Policy: Policy priority

Learned Academies and Leukaemia Foundation join forces to accelerate blood cancer research


Blood cancers are among the most common cancers in Australia, responsible for almost 6,000 cancer-related deaths annually.

The Leukaemia Foundation is hoping that by 2035 no Australian will lose their life to blood cancer. Accelerating blood cancer research is one of four major priorities outlined in the National Strategic Action Plan for Blood Cancer.

This plan serves as a blueprint to coordinate and accelerate national efforts to improve blood cancer survivor rates and improve quality of life for patients and their families.

The Foundation on behalf of the Blood Cancer Taskforce has partnered with the Australian Academy of Science to develop a 10-year Research Roadmap to strengthen research efforts to help deliver that vision.

The Academy, in collaboration with the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS), is developing the roadmap to identify priority areas for research activity and investment, and barriers and opportunities for research advancement and translation into clinical care.

The Academy will consult widely with the sector to understand the current blood cancer landscape in Australia, through a consultation paper to be released soon, interviews, and a series of themed, interactive webinars and surveys.

President of the Australian Academy of Science, Professor Chennupati Jagadish, said the partnership was an important step towards advancing blood cancer research and improving outcomes for patients.

“The Academy is delighted to work with the Leukaemia Foundation and the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences on this vital initiative,” Professor Jagadish said.

By convening the best minds and resources from across the scientific disciplines, we hope to map out a new way forward that will foster innovation and excellence in blood cancer research and translate discoveries into an improvement in clinical care and survival of blood cancers.”

The Leukaemia Foundation is the only national charity dedicated to helping Australians with blood cancer and related blood disorders survive and live a better quality of life. The Foundation’s CEO, Mr Chris Tanti, said the partnership with the Academy was a strategic move to align with the national vision for blood cancer.

“The Leukaemia Foundation is committed to supporting world-class blood cancer research in Australia. We are proud to partner with the Academy to conduct this scoping work, which will help us achieve our vision of zero lives lost to blood cancer by 2035,” Mr Tanti said.

President of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, Professor Louise Baur, said AAHMS was pleased to contribute to the initiative.

It’s our mission to advance research and innovation to improve everyone’s health,” Professor Baur said.

“This research roadmap will do exactly that, and we look forward to learning more from researchers, consumers, and other stakeholders in this consultation process.”

The scoping work is expected to be completed by 2024. The findings will be shared with the blood cancer research community and other stakeholders.

Find out more information about the roadmap project here.

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