Last year, we launched our State of the Nation report on the landscape of ovarian cancer research funding in Australia and the essential goals we need to reach in the years ahead, if we are to see a stepped change in survival outcomes. In 2021 and beyond, we’re springing into action.
The current survival rate for ovarian cancer is 46%, by 2025 we aim to increase that to 50%. It may seem like a small number but that 4% increase will save the lives of 680 women by 2035. Here are four key priorities that will get us there:
Priority 1: Ensure every Australian woman receives the best care through clinical best practice
The ovarian cancer survival rate varies state-by-state. Though the average is 46%, in some states it’s already up to 50% or even 52%.
The government recently funded research on why ovarian cancer care varies so much in every state, and we’re advocating for them to implement these findings as a matter of urgency.
The fact that some states are achieving higher survival rates proves that it’s possible nationwide, but to make 50% survival a reality across the country we need to increase awareness and understanding in the community, improve education and training for GPs, and expand access to the most up-to-date management and care for ovarian cancer.
Priority 2: Expand access to personalised treatment
For years, all types of ovarian cancer have been treated the same—but we need more than a blanket approach. To improve survival rates, we need to provide targeted treatment for every disease sub-type to ensure maximum efficacy.
OCRF-funded research into personalised treatment has already shown promising results in managing and treating ovarian cancer. That’s why we’re advocating for a national clinical trial into this research, so that more women with ovarian cancer can take part in the research to help us better understand how to treat the disease.
Expanding these trials across Australia will dramatically increase the speed in which researchers obtain results. Ultimately, this will lead to more options to treat women with ovarian cancer successfully.
Priority 3: Establish an Australian Centre of Excellence in Early Detection
Across the world, the best in ovarian cancer research have collaborated through ‘centres of excellence’ to speed up the development of an early detection test. We know that early detection will save the lives of millions of women across the globe.
Australia is a global leader in ovarian cancer research, so we’re leading the push to develop our own ‘centre of excellence’ to bring together researchers across the country to develop an early detection test sooner.
Priority 4: Develop the next generation of ovarian cancer researchers
Ovarian cancer research is significantly underfunded. This means that it is difficult to recruit and retain researchers in this field.
Australia has some of the world’s best ovarian cancer researchers, so we’ve found an opportunity for them to mentor the next generation of researchers. We plan to establish an Australian Ovarian Cancer Mentorship program to attract and build up future researchers to tackle our research challenge.
If you’d like to read more about our priorities for ovarian cancer research, head to our State of the Nation hub