RARE Daily

Australia Awards $45.7 Million to Researchers of Rare Cancers and Rare Diseases

January 11, 2022

The Australian government awarded $45.7 million (AUD 63.5) million to 27 grant recipients under the 2021 Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Need (RCRDUN) grant opportunity, which aims to increase clinical trial activity in Australia for rare cancers and rare disease by supporting new, high quality research.

The RCRDUN opportunity also encourages novel and innovative clinical trial methodologies, such as the application of precision medicine to take individual genetic variation into account in disease treatment.

Rare cancers and rare diseases are specific, life threatening or chronically debilitating health conditions that affect fewer than 1 in 2,000 people.

With limited treatment options, patient outcomes may not be optimal and the combined health burden on the patient and the health sector is significant.

Among the 27 grant recipients, $1.1 (AUD 1.5 million) was awarded to the University of New South Wales to trial combination precision guided therapies for high risk childhood cancer, based on each child’s individual tumor profile. This can support better targeted treatments based on precision medicine for children with the most aggressive cancers.

Monash University received $2.1 million (AUD 3 million), for a study that will test whether a structured radiology report can improve the accuracy of reporting of CT scans in pancreatic cancer, to help doctors distinguish patients who should receive chemotherapy before surgery versus surgery alone, to optimize care. Identifying the most effective treatment for patients as quickly as possible will support improved outcomes from this devastating cancer.

The RCRDUN opportunity follows previous clinical trial activity funded under the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Clinical Trials Activity initiative, under which the Coalition Government has invested almost $1.4 billion (AUD 2 billion) in ground-breaking medical research to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians.

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