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November 9, 2023

The National Breast Cancer Foundation releases the Pink Horizon Research Strategy – A bold and transformational plan to accelerate towards Zero Deaths from breast cancer 

The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) today announces the investment of up to $125 million over the next five years towards a bold new five-year research strategy to help end 3,200 deaths from breast cancer each year in Australia. 

Nine people die from breast cancer every day. These deaths are a result of metastatic breast cancer, where the breast cancer has spread to another part of the body, such as bones, liver, lungs and brain.  

To achieve NBCF’s vision towards Zero Deaths from breast cancer, the Pink Horizon Research Strategy will focus on four key objectives:  

  1. Prevent breast cancer through precision prevention.    
  2. Detect breast cancer as early as possible and before it progresses.    
  3. Stop the progression and recurrence of breast cancer.    
  4. Treat hard-to treat and metastatic breast cancer. 

Associate Professor Cleola Anderiesz, CEO of NBCF said, “Since our inception, the National Breast Cancer Foundation has made a significant impact on Australian breast cancer research. In this time, the death rate from breast cancer in Australia has reduced by over 40%. But there is still more to be done. Breast cancer diagnoses continue to rise and over 20,000 people in Australia will be diagnosed with a new breast cancer each year. We want to ensure that a diagnosis of breast cancer doesn’t lead to death. Every life lost is one life too many but with our bold new research strategy, hope is on the horizon.”  

The Pink Horizon Research Strategy will support a diverse yet connected portfolio of research at a scale of investment that matches the boldness of our vision and accelerates progress towards Zero Deaths from breast cancer.  

NBCF will provide up to $125 million of funding over the next five years to support:  

  • Collaborative Research Accelerator Grants – Aims to bring multidisciplinary researchers from different institutions and at different career stages together to address the most critical questions in breast cancer through a connected suite of research activity at a pace and scale that reflects the urgency of achieving our vision of Zero Deaths from breast cancer. Each accelerator will be funded up to $25 million over 5 years. ​  
  • Research Project Grants – Support for investigator-initiated research projects to build Australia’s breast cancer research pipeline that addresses research questions with a clear line of sight to achieve Zero Deaths from breast cancer.​  
  • Pink Sky Grants – Support high risk, high reward research projects with significant paradigm shifting potential to revolutionise approaches to combating breast cancer.  

 The Pink Horizon Research Strategy has been developed in consultation with researchers, clinicians and those with a lived experience of breast cancer and will be delivered through sector wide collaboration.   

“We saw when the world’s leading researchers focused on the COVID-19 vaccine development, just how quickly outcomes could be achieved. We’re looking to bring this collective focus to breast cancer targeting the four areas that we know will save lives”, said Associate Professor Cleola Anderiesz. 

Adjunct Professor Helen Zorbas AO, NBCF Board Chair said, “The pace and scale of our new Pink Horizon Research Strategy reflects the urgent need to achieve our vision of Zero Deaths from breast cancer in Australia. Our singular focus requires us to think beyond small, short-term projects. Through this strategy, the National Breast Cancer Foundation will provide significant, sustained funding to increase the scale and catalyse the research needed to answer the critical questions to achieve Zero Deaths.” 

Professor Ross Hannan NBCF Board member and Research Advisory Committee Co-Chair said, “The Pink Horizon Research Strategy complements existing cancer research funding in Australia. The Collaborative Research Accelerator Grants in particular provide new avenues for researchers looking to undertake large collaborative studies that require stable ongoing funding.”