Cancers in children are very different to cancers in adults - they develop differently, spread more rapidly and aggressively, and in most cases, they appear to strike at random. Additionally, an unacceptable gap exists between available cancer treatments for children and adults, with options for children sadly lagging far behind. The Telethon Kids Cancer Centre is dedicated to eliminating this gap by revolutionising cancer treatments for children.
Cancer remains the leading cause of childhood death by disease in Australia. It is a battle too many children and teenagers face every day, with few treatment advances in decades. Close to 1,000 children and adolescents are diagnosed every year in Australia and sadly, three children a week lose their battle.
For many children, current treatments are not curative and those who survive are too often left with devastating life-long side effects. This is an unavoidable consequence of current radiotherapies and chemotherapies, that are not only toxic to cancer cells, but also to the developing bodies and brains of children. Tragically, current treatments can even cause deadly secondary cancers later in life.
The profound life-long impact of cancer on affected children, their families, and their communities cannot be underestimated.
More effective childhood cancer treatments with fewer debilitating side effects are desperately needed!