Government announces funding for new treatment trials

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Health minister Greg Hunt has announced $10 million to fund six new rare cancer and rare disease clinical trials.

Mr Hunt announced the funding at the Rare Cancer CanForum 2018 at Parliament House in Canberra.

He said the aim of the new trials is to investigate and find potential new treatments for Australians diagnosed with a range of diseases with low survival rates and few options.

"Put simply this funding is about saving and extending lives. It delivers hope for a longer and better life," he said.

The six new clinical trials will target pancreatic cancer, which has a five-year overall survival rate of just 8 per cent, traumatic brain injury, rare skin tumours, myeloma, myelofibrosis, and a potential new treatment for high mortality cancers, such as glioblastoma.

The potential treatment for pancreatic cancer uses advances in radiotherapy to safely increase low-level radiation and kill more tumour cells.

The six clinical trials will be conducted by researchers at Monash University, the University of Melbourne, University of Sydney and La Trobe University. 

This $10 million funding is the latest investment out of the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). 

Mr Hunt said it is in addition to the 19 clinical trials announced earlier this year under the Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Need Clinical Trials program.

A total of $261 million over five years has been allocated from the MRFF to support clinical trials. Applications for a further $33 million in funding are currently being assessed, said Mr Hunt.