Cancer researchers in Sydney are launching a research program aimed at tackling the most serious cases of infant, childhood and adolescent cancers.
Called Zero Childhood Cancer, scientists and doctors will start a pilot study to high risk cancer patients followed by a national clinical trial involving 120 children that will open in 2017.
When fully implemented, the Program will be offered to children throughout Australia who are at highest risk of relapse or treatment failure.
“This is a very exciting initiative that will revolutionise the way in which treatment decisions about childhood cancer will be made,” said Children’s Cancer Institute’s Executive Director Professor Michelle Haber.
“The challenge in curing every child is that each child’s cancer is unique, which means they respond differently to anti-cancer treatment. As the Personalised Medicine Program is implemented, and as we gather more information, we will hopefully get better and better at identifying the most effective treatment for each child’s cancer.
“We see this as a key step towards our vision of one day helping to cure 100% of children with cancer. Currently, for children with the most challenging forms of cancer, there is very little hope. This Program will offer them the best standard of care here in Australia.”
The program is a join initiative of the Children’s Cancer Institute, the only independent medical research institute in Australia, existing solely to cure childhood cancer and improve the quality of life for survivors, and The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, the largest paediatric health entity in Australia representing a team of 5,000 staff in various hostels round the city.
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
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