Greg Hunt announces funding for research into rare cancers and disease

Latest News

Health minister Greg Hunt has announced what he describes as the "largest investment in clinical trials in any single round in Australian history".

Mr Hunt said the federal government will invest $55 million in research on rare cancers and diseases. 

"The unprecedented clinical trials activity is aimed at developing new drugs, devices and treatments, and ultimately saving lives," he said.

Of the $55 million, $15 million is for research into reproductive cancers, including cancers located in the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, endometrium or ovaries in women, and cancer of the testicles in men, while $5 million is for clinical trials in childhood brain cancer.

Neurological disorders including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, spinal cord injuries and Autism Spectrum Disorders, will attract $20 million with another $15 million set aside for other significant gaps in current research and knowledge in rare cancers, rare diseases and areas of unmet medical need.

"In Australia, it is estimated more than 40,000 Australians are diagnosed with a rare or less common form of cancer," said Mr Hunt.

"For many, there is a lack of evidence-based information to inform treatment options and support networks. While survival rates for high incidence cancers have improved, those for rare cancers have remained relatively static.

"People living with a rare disease face significant challenges including diagnostic delays, lack of available treatments and difficulty in finding the appropriate care," he added.