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Cancer charities unite to fight cancer

January 30th, 2017

The Movember Foundation and the National Breast Cancer Foundation have announced today they are joining forces for the first time, funding research to help transform the lives of men and women around the world diagnosed with prostate and breast cancer.

The partnership is the first of its kind between two organisations focusing on research for these cancers. The grant will bring researchers of both diseases together and has the potential to rapidly advance new treatments and methods of care for prostate and breast cancer (and possibly ovarian cancer), compared to the current tumour-specific approach.

Despite the anatomical and physiological differences between breast, prostate and ovarian cancers, there are many similarities in their genetic basis and biological characteristics, meaning certain treatment options could be effective across these diseases.

In Australia, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, highlighting the importance of the partnership to stop our parents, partners, siblings and friends dying too young.

With extensive networks in the research community, the Movember Foundation and the National Breast Cancer Foundation are leading the way with the development of new and innovative collaborative programs that have the potential to benefit men with prostate cancer, women with ovarian cancer and women and men with breast cancer.

In addition to the potential acceleration of discoveries that could transform patient treatment and outcomes, the funding also offers a platform to support the cross-pollination of ideas amongst Australia’s best and brightest cancer researchers.

Paul Villanti, Executive Director of Programs for the Movember Foundation said the grant highlights the shared vision of both organisations to work towards reducing the number of deaths from prostate and breast cancers.

“We know from previous research that patients with genetic mutations common to prostate, breast and ovarian cancers can react to the same treatment,” said Mr Villanti.

“This project will help us explore in further detail the commonalities that exist between these diseases, which could lead to the transformation of how we treat patients, and ultimately see less people dying from them,” added Mr Villanti.

Dr Alessandra Muntoni, Director of Research Investment at the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) said that the research grant scheme with the Movember Foundation is an innovative approach that is in line with the evolving landscape of medical research.

“Our collaboration with Movember really symbolises a giant leap forward for funding Australian cancer researchers in a particularly challenging funding landscape,” said Dr Muntoni.

“These grants will really give Australian cancer researchers the ability to take their research to the next level,” added Dr Muntoni.

“It will also give them enormous opportunities to work and be recognised alongside Australia’s best in cancer research, while aligning with two leading research-focused cancer charities,” said Dr Muntoni.

The total amount available for up to two research projects is AUD$2.5 million over three years. For more information and to apply visit nbcf.org.au/nbcf-movember-research-initiative