New funding for AI and cancer projects

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The Turnbull government has announced funding for two research projects, including one working to improve predictions of treatment responses in cancer patients, and four new clinical trials for young Australians with cancer.

Led by Max Kelsen Pty Ltd, the Artificial Intelligence and Genomics to Predict Cancer Treatment Project, will receive $2.6 million under the fifth round of the CRC-P Program. It has attracted $6.4 million of cash and in-kind contributions from industry partners.

The Implementing Intelligent Automated Reporting in Radiology Practice Project led by local Brisbane company Maxwell Plus has also secured $1.1 million in support from the federal government. It is working towards the use of artificial intelligence to ensure accurate radiology reporting. The project is also backed by $3.8 million in cash and in-kind contributions from industry partners.

Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation Zed Seselja said the CRC-P Program plays an important role in the government’s innovation policy.

“The CRC-P Program helps businesses, industries and research organisations to work together on short-term projects to develop practical solutions to challenges in key industry sectors.

“With one in four Australians receiving a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, the CRC-Ps announced today will have a positive impact on countless Australians,” said Minister Seselja.

Health minister Greg Hunt also announced the government will provide $3.6 million to youth cancer CanTeen to run four clinical trials involving 260 patients with very rare and highly lethal cancers.

The patients will be aged between 15 and 25. They are battling brain cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and bone cancer.

Each trial will be conducted at a leading Australian medical institution - Royal North Shore Hospital, Cooperative Trials Group for Neuro-Oncology (COGNO) at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, the Garvan Institute and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne.

The government is also providing CanTeen’s Online Support Platform will a further $1.4 million over the next two years.

The platform provides professional counselling services every day of the week and access to 24/7 peer support where young people living with cancer can connect with each other through forums, blogs, video stories and direct messaging.