The Federal Government has announced a $20 million funding boost for the fight against DIPG and other devastating childhood brain cancers. 

The investment from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) marks a new chapter in the quest for effective treatments for these aggressive diseases.

Despite the overall survival rate for childhood cancer exceeding 80 per cent, brain cancers remain the most common solid tumours in children and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among this age group. 

Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), in particular, stands out for its poor prognosis, with only 10 per cent of affected children surviving two years post-diagnosis, and less than 1 per cent living beyond five years.

New funding will be allocated over seven years as part of the MRFF’s 2024 Paediatric Brain Cancer Research grant opportunity, aiming to support clinical trials and the development of new treatments. 

A significant initiative under this program is the creation of a National Childhood Brain Cancer Clinical Trial Consortium. This consortium is expected to foster international collaborations and improve access to clinical trials, particularly for priority populations.

“Research is a key weapon in our unrelenting fight against DIPG and childhood brain cancer,” says Health Minister Mark Butler.

He has called for “bold and innovative research approaches” to discover effective treatments and ultimately, a cure.

The consortium aims not just to facilitate more efficient treatment development but also to enhance the quality of life and survival outcomes for those affected by DIPG and other childhood brain cancers. 

This effort is further bolstered by the government’s initiative to secure access to ONC201 (dordaviprone), an experimental medicine that offers hope for eligible Australian patients.

More details are accessible here.