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Media Release

Cancer Council welcomes Turnbull commitment to children’s cancer research

May 31, 2016

Cancer Council Australia has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement this morning of a $20 million investment in researching poorly understood children’s cancers.

Cancer Council Australia CEO, Professor Sanchia Aranda, said the Zero Childhood Cancer initiative was consistent with Cancer Council’s push for better prioritisation of research funds towards cancers for which treatment outcomes are relatively poor.

“Evidence is clear that cancer research funding is not allocated on the basis of need, with rarer and harder-to-treat cancers under-funded compared with better-understood cancers,” Professor Aranda said.

“Paediatric cancer is a good example. Survival for the more common childhood cancers has improved dramatically in the past four decades, and more advances can be made."

“But around one in five children’s cancers do not respond to conventional treatment. Investing $20 million in researching poorly understood children’s cancers could give hope to hundreds of Australian families."

“Ultimately this initiative could also support identification of new drug targets and drive drug discovery, with broad-ranging benefits. Given the rare nature of childhood cancer, such collaborations are essential to accelerate progress in research.”

Professor Aranda said the announcement was broadly aligned with Cancer Council Australia’s pre-election recommendations on research funding, which would be promoted to all candidates and released publicly within the next few days.

“We will be calling on all candidates to adopt our recommendations and asking the community to support them as well,” she said.

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