If we have an opportunity to reduce the number of Australians with brain cancer, we should absolutely take it.
Statistics show that the survival rates for brain cancer haven’t improved in around 30 years, whilst survival rates for other cancers have.
This is one of the reasons why I joined the Senate Select Committee to inquire and report on the impact of funding for research into cancers with low survival rates. At hearings, we heard heartbreaking stories from those who had lost a partner or friend to brain cancer and valuable information on drug trials and other research.
The Federal Government must also quickly put more funding into research for the 186 rare and less common cancers which kill some 24,000 Australians each year. The Senate last year agreed to my motion calling on the Government to "urgently implement mechanisms it has at its disposal to increase and co-ordinate research efforts into rare and less common cancers, and to increase the pool of funding dedicated to investigating and affordably treating rare cancer".
A lack of funding and advances in research means that mortality rates for less common cancers such as cancers of the pancreas, brain and stomach have barely improved in decades.
We need to act urgently to investigate and understand these cancers and develop better treatments to help give people diagnosed with these cancers a better long-term outcome.
More details on the committee and the report can be found here: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Funding_for_Research_into_Cancers.
Proton Therapy for Cancer Treatment
Centre Alliance was instrumental in negotiating Commonwealth funding of $68 million to ensure that South Australia will have the southern hemisphere’s first proton therapy treatment centre in Adelaide at SAHMRI (South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute).
Proton and Carbon therapies are examples of the future in terms of precisely targeting cancerous cells with less damage to surrounding healthy tissue, as well as less treatments and fewer side effects resulting in better outcomes for patients.
$50 million for a life-saving support to cancer patients
I successfully negotiated with government for a national rollout of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research’s cutting-edge Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Program (AGCMP). This program will enable 5,000 people to participate in ground-breaking clinical trials in their home state, instead of needing to travel to Sydney.