Young neuro cancer patients get $1m boost


The Cooperative Trials Group for Neuro-Oncology (COGNO) at the CTC was awarded funding from CanTeen to give adolescent and young adult cancer patients access to the latest in treatment.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt and youth cancer organisation CanTeen announced the allocation of $3.2 million to four clinical trials, including $965,000 for the COGNO trial led by UNSW's A/Prof David Ziegler.

COGNO's Australian Young Cancer Patient Clinical Trials initiative, made possible through the Medical Research Future Fund, has the ultimate aim of pursuing research breakthroughs that change lives.

CanTeen CEO, Peter Orchard, said that cancer is the leading cause of death from disease among adolescents and young adults. This group has significantly poorer survival rates than children or older adults for cancer types that are common in their age group.

'This announcement brings participation in clinical trials much closer to those young people who truly need it,' Mr Orchard said.

'We know young people in the 15-25 age group are often caught between being too old for paediatric trials but still too young for adult trials and that taking part in early phase clinical trials is the fastest way to access cutting-edge cancer treatment.'

COGNO Chair, Professor Anna Nowak, welcomed CanTeen's support, which will fund a national trial on personalised targeted therapy for adolescent and young adults with medulloblastoma, a malignant brain tumour.

'This trial will give adolescent and young adult patients access to state of the art tumour profiling to ensure optimal treatments, reduce toxicities and improve cure rates,' said Prof Nowak.

CTC Co-Director, Professor Tony Keech, said, 'We are very pleased to be able to provide CanTeen with quality trials for teenage brain cancer research. This is an area that desperately needs quality research to improve outcomes for this critical group of our community.'