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Childhood Cancer

Children's cancers are different to those found in adults. We know that the main reason cancer is so difficult to treat is that it is enormously complex. We are working to better understand the complexities specific to childhood cancers. This knowledge is enabling us to improve treatments. 

Abbie Mifsud 874x492

Abbie Mifsud was just six years old when she died of DIPG — a rare and inoperable tumour in her brainstem.

Some 80% of children under the age of 14 years are already cured of cancer — vastly improved from just 30% in the 1960s. But 20% do not survive. There is an urgent need for new treatments for children with aggressive and hard to treat cancers.

Our scientists are already working to develop kinder, tailored treatments for children. We want to make sure that they receive treatments that are the best possible match for the specific genetic alterations in their cancer. This will mean that more children survive and that children are less likely to receive unnecessary treatments that could leave long-term damage. 

We have identified multiple genes associated with aggressive forms of childhood cancer with poor outcomes. With this knowledge our scientists are now identifying and developing treatments to effectively target these cancer-related genes. One of our recent developments is a new genetic test helping to personalise treatment for children with cancer.

However, we need to do much more. We need to continue to build on our research in order to achieve the best possible outcomes for all children. We could not continue our work without the generosity of our donors, including parent-led charities who generously support our work in memory of their children. 

If you would like to get involved and support our childhood cancer research, please contact Thomas Bland, Deputy Director of Development (Trusts and Corporates), by phone on 020 8722 4200, or by email.

You can follow the ICR on Twitter for regular updates on our work.

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Our Childhood Cancer Appeals

Jack's Appeal

Stories like Jack’s motivate us to find new treatments for children like him. Support our appeal to raise funds for research into childhood brain cancer.

Find out more

Abbie's Appeal

Support Dr Louis Chesler’s team to study the biological alterations that drive childhood cancers and find new treatments.

Find out more
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