Media Release For immediate release on 5th September 2018                                                                 

Cancer Australia releases national data on diagnosis stages

Sarcoma cancer included in the new data released for childhood cancers in Australia


In a world first, Cancer Australia has released initial National Data on Australian paediatric cancer stages at diagnosis, including the rare and aggressive Sarcoma cancers.

This data covers sixteen major cancer types, which represent approximately three-quarters of all childhood cancers diagnosed in Australia.

Leading medical research and clinical trials group the Australasian Sarcoma Study Group (ASSG) describes this action as a step to refine and improve the overall paediatric cancer diagnoses. 

Executive Officer Dr Denise Caruso was delighted that Sarcomas were included in the cancer types data for this national study.

“The ASSG have been working tirelessly to ensure that sarcomas are included in studies of this sort, so that as a rarer cancer type, we now have proper evidence to take further action,”  

“The data shows that a large majority of paediatric cancers are diagnosed early and this is good news for patients, as we know that the chance of cure is usually higher if the cancer is not advanced. The data supports this for childhood cancers,”

“There is still work to be done to improve the rate of early diagnosis, as almost one third of all childhood sarcoma diagnoses are at the advanced (metastatic) stage.” Dr Caruso said.

Surgical oncologist and ASSG Board member, Dr David Gyorki highlighted the importance of early detection among sarcoma patients.

“Furthermore, the data shows that sarcomas are the cancers with the biggest survival discrepancy between those diagnosed as localised versus advanced disease,”

“This highlights the importance of raising awareness of sarcoma in the community to ensure early diagnosis and treatment.” said Dr Gyorki.

ASSG Consumer Representative Amy Levings acknowledged the importance of early detection and clinical trials.

“It breaks my heart to see young people suffer through this devastating cancer with grave and terrifying prognoses from the beginning, I was fortunate my Ewing’s Sarcoma was detected in its early and primary stages and I am now 11 years clear and continue to be a patient advocate for sarcoma research and clinical trials,”

“I’ve seen firsthand how debilitating this cancer can be for patients and their families, and it’s fantastic that sarcomas are finally getting noticed amongst other cancer sub-types in Australia.” Ms. Levings said.

For more information on the data release visit

To learn more about the Australasian Sarcoma Study Group visit




About Australasian Sarcoma Study Group (ASSG)

In 2007, a group of about 70 clinicians, mostly surgeons with shared interests in sarcoma - the Australian Sarcoma Group - decided to set up an effective clinical research cooperative group. (MORE OVER)

In January 2008, with funding from Cancer Australia and under the auspices of the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia, the Australasian Sarcoma Study Group (ASSG) established itself as a national Cooperative Cancer Clinical Research Group and commenced operation. From 2009, the University of Melbourne became the administering institution for the ASSG through
Cancer Australia’s Support for Cancer Clinical Research Program. Under this program, the Australian Government provides funding to build Australia’s capacity to conduct cancer clinical research. The ASSG is one of thirteen Multisite Collaborative National Cancer Clinical Trials Groups supported under this program. The Groups were established to help reduce the impact of cancer in the community through facilitating the coordination of and collaboration between all stakeholders, including people affected through cancer, health professionals, researchers, cancer organisations and governments


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