Australian Cancer Research Foundation 2023 Grant Awards

The 2023 grant awards represent the best of the best in cancer research in Australia.

The ideas and approaches are bold, pioneering and give me confidence that we are on the right path to tackle this devastating disease.

With the most innovative equipment in their hands, researchers can dream big, push boundaries and blaze new trails. These programs showcase what’s possible when you combine brilliant minds with the technology that can unlock their potential.



Improving outcomes for brain cancer patients

$4 million awarded to South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute in South Australia to establish the ACRF Adelaide Brain Cancer Therapy and Imaging Consortium.

Harnessing the latest technological advances of Australia’s first proton therapy unit located in Adelaide, this new consortium will for the first time in Australia leverage proton radiotherapy for research purposes. Proton beam therapy provides unique potential as unlike other forms of radiation therapy, is only delivered to the cancerous tissue with very little harm to the surrounding, sensitive normal brain tissue. The purchase and installation of state-of-the-art preclinical imaging will give doctors vital new knowledge to design and test novel cancer treatments and improve the clinical experience of proton beam therapy for patients diagnosed with brain cancer.

While survival and survivorship have dramatically improved in many cancers, brain cancer has remained among the poorest outcomes. This new consortium’s unique ‘bench to bedside’ approach is looking to both improve the efficacy of the proton radiation therapy as well as reduce the long-term drastic side-effects of the current treatments.


Unlocking the potential of immunotherapies for childhood cancer

$2 million awarded to Children’s Cancer Institute in New South Wales, to establish the ACRF Spatial Immune-oncology Research Program.

Immunotherapy is the most appealing anti-cancer approach of the modern era but the positive results seen in adults are as yet not paralleled for childhood cancers. This world-leading program will utilise the latest technologies (new to Australia) to cast light on the complex interactions between cancer cells and immune cells in children, accelerating the discovery, development, and deployment of new and effective immune-based therapeutic strategies for children with cancer.

This grant builds on the $8.6m previously awarded by ACRF to Children’s Cancer Institute and will build on and integrate with the ZERO Childhood Cancer Program and the ACRF Child Cancer Liquid Biopsy Program. We are proud to continue to support the mission to end childhood cancer for good.


Developing tailored patient treatment approaches in real-time

$2 million awarded to Macquarie University in New South Wales to establish the ACRF Centre for Advanced Cancer Modelling.

ACRF‘s first grant to Macquarie University, will establish the ACRF Centre for Advanced Cancer Modelling. A unique program of research that aims to transform the assessment of the best available treatment for an individual.

With local and international partnerships core to the project, the Centre will bring together clinical, research and bioengineering expertise.

The use of dynamic disease models (patient-derived tissue, cellular and liquid biopsy and animal) will deliver new knowledge on the mechanisms of treatment resistance and could reveal novel therapeutics in a broad range of cancers. This could transform the way cancer patients are managed.


Transforming decades of research into individualised treatment options

$2 million awarded to QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Queensland to establish the ACRF Centre for Optimised Cancer Therapy.

Built upon decades of transformative cancer research findings, the ACRF Centre for Optimised Cancer Therapy is based on the belief that the future of cancer medicine relies in the ability to identify and translate research findings in real time, to clinicians looking after patients with cancer.

This grant will enable the research team to optimise and improve treatments, based on individual patient responses, ensuring every patient has the best chance of cure from their cancer.

Leveraging the current unprecedented level of understanding of cancer risk, cancer evolution and prognosis after treatment for patients, this program will transform insights from decades of cancer research findings to identify the best treatment for each individual’s cancer.


“These programs showcase what’s possible when you combine brilliant minds with the technology that can unlock their potential."

Kerry Strydom, ACRF Chief Executive Officer

Help us fund more life-saving research. We believe a world without cancer is possible.