The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care
2 February 2022
The unique research expertise and clinical capabilities located in Victoria have come together in a new, multi-institutional partnership to fight childhood cancer.
With the aid of a $9.6 million Morrison Government grant, the Victorian Paediatric Cancer Consortium (VPCC) will help advance childhood cancer research and treatment.
The VPCC gathers world leading expertise from the Monash Technology Precinct and the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct, and has enormous potential to establish both Melbourne and Australia as global leaders in childhood cancer research.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the Morrison Government is committed to ensuring every Australian child diagnosed with cancer has access to the latest, most effective treatment and the best chance of survival.
“Tragically, survival rates for some cancers among children and young adults have not improved in more than 25 years, and rates of several childhood cancers are slowly rising. Cancer kills more children in Australia than any other disease,” Minister Hunt said.
“The VPCC will focus on discovery research projects in next generation precision oncology, tumour immunotherapy and epigenomic.
“It will also run clinical programs aimed at improving survival times and rates, reducing children’s adverse reactions to treatment, and translating new discoveries into clinical treatment.”
The grant to the VPCC is provided over three years through the Medical Research Future Fund’s Emerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research Initiative. The grant defines childhood cancer as cancer in children from newborns to 19 year-olds.
The consortium is co-led by Professor Ron Firestein from the Hudson Institute of Medical Research and Monash University, and Professor David Eisenstat, Head of the Children’s Cancer Centre at the Royal Children’s Hospital and Neuro-Oncology Group Leader at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.
The $20 billion MRFF is a long-term, sustainable investment in Australian health and medical research, helping to improve lives, build the economy and contribute to the sustainability of the health system, which ensures a guaranteed funding stream to support Australia’s best and brightest health researchers.
Further information about the MRFF is available at www.health.gov.au/mrff.