You could help unlock 6.7 million pieces of data to transform cancer treatment.
Research has taught us that cancer is difficult to treat or cure because every cancer is different at the molecular level. This means that treatment that is effective against one patient’s cancer may not work in another patient.
The ProCan team at Children's Medical Research Institute is building a large database of critical molecular information from tens of thousands of cancer samples taken from children and adults with cancer.
One type of cancer we are studying is neuroblastoma, a potentially deadly form of childhood cancer.
Neuroblastoma is the most common solid cancer occurring in infants, with the majority of cases diagnosed in children under the age of 5 years.
The ProCan team recently examined 40 neuroblastoma cancer samples and closely related cancers.
These early findings will enable further work to expand our understanding of neuroblastomas and eventually help discover new treatments for children with neuroblastomas.
Who will this help?
When Jullian was two and a half years old, his mum Rosalie took him to the GP for what she thought would be a quick visit.
Five days later, they were at the hospital for scans which would reveal an orange sized tumour on his adrenal gland.
The doctors took a biopsy and confirmed that Jullian was facing stage four neuroblastoma.
Jullian received the most effective treatment plan available for his widespread cancer and his cancer is now in remission.
But there was a price to pay.
At just three years of age, Jullian had to endure the debilitating side-effects of chemotherapy. Now at 13 years old, he still suffers arthritic pain in his legs, because chemotherapy’s toxic effects in children can cause lifelong health problems.
Jullian is considered fortunate. Half the children diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma do not survive, despite the best treatments available today.
This Christmas, we are seeking $100,000 to help obtain vital information from more than 1,300 cancer samples.
This will generate 6.7 million pieces of information that are critical to deepening our understanding and improving the ability to predict an individual cancers’ response to treatment.
This vast cancer database will benefit children – and adults – in Australia and those with cancer anywhere in the world.