National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £30-35 million a year
Australia launches ground-breaking brain tumour initiative
What is perhaps the biggest ever announcement in the history of global brain tumour research has just come out of Australia, although the news will undoubtedly be welcomed by brain tumour patients across the globe.
A £60 million strategy to double brain tumour survival rates and improve patients’ quality of life, called the ‘Australian Brain Cancer Mission’ has just been launched by Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt.
The initiative is a collaboration between the Australian Government, charities and scientists.
A key objective is to ensure that every Australian brain tumour patient has the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial.
The Australian Brain Cancer Mission will also fund research infrastructure and studies into new drugs and therapies. The knowledge gained from this research:
There are striking similarities between the brain tumour sectors in both Britain and Australia. Just as with Britain, brain cancer kills more children than any other disease in Australia. It also kills more people under 40 in Australia than any other cancer.
The Australian Government has pledged £30 million for this initiative. This announcement comes just a month before an Australian Senate Select Committee into Funding for Research into Low Survival Cancers, which had a strong focus on brain cancer, is due to publish a report.
The Committee is being chaired by Senator Catryna Bilyk, who in 2008 was diagnosed with two benign tumours in her brain.
The Australian brain tumour community, including patients, their families and the charity Cure Brain Cancer Foundation have been vital in pushing for this commitment from the Australian Government.
Brain Tumour Research will be following developments in Australia with interest. Both the Australian Brain Cancer Mission and the upcoming report from the Senate Select Committee will provide useful guidance on how governments, researchers, clinicians, the pharmaceutical industry and the third sector can collaborate to improve outcomes for UK brain tumour patients.