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Research Stories – Bringing research to life

Last week (17th November 2014) we went to visit two of our research fellowships that your donations are helping to fund.

The purpose of our visit was to create short films describing their research projects and the type of childhood cancer for which they are hoping to find better cures or treatments. We’ve started editing them, so these films should be ready for us to show everyone in the next few weeks.

Where your money goes

Here at Children with Cancer UK we understand the need to tell people where money that’s raised ends up. Whether you’re half way round a marathon route, hiking to the top of a mountain or baking some cakes for a stall, it’s important to know that the money you raise will make a real difference to children with cancer. That’s why we want to bring these stories to life.

Dr Zoë Walters

Our first film was with Dr Zoë Walters who gained her PhD at the University of Sussex and has completed a Postdoctoral position at Cardiff University. The reason Zoë is working on this project is because she believes that ‘every child with cancer deserves to be cured and given their life back’. We couldn’t agree more. Zoë’s research project focusses on a cancer type known as rhabdomyosarcoma which resembles skeletal muscle and can appear anywhere in the body. The outcomes for some children with this disease are extremely poor, however treatment has remained unchanged for over 20 years. Zoë is testing to see if a protein she has found that is present in this cancer type reacts to drugs recently developed for the treatment of other types of childhood cancer. The aim is to discover more targeted treatments that are not only more effective but also limit the harmful side effects of current treatments.

Dr Yann Jamin

Secondly we met with Yann Jamin, a doctor of Bio-physics who is conducting a research project to improve treatment of neuroblastomas. This cancer type can arise anywhere along the nervous system in the body and is the second most common solid tumour in children, affecting around 100 children a year in the UK. For neuroblastoma survivors, life is likely to be full of challenges and disabilities due to the long-term effects of current treatment; more effective and safer treatments are urgently needed. Yann’s project focusses on the readouts provided by MRI technology, a safe and routinely used method for locating tumours. More advanced MRI scans can give information about how the tumour is surviving in the body and how it is growing. The aim is that this information can inform the types of treatments that will respond best for children with neuroblastomas. 

It was great to find out that Yann’s wife is also a researcher aiming to develop new treatments for childhood neuroblastoma, we hope that the husband and wife duo will make great progress in treating childhood cancer.

It was a very interesting day and we learnt a lot about how much is being done in the effort to fight childhood cancer. We look forward to sharing these videos with you soon!

Read more: About Rhabdomyosarcoma About Neuroblastoma

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