Almost 90% of Cancer Research Goes Unfunded.
When Anthony was diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer, which had spread to his spine, he thought the worst.
“The general vibe around cancer is not great, but lung cancer especially just says death sentence.”
And it could have been for Anthony, if he had not been for a new cancer research clinical trial at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.
Immunotherapy – the treatment method of using Anthony’s own immune system to fight the cancer – was being used in an innovative trial at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, preventing the need for surgery, chemotherapy or radiation.
“My tumour was extremely aggressive. But after the first round of treatment, I had an immediate reaction in my spine.”
To date, this innovative treatment method has reduced Anthony’s tumour by an incredible 98%.
He has described his progress as “miraculous”. The fact that the research was funded at all is even more so.
Almost 90% Goes Unfunded
Cancer research to begin life-saving clinical trials like Anthony’s is vital. Hundreds of hours are spent writing research grants. But getting funding is near impossible.
This year, our major federal funding body for cancer research – the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia – did not even review 70% of ALL research projects proposed.
Of the ones that got though, only 11-13% were funded.
That means, potentially, almost 90% of vital cancer research projects don’t even start.
Important research that, for people like Anthony, can improve outcomes, and for researchers, like Anthony’s oncologist, Dr. Steven Kao, can provide the resources needed for more clinical breakthroughs.
“Unfortunately, that 98% reduction in Anthony’s tumour doesn’t happen for everyone. We know that generally the response rate for immunotherapy is about 50%. The big question is, why don’t the other 50% of people respond so well?”
We Need More Funding
We need more cancer research so we can answer these questions and save more lives.
We need to get innovative treatment to patients.
We need scientists to spend less time writing proposals and more time doing research.
We need more sustainable funding for vital cancer research.
11 – 13% is NOT enough.
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