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Labor pledges $3m boost for cancer research

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The Labor Party is promising an extra $3 million for cancer research in South Australia if it wins the state election.

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The party has agreed to increase State Government funding for the Beat Cancer Project – which funds research into a variety of cancers – from $7 million to $10 million.

The pledge meets the top election request from the Cancer Council SA, which will match the funding, bringing its total budget for the five years to 2020 to $20 million.

Since it was launched in 2011, the Beat Cancer Project has funded more than 200 research projects for several cancers, including bowel cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer and melanoma.

This year the project will fund research into improving gastrointestinal cancer outcomes and the development of “new diagnostic tools and treatment strategies”.

Cancer Council chief executive Lincoln Size said the funding would translate “to better patient treatment outcomes and optimal care for all those affected by cancer”.

Health Minister Peter Malinauskas said Labor was “steadfast” in its commitment to cancer research.

Professor Steve Wesselingh, executive director of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute – which administers the project – said the extra funding would help build the state’s research “competitiveness”.

Liberal Party Health spokesperson Stephen Wade told InDaily his party had yet to make any announcement concerning the Beat Cancer Project.

The Beat Cancer Project does not form part of SA Best’s health policy document. However, the manifesto, released last week, includes a commitment to reviewing resourcing for cancer services.

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