The Government of Australia has announced funding of approximately A$25m to boost patient access to cancer and rare disease clinical trials across the country.

The Australian Clinical Trials Network’s TrialHub will receive this financial support to increase opportunities for patients to participate in trials, irrespective of where they live.

This will be made possible through partnerships with regional hospitals. Initially, TrialHub will collaborate with hospitals at Rosebud, Casey and Bendigo in Victoria state.

The hub will start with trials for rare cancers and other rare diseases, prostate cancer and melanoma.

A statement from Minister for Health Greg Hunt read: “This programme is collaboration between Monash University and Alfred Health to boost the number of available clinical trials in Victoria.

“Clinical trials are the vehicles through which advances in medical science are translated to the benefit of patients and their communities, providing essential conduits from scientific discovery to improved health outcomes for all.

“This investment is through our Government’s Community Health and Hospitals Program.”

The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Australia also announced $105m co-investment from the government to improve immunotherapy clinical trials in the country.

These funds will be used to build the Peter Mac Centre of Excellence in Cellular Immunotherapy and provide access to treatments that were previously only offered internationally.

The centre will ensure that CAR T-cell therapy for Australian patients can be manufactured domestically, without the need for shipping the T-cells to the US for processing.

It is expected that the facility will have capacity to help more than 200 leukaemia and lymphoma patients by providing access to new treatments in clinical trials.