The Cancer Therapeutics CRC (CTx) is proud to announce our support for the ‘Zero Childhood Cancer’ program launched by the Children’s Cancer Institute (CCI) and The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network this week.

The Program aims to use detailed laboratory analysis of each child’s unique cancer cell to identify and deliver the most effective, personalised treatment plan to tackle the child’s specific disease.

“ We are truly delighted to be part of this great initiative, and would like to send our support and congratulations to the teams at CCI and the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network for undertaking such an important challenge as personalised medicine for children facing complex cancers”, said Dr Ian Street, CTx CSO.

As Australia’s centre for cancer research collaboration with a focus on paediatric cancer, CTx has provided CCI with additional world-class capabilities in cancer research, drug development and importantly access to dedicated funding through the Australian CRC program.
“Childhood cancer is emotional but not commercial so drug development plans too often make it a lower priority. Kids unnecessarily wait to get access to new drugs. In a country like Australia market failure is hardly an acceptable excuse”, commented Warwick Tong, CEO of CTx.

CTx has committed an initial investment of $5 million over 6 years to help fund research positions and will provide ongoing in-kind contributions to help CCIA develop new drugs and to extend the program nationally.

“We all should not be prepared to stand by and see avoidable delays in new treatments for children. Working together with CCI and paediatric oncologists we realised that in the near term we could build an Australia-wide capability to ensure that a child’s tumour can be profiled against a wide range of existing drugs enabling earlier rational therapy choices” added Dr Tong.

The combined investment from CTx and CCIA is the largest single investment in paediatric cancer research in Australia to date.

About Children’s Cancer Institute
Children’s Cancer Institute is the only independent medical research institute in Australia, existing solely to cure childhood cancer and improve the quality of life for survivors. The Institute is now recognised to be a significant global contributor to the advance of childhood cancer research with particular strength in ‘translational research’ that aims to take discoveries from the ‘bench to the bedside’ as quickly as possible.

Zero Childhood Cancer: The science behind the Program
Each child’s cancer is unique at a molecular level, determining the responsiveness or resistance of that child’s cancer cells to various anti-cancer drugs. Two children who have the ‘same’ kind of cancer – say acute lymphoblastic leukaemia – and who show the same symptoms, may nevertheless respond very differently to the same anti-cancer drugs. For that reason, the goal of Zero Childhood Cancer is to treat each child’s cancer in the most targeted way possible, with a view to pushing survival rates towards 100%.

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