Malcolm Turnbull has a goal of ending childhood cancer deaths

Malcolm Turnbull (right) Photo: Mike Keating – Pool/Getty Images

The Turnbull government has pledged $20 million for research into untreatable cancers in children.

The prime minister says the money will go towards helping identify genes that cause childhood cancers as part of the Zero Childhood Cancer Initiative, which hopes to increase survival rates to 100%.

Each year about 1000 children are diagnosed with cancer and around 200 children are diagnosed with cancers with no cure or that don’t respond to conventional treatments.

The Zero Childhood Cancer Initiative was established by the Children’s Cancer Institute and the Sydney Children’s Hospital, to focus on genomic sequencing for faster, cheaper and more accurate diagnosis. The Initiative will establish a national network of clinical and research collaborators in every major city and hopes to offer more targeted treatments.

Malcolm Turnbull said the initiative will help make Australia a world leader in personalised medicine for childhood cancer.

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