Medical Research from Mars, Philanthropy from Venus - Study
29 January 2015 at 3:34 pm
A new study into childhood cancer research in Australia has found that the role of philanthropy is vital to overcome critical funding challenges facing researchers in the battle against the disease.
Donors without borders: Rethinking Childhood Cancer Research Funding in Australia was undertaken by the Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM) and the Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation (ALCCRF).
The report found that new thinking is required about how childhood cancer research is approached, given the rarity of childhood cancer, the new knowledge about ‘cancer’, the high costs of research and the extensive development time required for new therapies.
“Our research found that ‘health and medical research is from Mars and philanthropy is from Venus’,” Project Director Brenda Santiago said.
“It found that while it is clear that investing in childhood cancer research is a gamble, increased collaboration is able to dramatically improve the odds.”
The study also found:
The philanthropy landscape in Australia is fragmented, complex and crowded, and there is strong competition for the donor dollar.
Donors that give to health and medical research are mainly driven by personal experience with a disease.
The available information on donor investments and research projects is limited and not readily accessible.
Researchers are mainly driven by the excitement of discovery.
The report details how the sectors need each other to accelerate cures and create stronger health systems to improve the quality of lives of children across the world.
It calls for actions underpinned by greater education and collaboration and the co-funding of collaborative, multi-disciplinary projects, to combat childhood cancer through increased donations.
“The report highlights the importance of and need for different forms of collaboration across all borders in order to help children ‘slay the dragon’ and achieve 100 per cent survival rates for children with cancer,” Founding Chair and Trustee of ALCCRF, Dr Joe Collins, said.
Researchers say the study engaged key opinion leaders in childhood cancer research, philanthropy, the medical and health sciences and government across Australia to find better ways of combatting childhood cancer both in Australia and around the world.
For a full copy of the report go to mgsm.edu.au