Childhood cancer has been one of the success stories of modern medicine. The advances made over the past 30 years mean that eight out of 10 children diagnosed today will be cured.
The fight against childhood cancer is far from over, however. Every year around 1,600 children are diagnosed with cancer in the UK. With one in 700 young adults now a survivor of childhood cancer, many are left facing life with the side effects of their original treatment.
Your help makes a difference
Despite all the progress made, the disease remains one of the main reasons why children from one to 15 years of age die prematurely.
Newcastle University is already home to the UK’s leading centre for research into childhood cancer and one of the major centres in Europe, the Northern Institute for Cancer Research.
In 2014, as part of a collaborative initiative between the University, the Great North Children’s Hospital and North of England Children’s Cancer Research, we launched the Future Fund. The aim of this fund was to raise £5.5 million to create a state-of-the-art new centre for research into childhood cancer.
Thanks to the generous support of our donors, we exceeded our target and raised £5.6 million, which has enabled us to create the Wolfson Childhood Cancer Research Centre. This state of the art facility is now the leading centre for childhood cancer research in the UK - something that would not have been possible without generous backing from our supporters and donors. At the Wolfson, academics and clinicians work alongside each other to produce world-leading research that is pioneering a step-change in childhood cancer by developing more effective and less toxic therapies for patients.
With advanced laboratories and more space we can do even more research that changes the lives of children.
A recent breakthrough thanks to a large study carried out at the Wolfson Centre now means moving forward medics could potentially adapt their treatment for each child with medulloblastoma, the most common type of aggressive childhood brain cancer. The results of this study show that many youngsters with medulloblastoma could be able to avoid unnecessary doses of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, with less toxic side effects, meaning they can have the best possible quality of life during and after treatment.
This is just another stage in our fight against childhood cancer, and a significant proportion of children will still succumb to their disease. Thanks to ongoing support from supporters and donors we continue to work towards a future in which every child has the chance to live a healthy life free from cancer.
Thank you for your support. Your donation will make an important difference to our work.