Bowel cancer may be one of the winners in a future realignment of cancer research dollars designed to better match the relative impact of specific cancers in the community.
A discussion paper by the Cancer Research Leadership Forum (CRLF) shows clearly that bowel cancer research is poorly funded compared to research for other types of cancer.
The paper, Towards a National Cancer Research Plan, was released today, ahead of World Cancer Day on 4 February, to generate discussion on the most effective allocation of research funds.
Bowel Cancer Australia is one of seven community-supported cancer organisations which make up the CRLF. They all share a common goal of reducing the impact of cancer in the community.
Julien Wiggins, chief executive of Bowel Cancer Australia said the CRLF was keen to streamline cancer research to ensure the best possible outcomes across the community from the money available.
“There are clearly anomalies in cancer research funding. Cancers such as lung and bowel, which are the leading causes of cancer deaths in Australia, do not attract the level of research funding of other cancers.”
“The CRLF believes there are better ways to allocate funds and to work together so that our collective research effort is well spent and in line with community needs and priorities,” he said.
The CRLF paper also highlighted the fact that historically a large proportion of research funding was directed at the basic science underlying cancer and treatment advances.
It suggested research into cancer prevention was just one of the areas that might benefit from increased funding, especially given the fact that a third of cancers were preventable.
The paper also said an ageing population was increasing the overall cancer burden because cancer is predominately a disease of older people.
The CRLF has committed to developing a National Cancer Research Plan by early 2013.
Download the White Paper - Towards a National Cancer Research Plan.