In April 2012, over 150 participants joined us in London for Childhood Cancer 2012, our third international scientific conference and our first as Children with Cancer UK.
Participants flew in from all over the world – coming from as far afield as New Zealand, Australia and Japan.
You can view many of the presentations on our Childhood Cancer 2012 website
Shaping a research agenda for the future
Quite incredible progress has been made in the treatment of childhood cancer in recent decades.
However, it is a sobering thought that, despite these advances in treatment and the great advances in understanding the biology of childhood cancer, children are more likely to develop cancer today than at any time in the past. We need to know why.
We hope that the collaborations forged at Childhood Cancer 2012 will stimulate fresh research into the causes of childhood cancer and help shape a research agenda for the future.
The conference was opened by Professor Sir Alan Craft, former president of Royal College of Paediatrics and one of the UK’s leading experts on childhood medicine.
Professor Craft said “Although there has been a vast improvement in the prognosis for children with cancer over the past 40 years, such a diagnosis continues to elicit the same response from parents when faced with the devastating news:
“ 'Is he going to die? What can you do about it?' And then after a short pause, 'what caused it and will his siblings get it?'
“Better and less toxic treatments are the current goal of therapy but the Holy Grail must be primary prevention. This requires continued investigation and understanding of this rare but important disease.”
Speakers and presentations
More than 20 leading experts from around the world presented work across a wide-range of topics relevant to the causes of childhood cancer including air pollution, parental smoking, pesticide exposure, genetics and diet.
Further information about the conference, including video recordings of some of the sessions and speakers’ slides, is available on the conference website.
In addition to our invited speakers, more than one hundred researchers submitted their work for poster presentation during the three day conference.
A selection of these researchers were invited to give oral presentations on their work. Many of the speakers are – or have been - funded by Children with Cancer UK.
Encouraging young talent in childhood cancer research
We are keen to encourage talented young scientists to progress their careers in childhood cancer research.
For this reason, we set aside funding of £100,000 to make awards to young researchers (under 30 years of age) presenting work at the conference.
Eligible presenters were short-listed and interviewed by our judging committee who made awards to the following young researchers:
Daphne Wei-Chen Chen, University of Manchester – for her work on gene expression in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and its relevance to treatment outcome.
Andrea Lazenby, University of Bristol – for her work on magnetic field exposure.
Chris Tan, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham – for his research into the formation of intracranial germ cell tumours.
Lucy Young, UCL Cancer Institute – for her research into the development pathways of certain childhood cancers.
Sanne van Otterdijk, Northern Institute for Cancer Research, Newcastle – for research into the genetic changes involved in childhood leukaemia development.
Masaaki Sunaoshi, Ibaraki University, Japan – for his research into the age-dependency of radiation damage.
The award money was granted to the researcher's institute to be used by the researcher for any aspect of their research's work relevant to childhood cancer.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our Conference Committee, our speakers, everyone who submitted work for presentation and our delegates who travelled from around the globe for this important event.
Without the generosity of our supporters, we could not have hosted this important event.
Read more: Childhood Cancer 2012 conference website