New funding announced for cutting-edge cancer research

16 Nov 2023

Children’s Cancer Institute has been announced as the recipient of a $2 million grant from the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) to initiate a research program aimed at unlocking the potential of immunotherapies for childhood cancer.

The ACRF Spatial Immune-oncology Research Program was among $10m in funding announced by ACRF for cutting edge and ground breaking research. Each of the four projects proposes a novel approach to help transform the way cancer is detected or treated, tackling the disease predicted to be diagnosed for 165,000 Australians this year.

Immunotherapy is the most appealing cancer treatment of the modern era, where the body’s immune system is activated to find and destroy cancer cells.

Remarkable results have been seen in adult cancer patients, but unfortunately the same level of success has not yet translated to childhood cancers.

The ACRF Spatial Immune-oncology Research Program will utilise the latest technologies to cast light on the complex interactions between cancer and immune cells, leading to the discovery, development and deployment of new and effective immune-based therapies for children with cancer. 

The awards, formally announced today by ACRF patrons, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley, were recommended by ACRF’s esteemed Medical Research Advisory Committee following a myriad of applications and a rigorous evaluation process over several months. 

ACRF CEO Kerry Strydom said: “Our mandate is to back only the most brilliant and promising research, something that is reflected in our grant recipients for 2023. 

“ACRF’s Medical Research Advisory Committee, made up of outstanding senior medical research professionals with a detailed understanding of the global cancer research landscape, have scrutinised and competitively evaluated a bevy of strong applications this year.

“Ultimately, the four awardees were deemed to have the greatest potential of providing significant health and social returns. We look forward to seeing the recipients use the funding to achieve breakthroughs that will no doubt save countless lives and improve outcomes for people diagnosed with cancer.”