June, 2017: A Senate Committee was appointed earlier this year, to examine why some cancers still have low survival rates. The Senate Select Committee into Funding for Cancers with Low Survival was established following concerns that there had been little to no improvement in the survival rates for some rarer cancers, including brain, liver, stomach and pancreatic cancers.
Brain Tumor Alliance Australia co-founder Denis Strangman AM has appeared before the Inquiry, calling for broad availability of brain tumour visualisation technology.
In his opening address, he noted: “If this committee really wanted to make an impact on brain tumour treatments right now, I would suggest it recommend ways that surgeons can achieve greater resection of the tumour, and the most cost effective means is to use the fluorescence-guided agent, Gliolan. I never thought I would see the Kiwis ahead of Australia in the medical stakes, but they have put us to shame with their approval from the 1st of June with the subsidisation of Gliolan for glioblastoma patients. And, an American drugs advisory committee also recommended its reimbursement for glioblastoma less than a month ago, with a unanimous vote of 11-0. It (Gliolan) has been used in Europe for many years. Australian adult glioblastoma patients are being left behind in the possible extension of their survival. But Gliolan would be a cost-effective opportunity to redress the balance. Thank you Chair and Senators.”
To view part of Mr Strangman’s opening address, please click on the following video link.