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24 Sep 2019

Melanoma detection in high-risk patients, the effectiveness of breast MRIs, the cost of chronic fatigue, and mobile x-rays at residential aged care facilities are the focus of the latest round of Government funded research projects.

More than $6.6 million is being injected into the four research projects seeking to answer public health questions in those fields.

The projects are funded under the Medical Research Future Fund’s (MRFF) $39.8 million Targeted Health System and Community Organisation Research Initiative.

The initiative is designed to address gaps in knowledge and evidence for important health system issues. This includes the comparative effectiveness of a health service or health system practice.

“The focus areas require more targeted research and have high community need but low commercial interest,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

This round of funding is focused on targeted research questions and topics, put forward by the National Health Technology Assessment Chairs Committee that seek to examine:  

  • the effectiveness of Melanoma Surveillance Photography in high-risk individuals;
  • when breast MRIs improve patient outcomes;
  • the impact of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome on the Australian economy; and
  • whether mobile x-ray units to residents of residential aged care facilities are cost effective.

“Research findings will inform improvements in current practice and ultimately support better health outcomes for patients,” Mr Hunt said.

The $20 billion MRFF aims to transform health and medical research, and innovation, to improve lives by providing sustainable and strategic funding for vital research and clinical trials.

The MRFF operates as an endowment fund and provides a sustainable source of funding for vital medical research, which beyond 2021 will disburse $650 million each year.

The four projects to be funded are:







Evaluation of clinical pathways and patient outcomes for breast MRI in preoperative assessment and staging of breast cancer. Establishing when MRI improves patient outcomes and when it does not.



University of Western Australia



The effectiveness of Melanoma Surveillance Photography in high-risk individuals.


Monash University


ANCHOR Project: health economics and epidemiology of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome.


University of Tasmania


Mobile X-ray services provided within residential aged care facilities.


The University of Adelaide



                         $6,614, 215




Published: 24 Sep 2019