Six of the best in children’s cancer combine to bring new hope

A $6.5 million cancer research grant will strengthen expert collaboration between Australia’s top scientists and doctors in the fight against children’s cancer.

Every year more than 600 Australian children are newly diagnosed with cancer, and approximately 150 will not survive this ordeal.

But a promising new professional network will bring research breakthroughs made at the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia (CCIA), the Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI), and Kids’ Research Institute (KRI) directly to the hospital bedsides at Sydney’s Children’s Hospital Randwick, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and John Hunter Children’s Hospital in Newcastle.

The $6.5 million grant has been provided through the NSW government-funded Cancer Institute.

It is a visionary step towards cooperative research, and the ACRF is delighted to have awarded significant funds in recent years to enhance CCIA and CMRI facilities, which has no doubt helped them play a key role in this new collaboration.

The new centre will be known as the Translational Cancer Research Centre for Kids (TCRCK), and it will develop experimental therapeutics, clinical trials, novel diagnostics and improved models of care to improve health outcomes for children with cancer. Improving the quality of (and access to) specialist clinical care for children from rural and regional NSW will also be a key focus of the TCRCK.

The centre will also conduct significant investigations into the needs of up to 5000 young adults in NSW who are survivors of childhood cancer, and have potential health problems resulting from their curative therapy.

“The TCRCK is an exciting and visionary initiative which has the potential to greatly accelerate improvements in the survival rates and quality of life for children diagnosed with cancer in NSW, nationally and internationally,” said Professor Michelle Haber AM, Executive Director, CCIA (pictured above).

Professor Roger Reddel of CMRI (Director) echoed Professor Haber’s comments, expecting the funds will assist not with forming new collaborations necessarily – these have always existed – but in overcoming operational barriers to efficient and effective working relationships.

“The clinicians and researchers involved in this venture are already a highly collaborative group who have worked together in many ways to improve the outcomes of treatment for childhood cancer,” said Professor Reddel.

“What is novel and exciting about the TCRCK is that it will commit resources to overcoming barriers imposed by geographical separation and organisational structure in ways that have simply not been possible in the past.”

For more information, please view the CCIA press release here.