Statement from Cancer Council Victoria following the release of the report into funding for research into cancers with low survival rates

Wednesday 29 November, 2017

Cancer Council Victoria welcomes the Senate Committee findings following the release of the report into funding for research into cancers with low survival rates yesterday.

The recommendations in the report include making research into low survival cancers a National Health Priority, making clinical trials more accessible for patients and ensuring ongoing funding for genomic research into low survival cancers.

Cancer Council Victoria CEO, Todd Harper, who provided submissions to inform the report, said it was notable that clinical trials be made more accessible to those who wish to participate.

"Clinical trial results will guide future research so it is essential that we include funding for and better access to clinical trials.

"We also strongly support the recommendation that annual progress reports be made available on the development and implementation of an Australian strategy to improve survival rates for low survival rate cancers.  It's important that we measure progress and have a holistic view if we are to achieve the increased survival rate of above 50 percent for these cancers by 2027.

"We know that research is life-saving. The survival rate of some more common cancers has increased to 90 percent in the last 20 years. Research can also change outcomes for low survival cancers.

"We must encourage high value collaborations and support high-quality research. The end goal here is to prevent cancer and ensure better treatment options for those diagnosed. Preventing cancer requires that we know as much as possible about the cause of it in the first place." 

We hope today's report provides an impetus for government, cancer, research and community groups to make progress against cancers with low survival rates. Cancer Council Victoria's ‘Forgotten Cancer project' began in 2011 and investigates the causes of less common or low survival rate cancers. For more information visit www.forgottencancers.com.au