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.

Investigating the onset of leukaemia in children with Noonan syndrome

Isabelle Gore 03 July 2015
Professor Anthony Whetton, University of Manchester

Children with the genetic disorder Noonan syndrome (NS) have a high risk of developing leukaemia. Professor Whetton is examining differences in the blood stem cells of NS patients who did and did not develop leukaemia to increase our understanding of what causes a blood stem cell to become leukaemic and find targets for treatment. Not only will this offer the opportunity to develop new treatments, but it will contribute significantly to knowledge about the mechanisms underlying leukaemia development.

Amount of grant: £234,527 | Date of award: June 2014
Overview Juvenile myelomonocytic ...
Read More

Understanding the genetics of paediatric glioblastoma

Isabelle Gore 18 May 2015
Dr Steven Pollard, University of Edinburgh

Paediatric glioblastoma is a devastating brain tumour that less than 20 per cent of young patients survive. This collaborative project brings together research teams from the UK, Canada and Sweden to define the role of a recently discovered genetic mutation in paediatric glioblastoma and determine whether it represents a possible target for a new therapeutic approach. The team will also create new cellular models of the disease for on-going drug-discovery efforts.  

Amount of grant: £357,589 | Date of award: March 2015
Overview Glioblastoma (GBM) is an aggressive form of brain tumour with an exc...
Read More

Diagnosing childhood medulloblastomas by improved MRI scans

Isabelle Gore 18 May 2015
Professor Andrew Peet, University of Birmingham

Medulloblastomas are the most common childhood malignant brain tumours and only around 60 per cent of young patients survive. Different medulloblastoma subtypes respond differently to treatment and rapid diagnosis is essential to aid treatment planning. Professor Peet is working with colleagues from other UK centres to develop a new tool to allow rapid, non-invasive diagnosis that can inform critical initial treatment decisions.

Amount of grant: £499,681 | Date of award: March 2015
Overview Medulloblastomas are the most common malignant brain tumours in children. They have a poor prognosis...
Read More

New tools to improve treatment and care in paediatric craniopharyngioma

Isabelle Gore 18 May 2015
Dr Juan Pedro Martinez-Barbera, UCL Institute of Child Health

Paediatric craniopharyngioma is a brain tumour that has high survival but can leave survivors with very poor quality of life. New, targeted treatments are urgently needed but progress is hampered by our poor understanding of the biology of these tumours. This collaborative project brings together teams from the UK and Germany to help profile these tumours and work towards the development of improved treatments.

Amount of grant: £458,728 | Date of award: March 2015
Overview Childhood craniopharyngioma (ACP) is an aggressive tumour of the pituitary gland that is associated with...
Read More

BIOMarkers of Ependymomas in Children and Adolescents

Isabelle Gore 18 May 2015
Professor Richard Grundy, Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre, University of Nottingham

Ependymoma is a devastating brain tumour that kills up to 40 per cent of young patients, with little improvement over recent years. BIOMarkers of Ependymomas in Children and Adolescents (BIOMECA) is a unique partnership between leading European ependymoma specialists who are now collecting tumour samples from young patients being treated under the international ependymoma clinical trial. They are aiming to develop new risk categories and work towards the future personalisation of therapy.

Amount of grant: £494,498 | Date of award: March 2015 Overvi...
Read More

Developing models to test new drug treatments for childhood leukaemia

Isabelle Gore 11 May 2015
Dr Owen Williams, UCL Institute of Child Health

Despite improvements in survival, leukaemia remains one of the leading causes of death in childhood.

Dr Williams is focusing on the molecular biology of childhood leukaemia in order to identify new treatment approaches. He is working on the development of models that can accurately predict how certain childhood leukaemias respond to a new set of drugs. Ultimately this will improve the treatment options for children with leukaemia.

Amount of grant: £242,074 | Date of award: June 2014 Overview Leukaemia is the most common childhood cancer. Advances in treatment mean that more than 80 per cen...
Read More

Identifying new treatments for children with rhabdomyosarcoma

Isabelle Gore 18 September 2014
Dr Zoë Walters, Institute of Cancer Research, London

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 depleting t...
Read More

Accelerating the delivery of personalised treatment to children with neuroblastoma using MRI

Isabelle Gore 18 September 2014
Dr Yann Jamin, The Institute of Cancer Research, London

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 routinely used in adult cancers to use in children through the...
Read More

Metabolic analysis of the tumour suppressor protein p73 in medulloblastoma

Isabelle Gore 12 September 2014
Dr Maria Victoria Niklison-Chirou, 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 adaptation has emerged as a hallmark of cance...
Read More

Development of new treatments for children with high-risk neuroblastoma

Isabelle Gore 26 June 2014
Professor Louis Chesler, The Institute of Cancer Research, London

Neuroblastoma has a high-risk form that, despite intensive treatment, has a very poor outlook. The aim of this project is to develop new treatments that kill neuroblastoma cells by targeting the specific gene associated with this high-risk disease but, importantly, do not harm normal cells. This could improve survival in young patients whilst reducing the risk of treatment-related harm.

Amount of grant: £249,675 | Date of award: June 2014
Overview Neuroblastoma, a cancer that originates in developing nerve cells, is the second most common solid tumour to occur in children...
Read More

Where your money goes

Hover over a segment for details

NCRI AMRC Fundraising Standards Board