Funds in Action

The Priorities

Almost a year ago Lung Foundation Australia launched the report, Making Lung Cancer a Fair Fight: A Blueprint for Reform, which together with the Department of Health’s National Strategic Action Plan for Lung Conditions, outlines our core priorities for lung cancer and lung disease more broadly.

  • We need increased investment in lung cancer research to match the burden of disease and to recognise that it remains Australia’s number one cause of cancer death.
  • We need a renewed and fresh approach to lung cancer screening and case-finding to mirror recent international evidence.
  • The fast pace of new treatments and medications available for people diagnosed with lung cancer is warmly welcomed but more needs to be done, including funding more clinical trials, so that survivability can continue to increase above the tragic 17% survival rate after five years.
  • We need to increase our workforce capacity, particularly through employing dedicated Lung Cancer Nurses to coordinate the care of patients and ensure they and their families have access to support.
  • At the launch of the National Strategic Action Plan for Lung Conditions the Minister for Health, The Hon. Greg Hunt, announced that a lung health research program would be developed through  the Medical Research Future Fund.  Since this announcement, funding has been made available for $15 million for lung cancer and mesothelioma through the Genomics Mission in the Medical Research Future Fund. In addition $4 million was promised for  support services for people with lung cancer and lung disease, more awareness raising activities to fight stigma and better training for GPs and nurses to help them diagnosis and treat lung disease and lung cancer earlier.

This year, with help of people like you coming together, raising funds, joining our advocacy efforts and talking in one voice, we have been able to achieve the following:

  • On August 1, World Lung Cancer Day, the Minister for Health, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, announced the first steps towards a national lung cancer screening program. Currently, only breast, bowel and cervical cancers are the subject of national cancer screening programs in Australia. Screening people at high risk for lung cancer has the potential to save thousands  of lives.
  • $5 million in clinical trials – Working in partnership with the Australian Lung Cancer Trials Group (ALTG) over $5 million in industry and government funding has been secured to progress clinical trials for new lung cancer treatments.  This is a promising time for people living with lung cancer as more and more in first and second line treatment options become available. Whilst the total investment in research does not yet match the burden of disease arising from lung cancer, with your help and Lung Foundation Australia’s continued advocacy efforts, much has been achieved in the last 18 months.
  • $380 thousand has been invested into Shine a Light on Lung Cancer grants and fellowships since 2017 – research provides hope where is it needed most. 

Your donations, fundraising and advocacy efforts are increasing investment into research and helping people living with lung cancer receive fairer treatment.

There is more work ahead, and we can’t win this race without your ongoing support.

Shining a light on Research

Research offers hope whether for a cure or for an improvement in quality of life. Lung cancer has a devastating impact on the lives of many Australians yet it receives less than 5% of government cancer research funding.

Thanks to the money raised through the generosity of our community, we are inspiring hope by providing seed funds for research projects that support discoveries towards the prevention, management and a cure for lung cancer.

That’s why each year we empower our community to get behind our Shine a Light on Lung Cancer Campaign. Through this campaign we have funded six of the brightest researchers to gain a better understanding of the disease and work towards a future free from lung cancer.

Our Awards Program

Lung Foundation Australia is dedicated to funding cutting-edge research through a competitive, peer-reviewed awards and grants program.

The Shine a Light on Lung Cancer Research Awards in this program allow researchers to pursue projects that pave the way towards a better understanding of lung cancer, improved treatment options and ultimately hope for a cure.

Current Research

Award Recipient Research Title Summary Co-funding Institute
2017 Shine a Light on Lung Cancer Grant in Aid: $10,000 over one year Dr Tan Ngyen Inhibition of RNAutophagy as a novel therapeutic strategy in lung cancer This Grant-in Aid builds on the research from my PhD which discovered that a protein called SIDT2 is important during viral infection in order for the body to initiate an antiviral response. We have now discovered that SIDT2 may play an important role in the development of cancers including lung cancer. We have found that genetic loss of SIDT2 leads to decreased tumour burden in pre-clinical models suggesting that inhibition of SIDT2 could represent a new therapeutic strategy for patients with lung cancer.
2018-2020 Shine a Light on Lung Cancer PhD Scholarship: $120,000 over three years Jennifer Lim Predicting platinum sensitivity in lung cancer The majority of patients with lung cancer will receive platinum-based chemotherapy during the course of their management however only half will see benefit. This project aims to test four immunohistochemical markers that may select for patients who are most likely to benefit from platinum chemotherapy. This will improve the response rates and reduce the number of people exposed to treatment who are unlikely to benefit. The Sydney Catalyst Translational Cancer Research Centre
2019-2021 Shine a Light on Lung Cancer PhD Scholarship: $120,000 over three years Dr Kanishka Rangamuwa Bronchoscopic ablation and ablative immunotherapy in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer To confirm immunostimulatory effect of cryoablation and to identify component immune responses and to confirm feasibility of bronchoscopic BTVA for ablation of peripheral lung cancer and to confirm histological evidence of ablation using a tetrazolium based tissue viability stain. Melbourne Health & Royal Melbourne Hospital
2019-2020 Shine a Light on Lung Cancer Early Career Nurse Fellowship Vanessa Brunelli Expectations, Standards and Performance Framework to evidence the role and practices of the Australian Specialist Lung Cancer Nurse (SLCN) This study proposes the implementation and evaluation of an innovative Expectations, Standards and Performance Framework, to understand the SLCN role and core supportive care components of practice in the Australian lung cancer community. Queensland University of Technology
2019 Shine a Light on Lung Cancer Grant in Aid: $10,000 over one year Dr Surein Arulananda Targeting the apoptosis pathway in a patient derived xenograft mesothelioma model It builds on a strong body of in vitro data demonstrating significant efficacy of BH3-mimetics on Malignant Mesothelioma (MM) cell lines. Our preliminary data has already strongly implicated the two pro-survival proteins in MM, hence, it will be critical to rapidly translate these findings into animal models to provide preclinical evidence for initiation of clinical trials. If we can establish efficacy and safety in an in vivo PDX model which is thought to be the most reliable preclinical model at predicting drug responses, this data will help us complete our pre-clinical dataset with a view to providing a basis for Phase I/II clinical trial for MM patients.

To find out more about these and other lung cancer research projects, click here.