25 September 2023

New research covers heart and head

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New steps to support research into brain cancer and heart disease in the ACT have been announced by Minister for Medical and Health Research, Meegan Fitzharris.

Ms Fitzharrias said each program was to receive $600,000 over three years to carry out trials aimed at improving services and outcomes for patients.

She said May was Brain Cancer Action Month and one of the most exciting clinical projects happening in the Territory was the investigation of the role genomics played, providing hope and improving patients’ results by developing novel treatments.

“This funding will go towards pre-clinical and clinical research, exploring novel genomic mutations involved in the progression of brain tumours,” Ms Fitzharris said.

“It is not known what causes brain cancer; it appears to occur randomly and this is why we need to invest in research. For the vast majority of people with a brain tumour, no outside cause can be clearly identified.”

She said the Government was working alongside a number of organisations in the community dedicated to funding research into brain cancer.

She said the second project was a trial being driven by the Australian National University (ANU) to change the way in which people with cardiovascular disease were managed.

“Heart disease remains one of the leading causes of disease in the ACT, and according to the latest Chief Health Officer’s Report, accounts for 63.9 per cent of hospitalisations for those over the age of 65,” Ms Fitzharris said.

“Often people who have survived a heart attack or stroke struggle to commit to a thorough clinical management regime to keep a second attack at bay. This new program will aim to make it easier for patients to manage their condition so they can avoid another attack, a trip to hospital or much worse.”

She said the ANU would oversee a team from the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health and the ANU Academic Unit of General Practice, which would trial a person-centred consultation process for patients, putting them and their families and carers at the centre of their decisions.

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