct research into childhood cancer. This will provide a specific funding stream for childhood cancer under Cancer Australia’s Priority-drive Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme; improve national data on childhood cancers; and support children’s cancer groups to raise funds for research and awareness. Last year, three of our researchers received Cancer Australia grants for childhood cancer research. Creating a specific childhood cancer funding stream longer term, will boost Australian research capacity in the search for cures for the around 1000 children each year diagnosed with cancer.
- up to $68 million in 2017-18 toward the purchase of accelerator equipment and two treatment rooms in support of the establishment of a proton beam facility at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) precinct. This will deliver new research capabilities to help Australian researchers develop the next generation of cancer treatments, including for radiotherapy for the treatment of certain types of complex children’s cancer. SAHMRI is a key partner in the Zero Childhood Cancer national personalised medicine program.
Read more about Zero Childhood Cancer which will this year begin a national clinical trial for children with the most aggressive, highest-risk cancers.