The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care
26 September 2021
New hope for Australians living with brain cancer
Australians living with the most common and deadliest form of brain cancer will be given new hope thanks to a patient-focused clinical trial for Australians with Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM).
The Morrison Government’s Australian Brain Cancer Mission, in partnership with the Minderoo Foundation and the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation (CBCF), has today opened a grant opportunity for researchers to undertake the GBM Adaptive Global Innovative Learning Environment (GBM AGILE) trial for the first time in this country.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the new grant round would help Australia’s world-leading researchers to continue to strive for the Mission’s goal to defeat brain cancer.
“New cases of brain cancer are increasing each year and GBM accounts for 45% of all malignant brain tumours,” Minister Hunt said.
“In 2020, 2,000 Australians were diagnosed with brain cancer and tragically, less than a quarter will be alive in five years.
“The Australian Brain Cancer Mission aims to turn these statistics around, double survival rates and improve the quality of life of patients with brain cancer.
“This mode of trial will help deliver effective treatments faster for patients, allowing researchers to simultaneously study the effects of multiple unique drugs.”
GBM AGILE is a flexible and adaptable trial approach that has several “treatment arms”, giving it the potential to fundamentally change the clinical research process for GBM by identifying or disproving therapies more quickly.
Ultimately, the Mission – funded through the Morrison Government’s Medical Research Future Fund and philanthropic contributions – aims to defeat brain cancer.
The Commonwealth Department of Health and Cancer Australia have worked together to open this grant opportunity and will continue to work with the Minderoo Foundation and CBCF to ensure the success of the program.
CBCF CEO, Lance Kawaguchi, said bringing the GBM AGILE trial to Australia was an important step to finding a cure for one of the most common and deadly forms of brain cancer.
“GBM AGILE will bring world-leading research and innovative treatments to Australian patients. Cure Brain Cancer Foundation is proud to collaborate with the Government and Minderoo on this important initiative,” Mr Kawaguchi said.
“Using a technique called adaptive randomisation, the trial connects patients with therapies that have the greatest chance of treating their cancer. That means if one treatment is working better than another, more new patients will be given that treatment.”
CEO of Minderoo Foundation’s Collaborate Against Cancer initiative, Dr Steve Burnell, said that providing new options to brain cancer patients was a priority for Minderoo, who are a founding member of the Australian Brain Cancer Mission.
“Adaptive platform trials like GBM AGILE can quickly provide multiple treatment options to patients, driving more personalised approaches which is the future of all cancer care,” said Dr Burnell.
“We are proud to join with the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation and the Government to bring this exciting new trial to those in Australia suffering from brain cancer.”
Up to $12 million is available over four years from 2021–22. More information on the grant round can be found at www.grants.gov.au.