We're getting closer everyday to a world without cancer - but there are still many types of cancer that we can't yet prevent, detect or treat effectively. The brilliant research we back today could one day be the difference between life and death for someone like little Sophia.

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Meet two-year old Sophia, a loving and vivacious little girl diagnosed with cancer, and the passionate researchers who are determined that, one day, we'll have the knowledge we need to deliver personalised, effective treatment to every single person diagnosed with cancer.


Sophia was just a baby when she developed an aggressive tumour behind her left eye.

Her parents were terrified they would lose her – but because of crucial research in the past, Sophia’s doctors knew exactly which chemotherapies to use to treat her cancer. Tragically that’s not yet the outcome for every child diagnosed with cancer.

“We spent a lot of time with one little girl during Sophia’s treatment – but there was no research available on her type of cancer, so she’s no longer here. It’s heartbreaking. The only difference between the child who survives and the child who dies is research.” – Liz, Sophia’s mum.

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One child in Australia dies from cancer approximately every four days¹ – but researchers at the ACRF International Centre for the Proteome of Human Cancer (ProCan) are working to improve that.

ProCan was established with a $10 million grant from ACRF in 2015. Since then, scientists have analysed tumour samples from more than 17,000 individual cancer patients from around the world. They are building a database - the largest of its kind in the world - that will soon enable clinicians to create a personalised plan that includes new information on the specific characteristics of each patient's tumour - and deliver the best possible treatment.

1. Australian Government, Statistics for Children’s Cancers

"All our eyes are on the goal - and that goal is to make a difference to people living with cancer. That's what drives us."

Professor Robinson, Co-Director, ProCan

“ProCan would not exist at all if it weren’t for ACRF. No other agency in all of Australia funds equipment or facilities for cancer research the way they do.” – Professor Robinson

It’s only with the support of compassionate people like you that we can continue to provide essential infrastructure and technology and enable life-saving research into all types of cancer. Every funding application we receive undergoes a rigorous assessment by our world-class Medical Research Advisory Committee, to ensure that your generous gifts have the greatest possible impact.

Thanks to the funding provided by ACRF, ProCan researchers have access to cutting-edge liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry technology, so they can measure the precise levels of many thousands of proteins in very small cancer biopsies.

Support like yours means they also have the IT infrastructure to compare the data they collect with information that is already available for each type of cancer, including clinical records, genetic analyses and genome sequencing. This knowledge will enable researchers to develop new, more effective cancer treatments.

Our 2023 grant applications are now open. Please help back the most promising, trailblazing ideas and bring us closer to a world without cancer.