A revolutionary cancer treatment that saved two Australians from their deathbeds will be available in Melbourne within weeks as part of a $496 million federal government health package.
The CAR T-cell therapy, which until now has been available overseas, helps the body's own immune system to fight cancer and could potentially cure certain types.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced $80 million to bring the treatment to Melbourne, as part of a larger package of health funding.
"For Australians who are diagnosed with cancer, the one thankful thing in that is they can fight it here in Australia," Mr Morrison told reporters in Melbourne on Monday.
"This is groundbreaking work that is happening here."
The CAR T-cell therapy involves removing immune system cells, re-engineering them in a lab and reinserting them back into the body to attack and kill the cancer cells.
It has been undergoing clinical trials in Melbourne but is expected to be ready for treatment within weeks.
Lauren Krelsham fought leukaemia on and off from seven-years-old, trying new treatments and constantly relapsing until she was finally told she would die and was put in palliative care.
"I wouldn't be standing here today if it wasn't for the CAR-T therapy I was able to receive," she told reporters.
Ms Krelsham was part of a clinical trial of the therapy in Melbourne with Finnian Kenny, who was also in palliative care before the treatment brought him back from the brink of death.
"We were told twice that we were going to die," Mr Kenny told reporters.
Both said bringing the treatment to Australia would give hope to cancer patients.
Mr Morrison said Melbourne was leading cancer research in Australia, with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre at the head of the fight to save patients from around the country.
The MacCallum centre will invest $25 million to create the Centre of Excellence in Cellular Immunotherapy as part of the treatment upgrade.
The government also plans to put $30 million into St Vincent Hospital's Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery - Australia's first hospital-based biomedical engineering research and training hub.
Three Victoria hospitals - in Rosebud, Casey and Bendigo - will partner with the Australian Clinical Trials Network's TrialHub, to provide cancer and rare disease services in regional areas.
As well, the federal budget will include funding for drug discovery, paediatric emergency departments, community health and MRI licences in Victoria.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will hand down the budget on April 2.