Design: Analysis of routinely collected death certificate and corresponding population data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Setting: Population-based, Australia-wide comparison of mortality rates in regional and remote areas compared with metropolitan areas from 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2010.
Main outcome measures: Absolute and relative excess of cancer deaths in regional and remote areas.
Conclusions: The regional and remote disadvantage for cancer deaths has been recognised as a problem for more than two decades, yet we have made little progress. This is not surprising - we have not invested in research into solutions. The benefits of laboratory and clinical research to identify innovative cancer treatments will not be fully realised across the entire Australian population unless we also invest in health systems and policy research.