Prof. David Thomas, Chief Science and Strategy Officer of Omico, will Address the National Press Club of Australia

Sydney, Australia – June 6, 2024

Australia is gripped by a public health crisis in cancer care. Despite being a world leader in cancer research and care, there is an inequity in treatment, costs and survival for people diagnosed with rare cancers.

The answer? Precision oncology, which is already available in Australia today.

Hear from the ‘Godfather’ of rare cancer science and precision oncology, Professor David Thomas, announcing the latest groundbreaking cancer research outcomes in the country on Wednesday 26th June, coinciding with Rare Cancers Awareness Day and the National Health Journalism Awards.

Rare Cancers Australia is proud to present Prof. David Thomas, and his proposed Address on the growing public health crisis in Australian cancer care, particularly for those diagnosed with rare and less common cancers.

Despite significant government investment and recognition of rare over the past decade, outcomes remain unacceptably poor amongst our country’s otherwise worldclass cancer care.

The fact that it takes medicines in Australia 442 days to come to market from Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) registration to Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listing places us as one of the worst in the OECD countries.

Patients diagnosed with a more common cancer, like melanoma, can access treatments for roughly $30 through the PBS, however those with a rarer form of cancer, such as salivary gland cancer, must pay thousands of dollars for the exact same treatment, simply because it’s not listed for their cancer type. For the sake of the approximately 52,000 Australians diagnosed with rare or less common cancers each year*, we need to change mindsets and systems that determine access to healthcare.

Treatment delayed is treatment denied. It is time for bold, innovative action to change inequitable outcomes for rare in this country, before more people die unnecessarily.

So, what can be done? The answer is in genomics.

In his Address, Prof. Thomas will speak about the need for ‘moonshot’ thinking to change the way we look at cancer care and cure. And how Australia is working towards transformation right now.

Significant scientific advances in genomic technology are paving the way for precision oncology, public-private investment opportunities and sustainable clinical trial models. These are already on Australia’s doorstep and can be made available now.

But before Australia can truly embrace the potential of precision oncology, we need to recognise our health system is based on outdated models. Prof David Thomas and Omico are shifting the dial and Australia is set to benefit.

Purchase your tickets by clicking here.


Prof. David Thomas is a distinguished figure in oncology, renowned for his groundbreaking work in genomic cancer medicine.

As the Chief Science and Strategy Officer of Omico (the Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Centre), which he founded in 2019, he has spearheaded a nationwide initiative to translate cutting-edge technologies into tangible therapeutic advancements for cancer patients.

His vision is to achieve equitable, sustainable and affordable access to precision oncology for all Australians diagnosed with cancer. He has authored over 260 research publications, with numerous papers published in high-impact journals and his work has earned him international recognition and has contributed to significant advancements in the field of oncology.

About RCA:

Rare Cancers Australia (RCA) is a charity whose mission is to improve the lives and health outcomes of Australians living with rare, less common and complex cancers. We believe that no Australian should have to go through their cancer journey alone, which is why we provide 360-degree personalised support to patients and their loved ones, and drive change in access, affordability, and quality of care for the patients of today and tomorrow. For more information visit