Kids' brain cancer - our biggest threat

Kids' brain cancer - our biggest threat

Discussion, awareness and funding of kids' brain cancer research must be a national priority.

This Brain Cancer Awareness Month (May), The Kids’ Cancer Project is calling for discussion, awareness and funding into childhood brain cancer, the leading killer of Australian children by disease.

With research the only way towards a cure, The Kids’ Cancer Project is committed to funding a breadth of scientists and research projects that investigate childhood brain cancer and treatment options. With the effects of treatment posing developmental challenges to children, the need for bespoke cancer research for them remains imperative.

CEO of The Kids' Cancer Project, Owen Finegan says, “We believe the only way to improve outcomes for kids with cancer is through advances in medical research. Each research project we fund is a step towards a world with less children suffering from cancer and less adults’ livings with the long-term effects of childhood cancer.”

As part of a new international clinical trial for a group of deadly brain tumours, Australian children will be the first in the world to access a new novel drug, Larotrectinib. Co-funded by The Kids' Cancer Project, CONNECT-1903, is the first study to examine if Larotrectinib can be used in the treatment of children with newly diagnosed high-grade gliomas (HGG), a diagnosis approximately 40 to 50 Australian children receive each year.

Read more: CONNECT-1903

Australian Principal Investigator Professor, Dr Nick Gottardo said, “At Perth Children’s Hospital, we are very excited to be the first centre in the world to offer our children access to this promising drug.

It is vital that we offer this drug in the regulated setting of a clinical trial, so we can be confident about how well it is tolerated and its effectiveness in treating paediatric HGG.”

In a show of commitment to tackle the key issues around children’s brain cancer, The Kids’ Cancer Project, is leading a collaborative Kids’ Brain Cancer 360 Live event led by Dr Nick Gottardo and Professor Brandon Wainwright, Co-Director of the Children’s Brain Cancer Centre. The event scheduled for Wednesday 26 May in Melbourne will bring together like-minded organisations including Cancer Australia and the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation with a goal of identifying one major priority that will be addressed by the consort.

Read more: KBC360 | Kids' Brain Cancer 360

Dr Raelene Endersby, a medical researcher whose career is dedicated to finding kinder, more effective treatments for children with brain cancer, shares her perspective, “We need people with the right expertise, both in the lab and in the clinic, and we need investment in research, equipment and people, and oversight from a regulatory perspective. Our goal is not just greater survival rates, but better quality of life for survivors, too.”

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