Date published: 
5 April 2019
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

5 April 2019

An additional joint investment of $10 million to the Australian Brain Cancer Mission will bring new hope for children with brain cancer.

$3.35 million in funding from our Government, together with $5 million from the Financial Markets Foundation for Children, $1.24 million from the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation and $400,000 from Carries Beanies 4 Brain Cancer will ensure that every child in Australia with brain cancer can benefit from clinical trials and innovative new treatments no matter where they live.

This funding will increase access to clinical trials and support all nine dedicated children’s cancer centres across Australia to provide increased access to clinical trials to give children with brain cancer access to the newest and most promising treatments and therapies, provide hope for children and their families.

Brain cancer kills more children in Australia than any other disease and, despite improvements in patient care and support, survival rates for brain cancer have remained relatively unchanged for the past 30 years.

The Mission was established in 2017 by our Government with the goal of doubling survival rates and improving the quality of life of people living with brain cancer over the next decade to 2027, with the longer term aim of defeating brain cancer.

Clinical trials are the gold standard in treating children with brain cancer. New therapies tested in clinical trials will, over time, contribute to improvements in survival rates.

The COZMOS clinical trial, led by Professor Jordan Hansford from the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, is one of the clinical trials that will be funded through this collaboration.

The COZMOS trial will provide new hope to children with recurrent or relapsed ependymoma brain cancer.

Ependymoma is a malignant brain cancer that occurs primarily in children. No drugs have been identified as being effective for this type of brain cancer; traditional treatment is with major surgery and toxic radiotherapy, but if the tumour regrowth occurs, the disease is incurable.

Ependymoma genes are normal cells, however the switch that tells a cell to grow or stop growing gets stuck in the “on” position and the abnormal malignant growth occurs.

In the COZMOS study, the drug 5-azacytidine is used to change the cells stuck in the “on” position, so that a second chemotherapy drug, carboplatin, can be more active in destroying the cancer.

This Mission is a true partnership between the Australian Government, philanthropists, researchers and clinicians, patients and their families.

Today’s announcement brings the total investment in the Mission to $124.7 million.

Real progress to improve quality of life for children affected by brain cancer will be the result of coordinated efforts across Australia and throughout the world by valued partners such as the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

The Australian Brain Cancer Mission seeks to coordinate national research, clinical and funding efforts to make a difference.

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