Sep 13, 2017

Olivia Newton-John to meet with nation’s leaders on cancer research

Singer and actress Olivia Newton-John will be in Canberra today to meet with Australia’s political leaders and discuss how to support and embolden the country’s medical researchers to continue making discoveries that improve outcomes for cancer patients.

Ms Newton-John, the champion of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute (ONJCRI), will meet with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, opposition leader Bill Shorten, health minister Greg Hunt, innovation minister Arthur Sinodinos, and minister for aged care and indigenous health Ken Wyatt.

She will also meet with representatives of Parliament’s Brain Cancer and Tumour Awareness Group and the Parliamentary Friends of Women and Work after last night addressing members of the Parliamentary Friends of Cancer Causes group.

The ONJCRI has a 25-year track record of groundbreaking research into cancers of the breast, lung, bowel, skin, brain and prostate. Its researchers are currently undertaking promising clinical trials of treatments for brain and lung cancers, lymphoma and rare cancers.

Ms Newton-John, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and who has recently had a recurrence of her cancer, said government support of cancer research was vital to ensure people with the disease had the best possible chance of not only surviving, but thriving.

“Cancer isn’t something that affects only some of us. In some way all of us are affected by this terrible disease or know someone who is facing the challenge of cancer,” she said.

“Winning over this disease is one of the major challenges of our time. Through research and wellness therapies I believe we can meet that challenge, but we do need governments to support our endeavours.”

Ms Newton-John and the leadership of the ONJCRI will discuss several of the institute’s successes when they meet today with the nation’s leaders. They include:

  • The success of a breakthrough treatment developed for the most aggressive form of adult brain cancer, which is improving the survival rate for people with this type of cancer for the first time in 30 years
  • Progress in understanding how breast cancer cells initiate spread to other parts of the body and why and how tumour cells that lie dormant for long periods of time can become active again.

For further details or to arrange interviews:

Ms Penny Fannin; Head, Communications and Marketing, Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute; M: +61 0417 125 700  |  E: penny.fannin@onjcri.org.au