Select Committee into Funding for Research into Cancers with Low Survival Rates

Pancare Foundation CEO Angelia Dixon welcomes the announcement of a Select Committee into Funding for Research into Cancers with Low Survival Rates due to report in November 2017.

A Senate Select Committee into Funding for Research into Cancers with Low Survival rates will be established to “inquire and report on the impact of health research funding models on the availability of funding for research into cancers with low survival rates”.

We hope this allows robust discussion on the challenges researchers face trying to get much needed funding for research for cancers with low survival rates.  With the survival rate for pancreatic cancer only at 7%, a  better research funding model is well overdue.  The survival rate for pancreatic cancer was just 3% in 1987 and in that time we’ve seen significant improvements in survival rates for other cancers that have received significant research funding.

An audit conducted by Cancer Australia shows that between 2003 and 2011, $1.3B in direct funding was provided to cancer research projects/programs.  Of this, $8M was directed to pancreatic cancer, $80M to prostate cancer and $180M to breast cancer.  There are significant differences in the level of research funding directed to pancreatic cancer and other cancers with low survival rates.

In Victoria alone, half of the cancer deaths are attributed to cancers with low survival rates (less than 30%).  There is no reason to think this is any different in the other states.

One of the challenges in advocating for a change in research funding towards cancer with low survival rates, is simply that there are very few survivors to do so.

Today, the more common cancers are associated with survival or survival in years, yet people with pancreatic cancer and other cancers with low survival rates, can be devastated by the loss of a loved one in just a few months.

The Pancare Foundation is fighting to improve survival rates for people affected by pancreatic, liver, biliary, stomach and oesophageal cancers.