Millions in private funding for top cancer research projects in Australia

Five of the best cancer research projects in the world stand to receive millions of dollars in funding,  following the Australian Cancer Research Foundation’s announcement today of its  shortlist for 2013 research grants.

From twelve research proposals, the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) has shortlisted five for further assessment as a result of the world-class standard of proposed works, and the significant potential for this research to achieve major breakthroughs in cancer diagnosis, treatment and cure.

Chief Executive of the ACRF, David Brettell said, “These final five applications provide hope for all types of cancer not just one or two.”

“Together, they represent a need for more than $20 million to fund advanced technologies and facilities.”

“As the only private charity in Australia that provides major funding grants for these cutting-edge resources, we will do our very best to ensure that the Australian Cancer Research Foundation can meet the needs of these very exciting research initiatives,” said Mr Brettell.

Each applicant will go through a further, detailed interview and assessment processes with the cancer charity’s Medical Research Advisory Committee, which is chaired by co-creator of the cervical cancer vaccine and 2006 Australian of the Year, Professor Ian Frazer AC.

The final awardees will be announced publicly on 13th November 2013. They will receive funding amounts of between $2m and $5m to either entirely fulfil their research goals and/or to kick-start major collaborative research initiatives.

“Grants for this purpose and of this magnitude are not available from other sources, outside of government, in Australia – we are the only private funding body who does this at a national level,” said Mr Brettell.

“There have been incredible, lifesaving breakthroughs in cancer research over recent years and we, together with our wonderful donors and supporters, are thrilled to be part of this progress.”

The ACRF is privately funded and relies entirely on contributions from individuals, families, companies and community groups to award its annual cancer research grants. This year marks the ACRF’s 29th year funding world-class cancer research in Australia, having awarded $86.5 million since its inception, with 70% of this total provided in just the last 7 years.

Every dollar the ACRF receives in donations this year will go to research that has the power to beat cancer. Please see below for information on each shortlisted research proposal.

1) Children’s Cancer Institute Australia, Sydney

This proposal is to establish a fully integrated evidence-based personalised medicine program for children with cancer. The ACRF Centre will offer, for the first time, rationally designed and targeted molecular therapeutics for all child cancer patients who are at high risk of relapse. This centre will provide new treatment options to patients who have not had success with their current treatments.

2) Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane

The proposed new Centre for Comprehensive Biomedical Imaging will house advanced technologies with the capability of viewing and measuring biological processes from the molecular through to the anatomical. The equipment requiring funding will image cancer progression, immune reaction and treatment effects in pre-clinical models, with the ultimate outcome of developing and testing effective therapies to control and defeat cancer.

3) Children’s Medical Research Institute, Sydney

Funding for this proposal will allow an internationally unique consortium of telomere research groups – telomeres  protect our genetic data, make it possible for cells to divide and influence how we get diseases such as cancer – to better understand the differences in telomere biology between normal and cancerous cells. The proposed new ACRF centre will facilitate the design of novel anti-cancer drugs that can be used to treat almost all types of cancers. It will become the national telomere testing centre for clinical and diagnostic purposes, and for many collaborative epidemiological studies.

4) South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide

A new facility will enable the research team to rapidly translate their basic biomedical research discoveries into novel cancer therapies, towards better outcomes and survival for cancer patients. This state-of-the-art facility will house advanced technologies that will provide the tools for researchers to speed up the development of new treatments for cancer.

5) Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Melbourne

The aim of this proposal is to create a facility that can undertake, in a translational research setting, complex analysis of proteins and phosphoproteins from human tissue samples to inform pre-clinical cancer drug development and clinical trials. The ACRF facility will incorporate five emerging technologies with the ability to identify and inform targeted, personalised treatment options for cancer patients.

For more on the ACRF’s Cancer Research Grants, visit: https://acrf.com.au/cancer-research-grants/