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About Children’s Institute

About Us

Originally founded by two Fathers of children with cancer in 1976, Children’s Cancer Institute is the only independent medical research institute in Australia wholly dedicated to research into the causes, prevention and cure of childhood cancer.

Forty years on, our vision remains unchanged – to save the lives of all children with cancer and to eliminate their suffering. The Institute has grown to now employ more than 200 researchers, operational staff and students, and has established a national and international reputation for scientific excellence.

Our focus is on translational research, and we have an integrated team of laboratory researchers and clinician scientists who work together in partnership to discover new treatments which can be progressed from the lab bench to the beds of children on wards in our hospitals as quickly as possible. These new treatments are specifically targeting childhood cancers, so we can develop safer and more effective drugs and drug combinations that will minimise side-effects and ultimately give children with cancer the best chance of a cure with the highest possible quality of life.

We are currently leading the establishment of the Zero Childhood Cancer national child cancer personalised medicine program for children with the most aggressive cancers, in partnership with the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network. This program will revolutionise the way treatment decisions are made, with the aim of improving survivorship for those children at highest risk of treatment failure from their disease.

Why Our Work Matters

Sixty years ago, cancer was nearly always a death sentence for a child. Now overall eight out of 10 children survive – and it is medical research that has made this huge difference.

 Without organisations like the Children’s Cancer Institute, we would not have made these extraordinary advances in survival.

Our Purpose

Our organisation exists solely to put an end to childhood cancer.

We don’t just hope to do it. We will do it.

And we are making great strides.

Sixty years ago, cancer was nearly always a death sentence for a child.

Now eight out of 10 children survive, what made that huge difference?

Medical research.

As the only independent medical research institute in Australia wholly dedicated to childhood cancer, our role is vital. Because, despite our progress, cancer still kills more children than any other disease.

Our task won’t be easy – childhood cancer is hugely complex.

But we’re confident that with the brightest brains, the best facilities and the greatest determination, we will get the job done.

It’s not if. It’s when.

The Future: Zero Childhood Cancer

The Zero Childhood Cancer national child cancer personalised medicine program is the most ambitious childhood cancer research initiative ever undertaken for children with cancer in Australia. It offers fresh hope to children with aggressive cancers who are at the highest risk of treatment failure. Zero Childhood Cancer stands to revolutionise the way childhood cancer is treated. The challenge in curing all children with cancer is that every child and every cancer is unique.

Zero Childhood Cancer aims to develop a genomic profiling and drug testing platform that can comprehensively analyse cancer cells from individual children with the most aggressive cancers, leading to recommendations for personalised cancer therapy with the potential to improve outcomes and reduce treatment related toxicities.

The aim is that the initial recommendation for tailored treatment will be completed within 8 weeks from the receipt of patient samples, meaning we can personalise treatment to improve survivorship and reduce side effects in real time.

Led by Children’s Cancer Institute in partnership with Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, Zero Childhood Cancer is truly national. Program collaborators include leading research institutes throughout Australia, USA and Europe, and all paediatric oncology centres in Australia, forming a seamless translational pipeline to bring research closer to patients than ever.

For more information on the Zero Childhood Cancer Program visit our dedicated microsite www.zerochildhoodcancer.org.au.

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