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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Childhood Cancer Research Gives New Hope

Translational Cancer Research Centre for Kids (TCRCK)- an Australian first

Cancer is still the commonest disease causing death in children. Each year in Australia more than 600 children are newly diagnosed with cancer. Sadly more than 150 children will not survive their cancer.

The long-term impact of child cancer on individuals, families and communities imposes a significant health, social and economic burden in Australia.

The Cancer Institute NSW has taken the visionary step to award $6.5m to unite the nation’s top scientists and doctors to develop improved treatments for childhood cancer. The funding will create a network uniting the three NSW clinical centres treating children with cancer at Randwick, Westmead and Newcastle with the three NSW medical research institutes researching child cancer.

In an Australian first, the new Translational Cancer Research Centre for Kids (TCRCK) will provide desperately needed funds to take world-class laboratory research into the clinic more rapidly to directly benefit children with cancer.

The Centre will focus on the development of experimental therapeutics, clinical trials, novel diagnostics and improved models of care to increase the cure rates for kids with cancer. More than
5000 young adults are survivors of child cancer today in NSW, and many have potential health problems resulting from their curative therapy. The Centre will research their needs and better models for managing their health issues. The Centre will also seek to improve quality and access to specialist clinical care for children from rural and regional NSW.

The TCRCK will bring research breakthroughs from the lab benches at Children’s Cancer Institute Australia (CCIA), Children's Medical Research Institute (CMRI), and Kids’ Research Institute (KRI),
directly to the hospital bedsides at Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and John Hunter Children’s Hospital.

'The TCRCK is the most exciting new venture investing in the nation’s future – our children.We will bring together the country's best doctors and scientists to achieve a cure for all
children with cancer,' says Professor Glenn Marshall, Director of the new TCRCK and head of the Oncology Unit at Sydney Children's Hospital Randwick.

'The TCRCK is an exciting and visionary initiative which has the potential to greatly accelerate improvements in the survival rates and quality of life for children diagnosed with cancer in NSW, nationally and internationally,' says Professor Michelle Haber AM, Executive Director, CCIA.

'The clinicians and researchers involved in this venture are already a highly collaborative group who have worked together in many ways to improve the outcomes of treatment for childhood cancer. What is novel and exciting about the TCRCK is that it will commit resources to overcoming barriers imposed by geographical separation and organisational structure in ways that have simply not been possible in the past,' says Professor Roger Reddel, Director, CMRI.

For Further Information Contact:

Jessica Jaramillo, Public Affairs Manager Tel: 9382 3571 - Mob: 0404 001 722

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