The facts about childhood cancer are heartbreaking. Every year, more than 950 children and adolescents in Australia are diagnosed with cancer. We also know that cancer kills more Aussie kids than any other disease. And every week, nearly three of these children will die.
But there is hope in the Zero Childhood Cancer Program - touted as the most ambitious childhood cancer initiative ever undertaken in Australia.
The program is led by Children’s Cancer Institute and the Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick bringing together all major Australian clinical and research groups working in childhood cancer to offer Australia's first ever personalised medicine program for children with high-risk or relapsed cancer.
The Kids’ Cancer Project is proud to be a founding funding partner since 2014 and to date has committed $2,287,250 to this ground-breaking research study. The first stage of the program was executed in 2016 with a pilot study for children with high-risk cancer being treated in New South Wales.
Outcomes of the Zero Childhood Cancer Program at January 2020
- 290 children have been registered for the trial, each of these are children with an aggressive cancer that is identified as having less than a 30 per cent chance of survival.
- Of these, 40 per cent have been enrolled at the time of relapse, 44 per cent at diagnosis and 16 per cent with progression of disease.
- In terms of cancer types, 39 per cent have brain cancer, 27 per cent sarcoma, 15 per cent leukaemia/lymphoma, seven per cent neuroblastoma and 12 per cent other rare cancers.
- For 74 per cent of children a personalised treatment plan has been recommended
- Average turnaround time from receipt of samples to personalised treatment recommendation is nine weeks.
After the successful completion of the pilot study in 2017, a national state-of-the-art clinical trial was launched and kids with less than a 30 per cent chance of survival from all over Australia were enrolled on it.