Cutting edge new research programs being funded by Steven Walter Children’s Cancer Foundation are making a big difference in the lives of kids diagnosed with cancer.
Progress reports from researchers at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, Kids Cancer Centre, and the Monash Children’s Research Institute, Melbourne have highlighted some significant breakthroughs made over the past 12 months thanks to the support of SWCCF sponsors and donors.
Positive results from SWCCF supported research programs currently underway include:
New therapy for high risk and relapsed leukaemia and lymphoma patients
A program that looks at how doctors might be able to genetically modify the cells from within a child’s own immune system to fight cancer as an alternative to traditional treatments like chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery
Improving outcomes for childhood leukaemia
Identifying gene signatures that are associated with relapse and drug resistance and looking at how treatment can be personalised to identify the need for specialised therapy to reduce the likelihood of relapse
Predicting and preventing leukaemia in children with Down Syndrome
Children with Down Syndrome have an increased risk of developing childhood leukaemia compared to other children. This research program currently involves 17 children with Down Sydnrome from across NSW. The aim is to develop a test which can be used to predict which children with Down Syndrome may later develop leukaemia. This information may then be helpful in predicting other childhood leukaemic diseases
A research program into the molecular genetics of paediatric cancer
This program is studying our genetic structures to identify specific genetic changes that occur in patients with childhood leukaemia. The research program has already identified a molecular high risk diagnosis in a patient which has resulted in a change in treatment to hopefully contribute to a long term cure
“Over the last 50 years the cure rates for children living with cancer have improved from 10 per cent to 75 per cent, which is an incredible achievement. Ultimately our aim is 100 per cent survival for all children diagnosed with cancer and the prevention of their suffering,” said Sue Walter, Director of Steven Walter Children’s Cancer Foundation.
“Research is vital in making sure we achieve 100 per cent survival and we can see that some big steps forward are being made in the research we’re funding.
“Unfortunately though this cutting edge, exploratory research is rarely well supported. So we know that without our support, much of this research would not take place and we would not see the discoveries being made in saving children’s lives.
“That’s why it’s so important to us to continue to raise money through sponsorship, events and generous donations by everyday Australians. Everyone who supports SWCCF can share in the breakthroughs being made and the exciting prospect of what can be achieved by these amazing researchers with our continued support,” she said.