South Australians suffering from rare cancers may soon have access to treatment closer to home under a plan outlined by Nick Xenophon ahead of the SA election.
If his party holds the balance of power after Saturday's election, the SA-BEST leader has pledged $5 million to extend clinical trials by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research to SA, allowing approximately 430 patients to be treated in Adelaide instead of interstate.
"All South Australians with rare and less common cancers deserve to have access to clinical trials in Adelaide," Mr Xenophon said.
The funding commitment, over five years, would see the institute's genomic cancer program expanded to SA. Currently patients must travel to Sydney.
The program studies the role genetics play in the risk of cancer and allows people access to the latest medicines, with sufferers often having no other treatment options.
The former senator said more needed to be done to tackle rare forms of the disease, which kills about 24,000 Australians each year.
"These cancers account for about half of all cancer deaths, and yet survival rates have stagnated over the past 20 years, appalling statistics whichever way you look at it," he said.