Current research projects


Children with Cancer UK is one the UK’s leading funders of research into childhood cancer.

We fund a wide range of research into childhood cancers, including research into causes, treatments and long-term effects.


Current projects are listed below.

Dr Zoë Walters, Institute of Cancer Research, London

Isabelle Gore 18 September 2014
Identifying new treatments for children with rhabdomyosarcoma

Every year in the UK around 70 children are diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcomas, a cancer that resembles developing skeletal muscle.

The outcome for some children with this disease is extremely poor and treatment has remained largely unchanged for over 20 years.

Currently, treatments for patients with rhabdomyosarcomas are limited and often result in long-term side effects that seriously impact upon childhood development. Identification of new drug targets often comes about by looking for proteins that are found at higher levels in tumours than healthy tissues and the effects of ...
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Dr Yann Jamin, The Institute of Cancer Research, London

Isabelle Gore 18 September 2014
From lab benches to children’s bedsides: accelerating personalised treatment for children with neuroblastoma with MRI

Effective and safe treatments for children with neuroblastoma are urgently required. Neuroblastoma is the second most common solid tumour in childhood, accounting for six per cent of all childhood cancers, just under 100 children a year in the UK.

Promising novel therapies are currently being evaluated in the clinic. However there is a crucial need to accelerate the evaluation process that take these promising drugs from the laboratory bench to the children’s bedside.

Yann is looking at ways of transferring techniques now...
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Dr Maria Victoria Niklison-Chirou, Queen Mary University of London

Isabelle Gore 12 September 2014
Metabolic analysis of the tumour suppressor protein p73 in medulloblastoma
Blizard Institute, Centre for Neuroscience and Trauma, Queen Mary University of London

Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant brain tumour in children. Current treatments include surgery and radio/chemotherapy which can cause significant side effects including neurological, intellectual and physical disabilities.  

The main purpose of this research project is to develop a new treatment for children with medulloblastoma, by studying the protein p73.

p73 plays a central role in the development of the central nervous system and in metabolism. Metabolic adapt...
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Brain tumour research

liz brown 17 February 2014
Research laboratory
INSTINCT: High-risk childhood brain tumour network

Brain tumours are the leading cause of death from cancer in childhood. We are partnering with the Brain Tumour Charity and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity to fund a £4 million programme of work, across three of the UK’s leading paediatric neuro-oncology centres, to take forward research into some of the deadliest brain tumours and improve outcomes for young patients.

Professor Steve Clifford, Newcastle University

Amount of grant: £980,946 | Date of award: December 2013

OverviewBrain tumours are the leading cause of childhood cancer death.

Advances in the treatment of t...
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Dr Francis Mussai, University of Birmingham

Isabelle Gore 01 December 2013
A new treatment approach in acute myeloid leukaemia

Acute myeloid leukaemia is the second most common form of childhood leukaemia, with 100 children diagnosed every year in the UK. Around a third of these young patients cannot be saved with existing treatments. Dr Mussai is taking forward a new approach to treatment that could offer new hope to children with this devastating disease.

We are grateful to the Aila Coull Foundation for providing the funding to support this project.

Amount of grant: £43,393  |  Date of award: December 2013

Overview
Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is the second most common leukaemia of childhood, with 100 child...
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Treating brain tumours

Isabelle Gore 01 March 2013
Scientist looking through microscope
Dr Amin Hajitou, Imperial College London. New techniques for delivery of therapies against medulloblastoma

Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumour in children. Seventy per cent of children can now be cured but the aggressive treatments can leave survivors with significant disability. Dr Hajitou is working on the development of a new method for delivering chemotherapy directly to the tumour. If he succeeds, this work could ultimately result in the development of a much-needed, less damaging new treatment option for young patients with medulloblastoma.  

Amount of grant: £219,854  |  Date of award: March 2013

Overview
Medul...
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Professor Jill Birch, University of Manchester

Isabelle Gore 01 March 2013
Identification of new genetic changes in rhabdomyosarcoma

Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a childhood cancer that develops in muscle, with 50 new cases every year in the UK. Older children in particular have a poor outlook and we need to improve our understanding of the disease in order to develop new approaches to treatment. Professor Birch is carrying out a detailed investigation of the genetic mutations underlying RMS development, which we hope, ultimately, will direct new, personalised treatment strategies.  

Amount of grant: £96,816  |  Date of award: March 2013

Overview
Rhabdomyosarcoma is a childhood cancer that develops in muscle. There ...
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Professor Geoff Pilkington, University of Portsmouth

Isabelle Gore 01 March 2013
A new approach for treating childhood medulloblastoma

Medullobastoma is the most common malignant brain tumour of childhood. Although 70 per cent of patients can be cured, the aggressive treatments leave many survivors with significant mental and physical disabilities. Professor Pilkington is developing a new approach to the treatment of medulloblastoma that could impact on both survival rates and quality of survival for young patients.

Amount of grant: £196,928  |  Date of award: March 2013

Overview
Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumour of childhood. Whilst around 70 per cent of affected children can now be cured, thi...
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Dr Stefan Meyer, University of Manchester

Isabelle Gore 01 March 2013
Investigations into the leukaemia gene EVI1 in children with Fanconi anaemia

Fanconi anaemia (FA) is a rare, inherited blood disorder that leads to bone marrow failure. Children with FA have a greatly increased risk of developing leukaemia. Dr Meyer’s research focuses on a gene called EVI1 which is involved in the development of leukaemia in children both with and without FA. He wants to understand how the FA genetic defect works together with EVI1 in leukaemia development.

Amount of award: £81,614  │ Date of award: March 2013

Overview
Fanconi anaemia (FA) is an inherited disease resulting from a defect in a cellular ability to deal with ...
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Dr Tom Vulliamy, Queen Mary University of London

Isabelle Gore 01 March 2013
Identification of the genetic changes that cause cancers of the blood

The blood cancers myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) arise spontaneously in most young patients, with unknown cause. However, there are some rare familial cases of MDS/AML in which more than one family member is affected. These family sets are a valuable resource for the identification of the genetic events that underpin these diseases. Dr Vulliamy is working with 26 such families to characterise these genetic mutations.

Amount of grant: £152,995  |  Date of award: March 2013
 
Overview
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukae...
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