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Childhood cancer research gets million dollar boost

Published 16-DEC-2019 12:01 P.M.


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Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation has announced it will provide $1.05 million of funding to the Telethon Kids Institute.

The funding will support the Telethon Kids Cancer Centre’s vital research aimed at improving survival rates, longevity and quality of life for children with cancer.

The Telethon Kids Institute is one of Australia’s largest independent health and medical research institutes, committed to discovering new and effective ways to enhance children’s health and wellbeing.

“At Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation we believe every child deserves a chance at a healthy life,” Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation Chairperson John Thorpe said. “We are very proud to be providing $1.05 million worth of funding to Telethon Kids.”

Chair of the Telethon Kids Institute, the Hon. Julie Bishop, said they are excited to be partnering with such a well-respected, community-oriented organisation like Lions Australia.

“We are so grateful for Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation’s support,” Ms Bishop said. “This $1.05 million in funding will enable the Telethon Kids Cancer Centre to continue its leading research into childhood cancer – particularly in the area of cancer immunotherapy, which focuses on supercharging the body’s natural defences to destroy cancer cells.”

Headquartered in Perth at the Perth Children’s Hospital, the Telethon Kids Institute has an international reputation for the work it has undertaken over the past 30 years to prevent, cure or reduce harm from chronic, infectious and other severe diseases, neuro-developmental disorders, and mental health challenges that affect children.

Telethon Kids cancer researcher Dr Rishi Kotecha with Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation Trustee Peter Lamb.
Telethon Kids cancer researcher Dr Rishi Kotecha with Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation Trustee Peter Lamb.

Mr Thorpe described cancer immunotherapy as one of the most exciting and promising cancer treatments being developed, particularly for childhood cancer.

“It is our hope that this work will benefit kids all over Australia and beyond,” he said. “More than 800 children aged 0-14 years are diagnosed with cancer in Australia each year. Many of these cancers are aggressive and hard to treat and we are losing too many young lives.”

“Although survival rates have improved greatly for some, most cancers take a toll on young people’s lives and often side effects of treatment can be serious and lifelong.”

“Telethon Kids Cancer Centre’s research into cancer immunotherapy is focused on finding ways to help these children’s immune systems fight cancer cells. This will be revolutionary in the treatment of childhood cancer.”

Professor Terrance Johns, Head of the Telethon Kids Cancer Centre, said that as one of Australia’s only comprehensive, paediatric cancer immunotherapy centres, the Telethon Kids Cancer Centre was making its mark on medical research.

“The Centre is on a mission to prevent paediatric disease and improve the wellbeing of children with cancer. We bring together leading researchers and oncologists focused on developing therapies that destroy cancer cells, while minimising the side effects to children’s short and long-term health,” Professor Johns said.

The $1.05 million of funding to Telethon Kids Institute builds on the Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation’s long history in supporting leading and innovative research into childhood cancer.

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