FACT SHEET: U.S.-Australia Collaboration in the Fight Against Cancer

On February 4, World Cancer Day, the U.S. Mission in Australia launched an initiative highlighting an important dimension of the U.S.-Australia Alliance: our shared experience with and collaboration on the research, prevention, and treatment of cancer.

While cancer is a leading cause of death in both Australia and the United States, both countries are experiencing an increase in the number of people who survive five years after a cancer diagnosis.

The partnerships between U.S. and Australian researchers and the vital breakthroughs being made by our two nations play a critical role in the fight against cancer.


U.S.-Australia Cancer Research Partnerships

Collaboration between the U.S. and Australia in cancer research has a long history, and partnerships between our two nations are only growing stronger. These collaborations include:


  • In 2016, then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden launched the Cancer Moonshot – an ambitious, whole-of-government effort to end cancer as we know it. During a visit to the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) in Melbourne later that year, he signed three Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) that linked the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States with Australian state governments and cancer research organizations. These agreements facilitate the sharing of cancer‐associated clinical research data to the research community.


  • The Cancer Moonshot sparked the creation of The International Cancer Proteogenome Consortium (ICPC), which brings together cancer and proteogenomic research centers across more than a dozen countries. Australia’s work under ICPC has focused on melanoma skin cancer, colorectal cancer, childhood and young onset cancers, and rare and neglected cancers. Notably, this team completed a protein map for 949 cancer cell lines across over 40 cancer types, laying the foundation for efforts to predict the response of individual cancer to drugs based on the proteins that cancer contains.


  • The Cancer Moonshot also inspired the creation of the U.S.-Australia Cancer Consortium, a public-private partnership to accelerate our collaboration on cancer. The Consortium is focused on innovative cancer treatment and equitable access to healthcare, including through expanded access to international clinical trials.


  • In 2022, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston signed a three-year agreement that supports initiatives including:
    Reciprocal visits of oncology faculty and staff;
    Research collaboration, with a focus on immune-based cancer therapies;
    Advancing the clinical application of genomics used to tailor cancer treatments;
    Integrating digital health with a focus on using Electronic Medical Records to support research and advancements in patient care.


  • Ambassador Kennedy followed in President Biden’s footsteps and visited the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) in Melbourne, which houses the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. The clinical trial partnership between the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Penn Medicine (University of Pennsylvania Health System), and the Dana Farber Institute open up more clinical trials for Australian and American cancer patients, particularly in making new technologies in cutting-edge cellular therapies accessible to patients.


  • Ambassador Kennedy met with cancer researchers at the Garvan Institute in Sydney, who are the recipients of funds raised by the Shitbox Rally and distributed by the Cancer Council of New South Wales. The researchers noted the vital importance of maintaining organic, informal collaboration with peers in the United States – including with researchers at the University of California and University of Pittsburgh – as each expert contributes unique strengths and ways of thinking, driving innovation and progress towards a common goal of ending cancer as we know it.

U.S.-Australia Cancer Research Funding

  • From October 2013-September 2023, the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) awarded 211 grants to projects that included Australian collaborators. More than half of those were still active in 2023. As of 2023, The University of Melbourne had received 24 NCI grants, more than any other Australian institution.


  • The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre has received $10 million in research grants from the Biden administration alone, targeting melanoma, breast and prostate cancers.


  • Australia was the third-largest recipient country of NCI-funded cancer research in FY2023.


  • In addition, NCI awarded nine extramural grants worth $19,907,316 directly to Australian institutions from October 2013-September 2023. These grants are linked to 199 different publications.


  • In December 2023, Australian philanthropists Kay Van Norton Poche and Gregory Poche donated $20 million to help establish cancer centers at Royal North Shore Hospital and North Shore Private Hospital in Sydney and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. The cancer centers will support exchanges between U.S. and Australian trainees, increase the number of cancer patients able to take part in clinical trials of new treatments, and speed up the development of new drugs by the pharmaceutical industry.

This article was originally published by a au.usembassy.gov . Read the Original article here. .