Research Funding to Improve Prostate Cancer Outcomes

Research Funding to Improve Prostate Cancer Outcomes

14 May 2013

Australias best scientists will do more research to improve outcomes for men with prostate cancer under new Australian Government funding announced by the Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, today.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths, with 3,235 men losing their lives in 2010. It is also the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in Australia (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers), with 19,438 men diagnosed in 2009.

The Government is providing $18.5 million over four years to the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centres initiative.

This provides funding of $5.5 million for the first time to the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre, located at the Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Sydney.

In addition, it continues funding to Centres at the Epworth Hospital, Melbourne ($6.2 million) and the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane ($6.2 million).

Research is vital to furthering our knowledge and understanding of prostate cancer. It is the best way to develop new and more effective methods of detecting, diagnosing and treating this very difficult cancer, said Ms Plibersek.

The new initiative builds on the Governments unprecedented investment to combat cancer. Since 2007, the Government has committed about $3.5 billion to improve the detection and treatment of cancer, including more than $1.5 billion on cancer medicines.

We are building a world-class cancer care system for all Australians - one that ensures people can access early detection, treatment and quality care, where and when they need it, Ms Plibersek said.

Outcomes for cancer patients in Australia have improved dramatically - our current relative five year survival rates for all cancers combined are overall the best in the world at more than 66 per cent.

But we must continue the fight and research is integral to this.

The Government, through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), is the largest funder of cancer research in Australia - more than $1.1 billion committed since 2007. Cancer research is the single largest investment by the NHMRC.