Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon has welcomed the announcement of almost $2.7 million in funding to the Hunter Medical Research Institute and the University of Newcastle for ovarian cancer treatment research.
Ms Claydon said this is one of a series of projects supported under a Federal Government funding commitment that was secured by Novocastrian Jill Emberson before her death from ovarian cancer in December 2019 .
“The HMRI / University of Newcastle grant is part of the Federal Government commitment of $20 million that would never have come about if it hadn’t been for Jill’s tireless advocacy for increased funding for ovarian cancer research,” Ms Claydon said.
“Even when Jill was extremely ill and debilitated from this terrible disease herself, she never wavered in her fight for fairer funding for ovarian cancer research and treatment.”
Ms Claydon said the funding would allow HMRI and University of Newcastle researchers to undertake a drug repurposing project to treat forms of ovarian cancer that aren’t responsive to current treatments.
“This project has the potential to fast-track new ovarian cancer treatments by looking at the potential of existing drugs that have already undergone the extensive vetting and safety tests needed to secure approval for human use,” Ms Claydon said.
“It will use artificial intelligence to narrow down the field of drugs that show promise.”
Ms Claydon said the survival outcomes from ovarian cancer are still ‘diabolically low’
“Ovarian cancer has the lowest survival rate of any women’s cancer with only 46 per cent of women surviving after five years.
“Compare that to breast cancer, which has a five-year survival rate of more than 90 per cent now. That's the benchmark we should be aiming for.”
Ms Claydon promised to continue Jill’s fight for greater investment in ovarian cancer in Canberra.
“Jill founded the Pink Meets Teal campaign to build a community of advocates calling for fairer funding for ovarian cancer. I’m pleased to be able to do my part and continue Jill’s mission in the Federal Parliament.
“I will continue to raise this issue with the Government and call for the funding we need to secure the outcomes Australian women deserve.”