Victoria will be among the world’s leading destinations for fighting cancer thanks to a new research facility opening at the cutting-edge Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.
Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos today officially opened the world-class Centre for Cancer Immunotherapy, which brings together the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the University of Melbourne and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre alliance, and connects research being undertaken in other partner organisations.
Immunotherapy involves stimulating a patient’s own immune system to treat cancer, providing an alternative to traditional therapies like chemotherapy.
With 100 top researchers working together under the one roof, the Centre creates opportunities for immunology experts and cancer clinicians to collaborate and share ideas that will transform into new treatments.
There are already 40 researchers working in the laboratory, which will rise to 60 by mid-2020.
The Andrews Labor Government delivered $11.8 million to fit out the research space with the latest revolutionary technology, helping researchers to uncover the next breakthroughs in cancer care and treatment in the rapidly growing area of immunotherapy.
In 2017, 34,557 Victorians were diagnosed with cancer and 10,955 died from the disease – with 95 new diagnoses each day.
Victoria has some of the best cancer survival rates in the world – and it’s a testament to our proud track record of investing in world-class cancer prevention, treatment and research. The five-year survival rate for Victorians diagnosed with cancer has increased from 46 per cent in 1982 to 68 per cent in 2016.
But there is more work to do. Our Victorian Cancer Plan 2016-2020 sets an ambitious target of saving 10,000 lives from cancer over 10 years. Investing in cancer research is critical if we are going to achieve this goal.
The Victorian Government has committed $35.8 million for the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre’s strategic research plan to accelerate the development and impact of cancer clinical trials and support the next generation of world-leading cancer discoveries.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos
“Victoria is home to some of the best and brightest medical minds. Our world-class cancer researchers at the VCCC are working tirelessly to fast-track revolutionary new cancer treatments and care that can save lives.”
“Cancer touches us all. We are backing important research collaborations to ensure important information and resources are shared between leading researchers.”
“Cancer survival is at an all-time high but too many people are still dying from the disease. That’s why we have an ambitious plan to save more lives and invest in more research to one day find a cure.”