12 Apr $20 million funding commitment welcomed by Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation
The Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation welcomes a $20 million funding commitment for its Pancreatic Cancer Research Program, announced by the Federal Opposition as part of its Medicare Cancer Plan. See the media release below.
In his 2019 Budget Reply Speech on April 4, the Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced his Medicare Cancer Plan, to come into effect should the Australian Labor Party form government following the 2019 federal election.
As part of this plan, the Federal Opposition has pledged $20 million over 4 years to fund ongoing research into Pancreatic Cancer across 4 fields, bolstering 22 existing research programs that have been initiated over the past decade with grants from Australia’s leading Pancreatic Cancer organisation, the Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.
Pancreatic Cancer is more common and more virulent cancer than most understand. This year, Pancreatic Cancer will kill virtually as many Australians as Breast Cancer. The likelihood of being alive 5 years after being diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer is less than 10% – this compares to a five year survival rate of 95% for Prostate Cancer patients. In fact, 4 out of 5 patients diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer are unable to be operated on, and will die within 12 months of the day they receive their diagnosis.
Without further research, Pancreatic Cancer will remain exceptionally difficult to diagnose and, in most cases, impossible to treat. There are virtually no symptoms, so Pancreatic Cancer cannot be identified with any existing screening process. As a consequence, most patients are already close to death when they are diagnosed.
Driven by these dire circumstances, over the past decade the Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation has invested $7 million in 22 research grants to institutions across Australia. “Research into Pancreatic Cancer has been underfunded and ignored for years” said Caroline Kelly, Founder and CEO of the Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation. “As a result, incidence and deaths continue to rise while many other cancers are being brought under control. That’s why we call Pancreatic Cancer ‘The Cancer of our Generation’.”
“There is a huge opportunity to improve diagnosis, treatment and survival rates in four key areas of research:
1. Identifying biomarkers & technologies that will lead to prevention & early intervention
2. Unravelling Pancreatic Cancer’s resistance to conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy
3. Understanding Pancreatic Cancer’s unique microenvironment
4. Identifying novel therapeutics including the repurposing of existing medicines, and unravelling Pancreatic Cancer’s resistance to immunotherapy.
“We applaud the $20 million funding commitment pledged by Mr. Shorten. These funds will accelerate the promising work now underway in Australia’s leading universities and research institutes. Genuine advances are within reach. This investment will improve the lives of future generations of Australians and will help cement the status of Australia’s scientific and medical communities at the cutting edge globally.”