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Rare, killer cancers must become "national priority": Aussie senate committee

2017-November-30       Source: Xinhuanet.com

A report handed down by an Australian senate committee has urged the federal government to distribute more funding to cancers with low survival rates, claiming rarer cancers are being left behind while research on more prevalent but less deadly cancers continues to increase.

A report handed down by an Australian senate committee has urged the federal government to distribute more funding to cancers with low survival rates, claiming rarer cancers are being left behind while research on more prevalent but less deadly cancers continues to increase.

The report was handed down by the committee late Tuesday, and declared that not enough funding was being allocated to rarer cancers with a lower chance of survival. It has offered the government 25 unanimous recommendations to help fight cancers with higher mortality rates.

Among the recommendations were that the "National Health and Medical Research Council considers identifying low survival rate cancers as a National Health Priority Area", while it also ordered further funding and better access to clinical trials of drugs for rare forms of cancer.

Currently in Australia, cancer funding is allocated overwhelmingly to more common forms of cancer such as breast cancer, skin cancer and prostate cancer, and the report has said more needed to be done to stop rarer forms of the illness such as brain cancer and pancreatic cancer.

According to the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, just one in 10 sufferers of brain cancer are expected to survive more than five years, as opposed to nine in 10 for breast cancer.

The recommendations also called for a national strategy to increase five-year survival rates for low survival rate cancers to 50 percent or more in the next decade by 2027.

In comments published by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Wednesday, senate committee chair Catryna Bilyk said "elevating" rare cancers to "priority status" would raise the profile, and therefore funding and research of rare, killer cancers.

"When low survival rate cancers are elevated to that priority status, they'll get looked at more often by more people - so they would get more awareness and more interest so we can make inroads into research," Bilyk said.

"I'm really proud to have brought down this report because I think it's going to make a significant difference to people with low survival rate cancers."

The senate committee received more than 300 submissions for the report from medical professionals, sufferers, researchers and charities.

 

Editor: 陈锦霞

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