Low-survival cancers in which less than 50% of patients survive at least five years past diagnosis, make up nearly 20% of all cancer diagnoses – yet represent more than 40% of cancer deaths each year.
For many of these cancers there are very few or no treatment options available. For this reason, the Low Survival Cancer Alliance is advocating for significant investment to help us provide a better future for those diagnosed.
We have already had some success in 2018. The Victorian Government announced an extra $1.5 million in funding for low-survival cancer research projects. This funding contributed to Cancer Council Victoria Grants-in-Aid program with three projects beginning in 2019:
- Dr Nicholas Clemons at The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre will lead a study to help guide treatment decision making for people with oesophageal cancer.
- Dr Catherine Granger from the University of Melbourne will evaluate whether exercise can minimise the impact of living with lung cancer.
- Dr Moritz Eissman at LaTrobe University aims to develop a new targeted treatment for gastric cancers using antibody therapies.
Cancer Council Victoria Grants-in-Aid program funds high-quality research projects into the treatment, causes, detection and prevention of all cancers, including further projects into low-survival cancers. Applications for the next round of funding are currently open, closing on 6 May, 2019.
Our own researchers in the Cancer Epidemiology Division are working on studies to discover more about the causes of low survival cancers so we can better prevent them in the future.
These projects include the EMMA Study focusing on multiple myeloma, the LEAF Study of follicular lymphoma and the CONFIRM Study investigating the causes of kidney cancer.
Three fact sheets – “What Is Cancer?”, “Coping with Cancer Fatigue” and “Caring for Someone with Cancer” – are now available to download in bilingual versions in Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Greek, Hindi, Italian, Tamil, Tagalog and Vietnamese.
New editions now available: Understanding Cervical Cancer and Understanding Stomach and Oesophageal Cancers. Understanding Secondary Bone Cancer – an online fact sheet (available to download, not otherwise in hard copy)