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06 Jan 2015

Submission to the Cancer Research Leadership Forum

In May 2012, BCNA made a submission to the Cancer Research Leadership Forum (CRLF) in response to their draft white paper, 'Towards a national cancer research plan'.

The white paper (or issues paper) broadly examined how the major cancer fundraising organisations could develop a national cancer research plan, with the aim to streamline and boost available cancer research funding. The paper stated that there is a need for a national cancer research plan to coordinate investment in research.

The issues paper was developed to engage stakeholders, such as BCNA and our members, in a discussion about what a national cancer research plan should encompass, and to 'determine the best strategies for coordinating and co-funding cancer research to more efficiently and quickly advance knowledge and translate that knowledge to care to benefit people with cancer'.

You can read the issues paper by downloading it below.

In response to the paper, BCNA provided a submission that covered the following key messages:

  1. BCNA supports a well-conceived and well-managed national cancer research plan that contains specific goals to reduce the impact of cancer on the community and individuals. The plan should also ensure cancer research funding addresses all facets of cancer: prevention, diagnostics, treatment, psycho-social considerations, survivorship and cure.
  2. BCNA believes that a National Cancer Research Plan should draw on and adapt current successful models of cancer research fundraising to increase funds raised to other cancers, as well as supporting continued growth to existing cancer areas. Strategies to ensure translation of research into practice, to reduce the impact of cancer should also be addressed, and can be adapted from current successful models.
  3. Research priorities should align with prevalence and impact of cancer in the Australian community.
  4. A national cancer research plan should ensure that meaningful consumer representation is an integral part of all funded research. Although consumer representation may be of limited direct assistance in basic biomedical research projects (for example, laboratory research at the cellular or genetic level), having consumer representatives involved even at this stage can be beneficial.  Consumer representatives, particularly those trained in both science and communication skills, can prove invaluable in terms of communicating promising research outcomes to the broader community.

A national research summit was convened by the CRLF in Sydney in September 2012.  BCNA participated in the Summit to ensure that the voice of women with breast was heard.  Following from the Summit, in February 2013, the CRLF released a national resource titled 'Maximising the impact of cancer research funding in Australia: A national resource to guide research investment and improve cancer outcomes'.

For more information download the 2012 white paper, our full submission to the white paper, and the 2013 national resource below.