Government announces new funding for child cancer research

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Health minister Greg Hunt has announced the government will provide $9 million to support research into the causes, biology and progression of cancer among children and young adults.

Cancer is the leading cause of death from disease among Australian children, said Mr Hunt.

Survival rates for some cancers among children have not improved in more than 25 years and an analysis of records held by the Australian Childhood Cancer Registry shows the rates of several childhood cancers are slowly rising.

Delays in diagnosing childhood cancers can limit treatment options, and for some cancers, there are currently no effective treatments.

"This $9 million investment from the Government’s ground-breaking Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) will provide grant opportunities for Australia’s world-leading researchers to accelerate options to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer in children and adolescents," said Mr Hunt.

The minister said the grant will fund projects in two research streams - cancers that occur in children aged 0-14 years and cancers that occur in adolescents aged 10-19.

"Funding of $3 million will be allocated to each of the two streams. The remaining $3 million will be earmarked to support the overall best research, irrespective of streams," he said, adding consultation with The Kids’ Cancer Project and Cancer Australia has informed the scope and priorities of the program.