Zero childhood cancer initiative in Australia

(Sam Saffron) #1

This morning we got a visit from our Prime Minister!

Shalev was busy playing his iPad, but did manage to spare the camera man a few seconds to do a “blue steel” impression. That is a picture of Shalev on Ketamine and Fentanyl, a few hours prior to his immunotherapy infusion busy playing his iPad :slight_smile:

It was very heartening to get the attention, paediatric cancers are very underfunded, bringing this to the public’s attention is a good thing.

The “zero childhood cancer initiative” is a new 20 million dollar grant to fund sequencing and targeted treatment for childhood cancers in Australia.

There are some details about the plans in the press:

CCI’s website has a pretty in depth explanation

My understanding of the program in bullet points

  • Available to all childhood cancers with 30% survival rates or less (in NB’s case this would be relapse or refractory)

  • Germline and tumor DNA will be sequenced on diagnostics and analyzed. (probably RNA expression as well, but need to confirm exact details)

  • Individualised mouse models and cell lines will be tested against a series of experimental drugs (which is very exciting)

  • Treatment will guided by the above

  • The plan is to eventually expand this to all childhood cancer

I think this is very exciting and hope Australia manage to innovate in this space, personally I feel like this is absolutely the direction we should be going.

(Donna Ludwinski) #2

WOW! Love the photo of your beautiful boy Shalev!