The Minderoo Foundation in Dalkeith, Western Australia, has announced a grant of AU$12.2 million ($7.96 million) over three years in support of personalized treatments for Australian children with cancer.
Combined with AU$54.8 million ($35.76 million) from the Australian government's Medical Research Futures Fund (MRFF), the funding will support an expansion and acceleration of the ZERO Childhood Cancer program, enabling the precision medicine program to scale from the hundred and fifty patients it served in 2019 to a thousand patients by 2023. Established in 2017, the program connects a network of researchers and clinicians across eight of Australia's leading children's hospitals and research centers working to provide genomically guided treatment plans for children at risk of developing aggressive cancers. A national clinical trial conducted under the aegis of the program also has provided insight into the causes of childhood cancers as well as actionable recommendations for treatment.
"The vision of the ZERO Childhood Cancer program is simple and inspiring: reduce childhood cancer deaths to zero," said Andrew Forrest, who signed the Giving Pledge in 2013. "Over the last twelve months, we've seen ZERO achieve incredible breakthroughs in the fight against cancer. Minderoo Foundation is proud to partner with the Australian government in continued support of ZERO's work, and we're pleased the program will be available to all Aussie kids and their families in the future."
(Photo credit: Jason Kirk, Minderoo Foundation)