Driving donated dollars further through collaboration

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Funds raised through The Kids’ Cancer Project matched giving campaign will go toward innovation grants to top researchers around Australia in partnership with the Federal Government.

The Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme (PdCCRS) is a research project funding program that brings together government and other organisations to collaboratively fund cancer research in Australia.

Cancer Australia established the PdCCRS to support research that reduces the impact of cancer on the community and improves outcomes for people affected by cancer.

The funding scheme not only coordinates funding of priority-driven cancer research at a national level, but it also cultivates collaboration between cancer researchers to build Australia’s cancer research capacity while stimulating consumer participation in cancer research from design to implementation.

Through The Kids’ Cancer Project’s collaboration with the PdCCRS, corporate partners, philanthropists, fundraisers and donors can all be assured their gifts will go twice, if not three times as far to increase survival rates of children with cancer. 

8 collaboratively funded studies

In the 2020 financial year, The Kids’ Cancer Project invested $1.65 million in eight bold scientific studies in partnership with the PdCCRS. Government and other collaborators contributed a further $2.38 million to these studies, amounting to total funding of $4.03 million to drive the greatest positive outcome for children diagnosed with the disease. Here you’ll find a brief overview of each of the studies with more details in linked articles.

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Enhanced polyamine depletion as a novel therapy for aggressive childhood cancers

This project will produce considerable data required for clinical trials to help kids diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma and the most aggressive types of brain tumours including diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, for which the survival rate is currently zero. 

“This grant is all about the things we can do to optimise the likelihood of a great outcome from the planned neuroblastoma clinical trial of this new treatment approach.” – Professor Michelle Haber, Children’s Cancer Institute

The Kids’ Cancer Project funding $239,995 | PdCCRS funding $347,705 | Total funding $587,700 Behind the science: Professor Michelle Haber

Application of gene-silencing nanodrugs to inhibit medulloblastoma growth

This new therapeutic strategy has the potential to increase survival and quality of life for children diagnosed with all types of brain cancer.

“Kids [who survive cancer] can be left with learning and hearing difficulties, all sorts of problems that seriously affect their quality of life. That’s a really big challenge we’re trying to face.” – Associate Professor Joshua McCarroll, Children’s Cancer Institute

The Kids’ Cancer Project funding $298,554 | PdCCRS funding $298,554 | Total funding $597,108

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Intraoperative immunotherapy to prevent relapse in soft tissue sarcoma

One in three children with soft tissue sarcoma die from their disease. This project will provide the necessary data to take this technology to the bedside in clinical trials to benefit patients and improve survival.

“We don't want to diminish the quality of the research, which means in general it takes an awful long time. Clinical trials in children also tend to be very expensive. That's where the funding from The Kids’ Cancer Project really helps.” – Dr Joost Lesterhuis, Telethon Kids Institute

The Kids’ Cancer Project funding $148,144 | PdCCRS funding $197,525 | Total funding $345,669

Behind the science: Dr Joost Lesterhuis

“Cage fighting" with neuroblastoma

This project aims to engineer an innovative natural nanoparticle called a ‘Protein Nanocage’ to target neuroblastoma and cause tumour cell death. This nanotechnology is specifically designed to have high efficacy while minimising the harmful impacts treatment can have on healthy growing bodies.

“I’m an early-career researcher, so this funding makes a very big difference. Without funds we wouldn’t be able to progress this project much at all.” – Dr Andrew Care, Macquarie University

The Kids’ Cancer Project funding $63,926 | PdCCRS funding $127,854 | Total funding $191,780

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Personalised targeted therapy for adolescent and young adult medulloblastoma patients

This trial will give AYA’s diagnosed with medulloblastoma access to state-of-the-art tumour profiling and targeted therapies in order to ensure optimal treatments to improve cure rates and reduce therapy-related toxicities.

“It’s very expensive to run studies and this funding will turn the project into a reality. [This funding] means that this group of Australian patients will be able to access an international gold standard approach to treatment and care.” – Dr Elizabeth Hovey Dr Elizabeth Hovey, University of Sydney

The Kids’ Cancer Project funding $287,332 | PdCCRS funding $287,332 | Total funding $574,664

Behind the science: Dr Elizabeth Hovey

Targeting Polo-like kinase 1 as a novel therapeutic opportunity for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas

This important discovery will be used to develop the optimal combination therapy at the bench with a view to fast tracking findings to the bedside to directly benefit children with DIPG.

“We are really excited about this project and are in active negotiation with a drug company to try to get a trial up and running as soon as possible. Thanks again to The Kids’ Cancer Project for your ongoing and reliable support.” - Associate Professor David Ziegler, Sydney Children’s Hospital

The Kids’ Cancer Project funding $278,282 | PdCCRS funding $278,281 | Total funding $588,620

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Targeting the NAD pathway as a new therapeutic strategy for high-risk leukaemia in children

This research project aims to develop a new drug, OT-82, to be tested as a viable therapeutic strategy for aggressive leukaemia in children, to ultimately improve their survival and minimise the side effects of treatment.

“OT-82 is now in clinical trial, which is very exciting. But it’s not yet in a clinical trial for kids. That’s why this grant from The Kids’ Cancer Project is timely, because the next step is for us to plan a trial in children.” – Dr Michelle Henderson, University of NSW

The Kids’ Cancer Project funding $138,179 | PdCCRS funding $453,279 | Total funding $591,458

Behind the science: Dr Michelle Henderson

Exploiting CDK4/6 inhibition to treat medulloblastoma

Results from this study will determine how a new drug can be effectively incorporated into existing treatment and will provide the evidence needed to justify a new children’s brain cancer clinical trial.

“It’s important that people realise that we couldn’t do this, we couldn’t do the work that could make a real difference for families and kids, without the support of The Kids’ Cancer Project.” – Professor Brandon Wainwright, University of Queensland

The Kids’ Cancer Project funding $196,207 | PdCCRS funding $392,413 | Total funding $588,620

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