Annual Report FY22

A message from our CEO

It has been an exciting year for Cure Cancer, for which we have our wonderful community to thank. Although finding our bearings as we were coming out of lockdown has been challenging at best, your support through it all has enabled us to reach significant milestones of which we are all so incredibly proud.

This year marked the exciting return of in-person BarbeCUREs, fun runs and other incredible fundraising initiatives. BarbeCURE® raised over $135,000 to fund a year’s worth of Dr Laurence Cheung’s vital childhood leukaemia research. In total, this initiative has raised over $1.1m, which is enough to kick-start 11 innovative projects from the most promising emerging researchers in Australia.

We were delighted by the efforts of our fundraisers at City2Surf, Melbourne Marathon and Bridge to Brisbane, amongst other exciting races across the country, which raised over $225,000. At the first in-person City2Surf in two years, 269 of our fundraisers, including some of our brilliant early-career researchers, took part in the iconic 14km fun run.

It is incredibly thrilling to see how much our Game on Cancer® community has grown since its founding. Our dedicated streamers and creators have rallied behind the cause and collectively helped us to raise over $730,000 to date, which is enough to support 7 years of cancer research projects. Our annual Holiday Spectacular campaign reached over $66,000 in a month - an impressive feat that demonstrates the power of a dedicated community united in its mission to find a cure for all types of cancer. 

Our total revenue this year exceeded $6.2m. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, our 2022 researchers continue to make promising leaps in their research in endometrial cancer, oesophageal cancer, prostate cancer, blood cancer, childhood neuroblastoma, and brain cancer. You can see some snapshots of this research below to help give you an overview of the impact that you are making with your donations.

This year, we opened more opportunities for early-career researchers through the launch of our new grant program. We’ve streamlined the process to allow researchers to dedicate more time to life-saving research instead of worrying about their funding, and the response has been remarkable. It received over 100 applications from early-career researchers across Australia, all of whom are eager to pursue their novel cancer research and generate new knowledge to find solutions to cancer. 

We wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without you. Knowing you are part of this inspiring community motivates us to keep working towards a better future for anyone affected by cancer.

Together, we can make this the last generation to die from cancer.

Nikki Kinloch
Cure Cancer CEO

What your support means

Michel Itel was diagnosed with advanced non-small cell lung cancer five years ago despite being a non-smoker his whole life. At the age of 42, Michel was a father to two young girls who had already lost their mother as babies. Now he had to tell his daughters that he had little time left. They were devastated. 

This year, about 14,529 Australians (including non-smokers) will be diagnosed with lung cancer, which has a 5-year survival rate of 22%. It is also one of the most underfunded cancers. 

Michel’s cancer has a unique biomarker that makes accessing breakthrough targeted therapies possible.

Lung cancer patients rarely survive the first 5 years of their diagnosis, but innovative cancer research has bought Michel more time to spend with his daughters.

“You call it research, we call it hope. Without that hope, we can no longer dream of living as much of a normal life as we can. It all starts with funding and support.”
— Michel Itel

Michel and Arutha

“Cancer research funding is already scarce. For early-career cancer researchers, it's even scarcer. For new treatments, we need new ideas, and new ideas come from new researchers.”

Michel is a fierce advocate for patients affected by lung disease who has worked closely with Dr Arutha Kulasinghe, his friend and a Cure Cancer alumnus.

“I had the honour of meeting Dr Kulasinghe in 2019, when I was undergoing treatment at a hospital in Brisbane. Through the support of the Cure Cancer community, Dr Kulasinghe has been able to excel in his immunotherapy research by pioneering innovative technologies like spatial transcriptomics to assess tumour tissues and identify biomarkers for personalised, targeted therapies for patients.”

Dr Arutha Kulasinghe

Dr Arutha Kulasinghe has been using cutting-edge technologies called spatial transcriptomics to identify biomarkers for targeted treatment in lung cancer. He hopes this research will lay the groundwork for better lung cancer treatment for patients like Michel.

“We call spatial transcriptomics the ‘Google Maps’ approach because it allows us to ‘walk’ across lung tumours cell by cell and see areas of resistance and sensitivity to immunotherapy,” says Arutha. “This helps us to deliver personalised medicine more effectively and tailor the drug to the individual patient rather than trialling generic drugs that will not benefit the patient.”

“All of this would not have been possible without Cure Cancer funding. Emerging lung cancer researchers like myself need to be given a chance to discover new drugs, new therapies and new biomarkers to make a difference to patients’ lives.”
— Dr Arutha Kulasinghe

The achievements you have made possible in FY22

A snapshot of some of the projects you have helped fund

A/Prof Orazio Vittorio

Childhood Cancer Researcher

Dr Sandra Brosda

Gastro-intestinal Cancer Researcher

Dr Venessa Chin

Lung Cancer Researcher

Dr Marlene Hao

Brain Cancer Researcher

Dr Shafiq Syed

Gynaecological Cancer Researcher

Dr Marjan Mojtabavi Naeini

Gastro-intestinal Cancer Researcher

Dr Kate Vandyke

Blood Cancer Researcher

Dr Panchadsaram ‘Jana’ Janaththani

Prostate Cancer Researcher

The institutes we work with

We partner with the best research institutions in the country to ensure our researchers are given the greatest opportunity for success.

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