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At Telethon Kids our cancer researchers are striving to get more effective therapies into the clinic.

Cancer is a battle too many children and teenagers face every day. It is the leading cause of death by disease among Australian children from birth to age 15.

The Telethon Kids Cancer Centre (TKCC) is a group of dedicated researchers striving to improve cure rates for young people affected by cancer.

Our researchers ensure their research is grounded in clinical practice. We achieve this by forging strong partnerships between laboratory researchers and paediatric oncologists, pathologists, surgeons, imaging specialists and radiation oncologists.

These clinicians share their observations from the clinic with laboratory colleagues and researchers plan their research direction with patients in mind.

Conducting collaborative research that brings together the laboratory and clinic to develop new treatments for patients.

Telethon Kids Cancer Centre is headed by leading brain cancer researcher Professor Terry Johns, Professor in Children’s Cancer Research.

The research of TKCC includes laboratory-based scientists, paediatric oncologists, epidemiologists, support staff, and include many higher degree (mainly PhD) and Honours students. Our research is organised into collaborative programs of laboratory-based research and translational research.

Our goal is to discover new therapies - therapies that are more effective and less toxic - to fight the most aggressive cancers in babies and children. Our research focuses on:

  • Testing existing drugs and new compounds to improve patient outcomes.
  • Understanding the biology of individual cancers to identify weaknesses to target.
  • Determining why apparently similar cancer cells from individual patients respond differently to treatment.
  • Harnessing the power of the body's own immune system to fight cancer cells.
  • Developing new treatments with industry partners to feed our drug development pipeline.

Our cancer epidemiology researchers look for long-term patterns in population health data, together with genetic, dietary and environmental information about families that can help shed light on risk factors for childhood cancers. Epidemiologists collect this information using a variety of methods, from national and international databases; and through research studies in which parents and children complete questionnaires and telephone interviews, and provide blood and saliva samples for genetic analysis.

Our core facilities and platform technologies provide the backbone of TKCC and ensure that our cancer researchers have cutting-edge tools and know-how to expedite their discoveries. The institute's Scientific Services and Laboratory Managers, whose important role is also to identify, import, and develop new technologies, support these platforms.

For information on potential collaborative or contract research agreements, or material transfer agreements with the laboratories of TKCC, contact Research Development.