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Cancer Report reflects Importance of NFPs


25 September 2014 at 11:17 am
Lina Caneva
Peak NFP Cancer Council Australia has welcomed an audit report of Australian cancer research funding showing the nation’s overall investment has doubled over the past eight years - findings it says reflect the importance of the Not for Profit sector.

Lina Caneva | 25 September 2014 at 11:17 am


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Cancer Report reflects Importance of NFPs
25 September 2014 at 11:17 am

Peak NFP Cancer Council Australia has welcomed an audit report of Australian cancer research funding showing the nation’s overall investment has doubled over the past eight years – findings it says reflect the importance of the Not for Profit sector.

Cancer Research in Australia, released by the Federal Government agency Cancer Australia, found that a total of $1.3 billion in cancer research was funded between 2003 and 2011, including a three-fold increase in tumour-specific projects over that time.

Cancer Council Australia CEO, Professor Ian Olver, said that while the relative funding of research into tumours that caused high death rates had increased, the trend needed to continue.

“The trend towards a relative increase in funding for research into cancers that are particularly difficult to treat, such as lung cancer, is encouraging,” Olver said.

“We need to continue and accelerate that trend, even though difficult-to-treat cancers pose the greatest challenges to researchers.”

Professor Olver said the report also showed that the overall investment in cancer prevention research across all sectors was only 2 per cent, demonstrating the importance of supporting non-government and Not for Profit organisations, which led work in areas such as skin cancer prevention.

“A lot of prevention science and research in areas such as survivorship and patient support has no commercial application, so it is important to have a strong Not for Profit sector driving that research,” he said.

In 2014, Cancer Councils and their research partners invested more than $65 million into around 300 research initiatives, including research projects, fellowships and research centres.

Cancer Australia CEO, Professor Helen Zorbas highlighted the importance of the findings.

“Cancer is the major cause of illness in Australia. One in two Australians will have developed cancer, and one in five will have died from cancer before the age of 85.” Professor Zorbas said.

“Australian cancer research is of the highest international standing and recognition. Our analysis of the extent and pattern of funding to cancer research at a national level provides the evidence to guide cancer research investment into the future.”

Chair of Cancer Australia’s Advisory Council, Professor Jim Bishop said this is the only national report which details how cancer research projects and programs are funded across Australia.

“The findings identify opportunities for optimising cancer research investment, including partnering and leveraging investment through co-funding, targeting research investment, and fostering research collaborations across Australia and internationally.” Professor Bishop said.  

The key findings from the 2006-11 audit include:

  • Over $1 billion in funding was provided to cancer research projects and programs in Australia

  • The Australian Government provided nearly two-thirds of the funding for cancer research

  • Total funding to cancer research projects and programs increased progressively year on year

  • 90% of cancer research projects and program were funded by a single funding source

  • The largest increases in funding were in the areas of Treatment, and Early Detection, Diagnosis and Prognosis, while the proportion of funding for Prevention remained unchanged

  • The percentage of research projects and programs with collaborators increased steadily, with approximately two-thirds of all projects and programs involving collaboration by 2011

  • Australia’s pattern of research funding is broadly similar to that in the UK and Canada

The report can be found at Cancer Research in Australia


Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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