To help kick off National Science Week (12 – 20 August 2017), The Kids’ Cancer Project are proud to announce that they will be supporting 24 scientific studies nation-wide over the next two years.
The independent national charity has committed to funding $7 million worth of science projects up to 2019. But Owen Finegan, Chief Executive, won’t take the applause for this result, rather, he shines the spotlight on the community.
"It’s only through the commitment and support of donors, fundraisers and our corporate partners that we’re able to achieve this result,” said Finegan.
“The community step up time and time again to raise money for childhood cancer research,” he said. “There are bakers, runners, swimmers and people who are prepared to lose their locks – all in the name of scientific research for kids’ cancer.”
“But it’s our regular donors, those who have made a commitment to give every month, who really make it possible for us to make long-term commitments to scientific projects.”
Adrian Fisk, Chairman of the charity’s Board, knows that research discovery requires long term commitment. His son (who is now 11) was diagnosed with a brain tumour at just five years of age.
"As a father of a child who has survived brain cancer, I’ve witnessed first-hand the benefits of scientific research,” he said. “And while I wish there was a quick-fix for all the families who are currently going through treatment with their children, I’m aware of the significant time and expertise it takes to find and ensure new therapies are completely safe."
“The Board through the support of our Research Advisory Committee each year looks to fund projects that will have the greatest chance of clinical success. Out of the 24 projects funded between 2016-2017, twelve will be supported well into 2019.”
Associate Professor David Ziegler, Chair of the charity’s Research Advisory Committee concurs with research being a long-game. He’s a paediatric oncologist with expertise in neuro-oncology and early phase clinical trials. He has concurrent appointments as Group Leader at the Children’s Cancer Institute, and conjoint Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales.
"In my role I see children suffering and want to help them immediately,” said Ziegler. “At the same time, I’m all too aware of the significant amount of time it takes to ensure new therapies are completely safe."
As the saying goes, time is money. Over the past 13 years, The Kids’ Cancer Project has committed over $36 million in funding to childhood cancer research. A significant amount and yet, more is needed. Cancer is a disease that kills more Australian children than any other.
The Kids’ Cancer Project fund a broad range of studies aimed at understanding causes, improving survival, treatments and quality of life of children with cancer as well as improving capabilities of scientists and their labs.
Funded projects highlights include:
- Professor Jennifer Byrne and Dr Luciano Dalla-Pozza of The Children’s Hospital at Westmead (NSW) who will receive funding for their study into next generation sequencing to identify clinically-relevant gene mutations in childhood cancer patients. Read more.
- Dr Nick Gottardo with Dr Raelene Endersby and Professor Terry Johns of Telethon Kids Institute (WA) will receive funding to improve chemotherapy regimens for medulloblastoma. Read more.
- Professor Ursula Kees from Telethon Kids Institute (WA) will receive funding for a study directed at improving treatments for infant acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (iALL). Read more.
- Dr Bryan Day of QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute (Qld) will receive funding for the development of personalised medicine approaches to treat medulloblastoma. Read more.
- Professor Ricky Johnstone of Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is working on a study to improve chances of survival for children with low prognosis leukaemias. Read more.
Discover more: Our research projects.