Queenslanders have greater hope of surviving a cancer diagnosis, following the announcement last week of $7 million in funding for lifesaving clinical trials, writes Katie Clift of Cancer Council Queensland.

The joint Cancer Council/Queensland Government deal will let local patients take part in national and international clinical investigations to improve treatment outcomes.

In 2015-16 alone, the deal will enable more than 140 trials focused on more than 12 cancers including breast, skin, pancreatic, ovarian, prostate, lung, bowel, cervical and childhood cancers.

Why are clinical trials important? They are one of the most vital means of developing new and better treatments for cancer. In short, they save lives.

Clinical trials improve health outcomes, save costs on the health system and increase the effectiveness of cancer treatment.

With about 27,000 new cancer patients diagnosed in Queensland each year, the funding is expected enable many more patients to have access to clinical trials than would otherwise have taken part.

Why are the funds so crucial? We know that Queensland oncologists and cancer clinicians support clinical trials, but many lack the funding to enrol their patients.

The money will be directly invested in appointing clinical trial data managers at various hospitals and institutions around the State, to administrate patient participation in the trials.

One in two Queenslanders will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime… if it’s not me, it could be you. Or our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends, grandmas, grandpas or besties. Funding deals like this affect all of us – whether immediately or at some point in the future.

Cancer Council Queensland is on a mission to beat cancer, to improve survival rates and to prevent as many cases of the disease as possible.

More patients being enrolled in more clinical trials in our State means more people beating cancer, more time for families to spend together and more hope for Queenslanders who will be diagnosed in the future.

If you need more information about the funding deal, or wish to be referred to a clinical trial, talk to your GP or relevant health professional.