The Royal Children’s Hospital is now the home of Queensland’s only tertiary centre for the treatment of kids with cancer, the Queensland Children’s Cancer Centre, or QCCC.
Every year, 120-160 children are diagnosed with cancer, which is the most common cause of death in childhood, excluding accidents.
The Children's Health Foundation is investing in oncology research to help develop better and less invasive treatments for kids with cancer, and is proud to fund the work of Dr Andrew Hallahan, Director of the Children’s Cancer Research Laboratory at the Royal Children’s Hospital.
Oncology researchers at the Royal Children’s Hospital are working in partnership with researchers across the nation to better understand the biology of cancer in the hope of developing better therapies that not only do less damage to children, but also rid the cancer from their tiny systems.
Every year the Children’s Cancer Research Laboratory adds to the national and global knowledge pool about childhood cancer. Recently it worked in partnership with researchers in Brisbane and America on a high-profile study to determine the effectiveness of blocking specific cell signal pathways critical for the growth and survival of brain tumours.
One of the vehicles contributing to this national research effort is the Queensland Children’s Tumour Bank, established with the help of generous donations from the corporate sector, individuals and broader community. The Bank contributes tumour specimens to important leukaemia and sarcoma studies occurring around the nation.
On another front, researchers have an exciting new approach to study relapsed brain tumour cells resulting in new insights into this currently untreatable problem. With 40 to 50 percent of brain tumours returning in children, the findings have the potential to make a real difference to the lives of these little patients, who at this point in time, have no treatment options.