Funding boost for children with brain cancer

Nola Marino, Federal Member for Forrest, has welcomed the news that the Turnbull Government will provide $5 million to ensure all Australian children with high risk brain cancer have access to life-saving clinical trials and genetic testing.

The Government’s $105 million Australian Brain Cancer Mission will provide the funding to boost the Zero Childhood Cancer initiative.

The funding will mean more than 200 children – around 50 every year – with high risk brain cancer will now be included in the program from right across Australia.

‘This is about giving children the best possible chance of survival,’ Ms Marino said.

Children with high risk brain cancers will receive genomic and biologic testing on their cancer cells, to help identify the drugs most likely to attack and treat their specific cancer.

Scientists and doctors will work collaboratively to identify and deliver the most effective treatment plan, specifically tailored to suit each child’s individual disease.

The funding will be used to fast track access to targeted treatments through a range of new national and international clinical trials.

This means Australian children will be able to access the very latest research from around the world, providing unique treatments and medicines to help save the lives of some of our sickest children.

The establishment and integration of a routine immunoprofiling platform into the Zero Childhood Cancer Program will allow a child’s tumour to be profiled to indicate whether they are candidates for ground breaking immunotherapy trials.

‘Perth Childrens Hospital is one of eight Australia wide that will be involved in the Zero Childhood Brain Cancer initiative,’ Ms Marino said.

Every year in Australia the equivalent of a class of children die from brain cancer.

The five-year survival rate for brain cancer is just 22 per cent and this rate has not improved for the past 30 years.

The Turnbull Government committed $20 million to the world-leading Zero Childhood Cancer initiative last year and has been made available through the Government’s investment in the Australian Brain Cancer Mission.

The Mission aims to double survival rates and improve the quality of life of people living with brain cancer over the next 10 years, with the longer term aim of defeating brain cancer.