Malcolm Turnbull
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (R) speaks alongside Labor leader Bill Shorten during their first televised debate in Sydney, Australia, May 13, 2016. Reuters/AAP/Mick Tsikas

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will pledge $20 million to identify the genes that cause childhood cancer. Turnbull made the announcement on Tuesday in Sydney.

The funding will help in establishing the Zero Childhood Cancer Initiative that will provide personalised treatments to children with untreatable cancers. Children who have been diagnosed with such cancers will have their tissue sample taken and analysed to determine their genetics.

This progressive research will then determine the best treatment for the kids to improve their chances of recovery and survival. Sydney's Children's Hospitals in Randwick and Westmead, along with numerous leading research centres and hospitals, will take part in the program. Health Minister Sussan Ley and Turnbull said that the initiative aims at enhancing knowledge of genomic sequencing and effectively applying genome mapping technology. This would provide accurate, cheaper and faster diagnosis of the untreatable cancers.

The two added that about 200 children who do not respond to traditional treatments and have no cure are diagnosed with cancers every year. The initiative will aim at improving survival rates to 100 percent. A re-elected Coalition government, through the initiative, will provide tailored treatment to the specific disease and the individual child.

According to the ABC, institutions that are partnering with the national Zero Childhood Cancer initiative are:

  • WA: Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Perth
  • SA: Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide
  • NSW: Sydney Children's Hospital Randwick; The Children's Hospital at Westmead
  • VIC: Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne
  • QLD: Lady Cilento Children's Hospital

Research Centres doing the same are:

  • WA: Centre for Childhood Cancer Research
  • SA: South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide
  • NSW: Children's Cancer Institute, Kids Research Institute, Westmead
  • VIC: Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, Murdoch Children's Research Institute
  • QLD: The University of QLD, Diamantina Institute