Tackling one of Australia’s deadliest cancers

Release Date

One of Australia’s lowest survival cancers will be the focus of the National Pancreatic Cancer Roadmap to be developed by Cancer Australia.  For the first time in Australia, key priority areas for action over the next five years will be identified, with the aim of improving pancreatic cancer outcomes and survival for people affected by the disease.

“Pancreatic cancer has one of the poorest survival rates of all cancers and is predicted to be the third-leading cause of Australian cancer deaths in 2020. The 5-year relative survival rate is 10.7% and has scarcely changed in decades,” said Professor Dorothy Keefe CEO, Cancer Australia.

“It is time to investigate why incidence of pancreatic cancer is rising for both men and women, why outcomes are still so poor and how we can increase survival from the disease.”

“There are currently no early detection tests for pancreatic cancer and treatments are complex. The National Pancreatic Cancer Roadmap will guide evidence-based research and best practice care at the right time, in the right place, to improve outcomes for people affected by pancreatic cancer.”

Principles will be established to underpin development of the Roadmap and will be aligned with the Optimal care pathway for people with pancreatic cancer to ensure all stages of the cancer care pathway are considered in the overall design.

One of the activities of the Roadmap is a review of current research funding and clinical trials, to gain an understanding of the current status in pancreatic cancer research and funding across the continuum of care in Australia and internationally, to enable the identification of gaps and opportunities.

Cancer Australia will collaborate extensively with key stakeholders, including consumers, and build on the efforts and expertise of the non-government sector in the development of the Roadmap. 

A key focus of the consultation phase will be engagement with targeted population groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, rural and remote and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.  

In March 2020, the Minister for Health, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, invited Cancer Australia to work with the Department of Health to develop the Roadmap which is expected to be presented by December 2021.

Cancer Australia has established a dedicated National Pancreatic Cancer Roadmap website. A public consultation process will be announced later in the year.