Dialog Box


Pressure mounts on Minister for Health to significantly increase brain cancer funding after Victorian father’s emotional plea


Health Minister Greg Hunt

Brain cancer kills more children than any other disease in Australia and more people under 40 than any other cancer, yet receives less than five per cent of Federal Government cancer funding.

The Minister appeared on Channel 10’s The Project on 19 April, in response to Dustin Perry’s heartfelt plea for more brain cancer funding. Mr Perry is the father of Chloe, a terminally ill eight-year-old girl from Victoria with aggressive brain cancer. He ignited the debate after his open letter to the Prime Minister was published in the Australian on Tuesday, 18 April.

“I’m really disappointed and frustrated with Greg Hunt for failing to respond to my letter and explain how much, if any, of the $800 million increase in medical research funding would go to brain cancer over the next five years,” Mr Perry said. 

Cure Brain Cancer Foundation’s Head of Engagement, Barrie Littlefield, whose own young daughter died of brain cancer five years ago, echoed Mr Perry’s call for more government prioritisation and funding for the disease. 

Barrie Littlefield with his daughter, Eloise

“Last night, the Minister claimed to want the same increase in brain cancer survival as seen in other cancers, like leukaemia,” Mr Littlefield said.

“This is great news, but it won’t happen unless the Government urgently prioritises brain cancer, commits to significantly increase funding and adopts a planned approach to brain cancer research. 

“It’s completely unacceptable that just two out of ten people survive brain cancer for five years, and that hasn’t changed for more than 30 years.

“We have a very clear blueprint on how to increase brain cancer survival from 20 per cent to 50 per cent by 2023 and renew our offer to collaborate with the government to make this happen.”

In March 2017, Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, Mr Perry, and 240 other people made submission to the ongoing Senate Select Committee into Funding for Low Survival Cancers. Cure Brain Cancer’s submisison highlighted the need for:

  • the removal of or compensation for, structural bias in the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) process, which inadvertently disadvantages brain and other rare cancers
  • provision of long term support and stability for brain cancer researchers to ensure a clear and more secure career path
  • reimbursement of diagnostics, treatments and procedures to facilitate the highest levels of care

Cure Brain Cancer Foundation's Senate Submission