CHILDREN’S BRAIN CANCER FOCUS OF $7.1 MILLION GRANTS

Ground-breaking research into aggressive childhood brain tumours is a major recipient of a $7.1 million investment into cancer research announced today by the NSW Government. Health Minister Brad Hazzard said research has the potential to deliver a new care model, therapies and better outcomes for children with in-operable brain tumors.

“Despite significant advances in childhood cancer treatments, the prognosis for kids battling aggressive brain cancers worldwide remains bleak,” Mr Hazzard said. “The NSW Government, through the Cancer Institute NSW has invested more than $16 million over the last five years in paediatric cancer research.

“In addition, Australia’s first Comprehensive Children’s Cancer Centre will be built at the Sydney Children’s Hospital by the NSW Government with an investment of $608 million. “The latest funding boost for researchers will hopefully help get new treatments from the laboratory benchtop to the bedside much quicker, giving some hope to families.”

Brain tumours are the most common form of solid tumours among children. Malignant brain tumours kill more children in Australia than any other disease. Associate Professor David Ziegler of the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick received a Translational Program Grant of $3.75 million to develop new treatments for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), presently an inoperable brain stem tumour in children. “With this additional funding, we’ll be looking at treatments like immunotherapy and drugs targeting specific genetic mutations to help our young patients,” Professor Ziegler said.

Also announced as part of today’s funding was $3.3 million in Cancer Research Fellowships supporting early and mid-career researchers. Professor David Currow, Chief Cancer Officer and CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW, administered the funding. He said the Fellowships formed a vital part of NSW’s research investment.

“Investing in our researchers at the beginning of their careers, helps ensure NSW remains at the forefront of cancer research, delivering better outcomes for all patients.”