$13.6 million for reproductive, childhood brain and other cancer clinical trials

The Morrison Government will provide $13.6 million to support ten clinical trials to find innovative cancer treatments for melanoma, reproductive and gynaecological cancers and childhood brain cancer.

Childhood brain cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in Australian children, with around 100 children diagnosed each year and an estimated 36 children dying from the disease last year according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Our Government will invest $3 million across four childhood brain cancer clinical trials to improve the quality of life of children living with the condition, and in the long-term, to find a cure to defeat the disease.

The clinical trials will address gaps in knowledge; produce evidence on the effectiveness of new treatments drugs and devices; engage health service delivery partners to implement findings as quickly as possible; and making trials accessible to patients and parents who might otherwise not be involved.

The clinical trials will be led by researchers from Monash University and the University of New South Wales, and will be accessible for children between the ages of 0-14 years.

$6.5 million in funding will be invested by our Government to support four clinical trials for endometrial cancer, epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube and peritoneal cancer, and the role of hormonal therapy in treating gynaecological cancers.

An estimated 6,454 Australian women will be diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer this year, and 19,871 women will live their lives with these devastating diseases.

From this investment, Australian women will soon have access to a three year trial that will help find new treatments, medicines and devices to support those living with one of these rare cancers.

The Morrison Government will also provide $4.1 million in funding for two world class international clinical trials to help improve therapy for patients living with two of Australia’s deadliest conditions – melanoma and cardiovascular disease.

Melanoma is the fourth most common cancer in Australia and the second most common in young adults. Although it is curable when detected early, survival rates for metastatic melanoma are low.

DETECTION, is an international trial led by researchers from the University of Melbourne, examining a new way to reduce deaths from advanced melanoma.

The clinical trial will study more than 1000 patients with Stage 11 melanoma, to find whether a blood test containing tumour DNA (ctDNA) can identify those at high risk of a relapse after surgery for localised melanoma.

It will also evaluate if treating these patients early with immunotherapy based on the ctDNA positive result will improve their overall survival.

Each of the aforementioned clinical trials is backed by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) through which $614 million has been committed to the Clinical Trials Activity, with a significant proportion allocated to research focused on rare cancers, rare diseases and unmet medical needs.

The Morrison Government recognises clinical trials are absolutely essential for evaluating the effectiveness and safety of medicines, devices, services and interventions to help prevent, detect or treat illness and disease.

We will be monitoring the outcomes of this research closely and we look forward to seeing much needed support and access to better treatments roll out to children and their families.

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