An update on our life-saving research
March 25, 2020
An update from Professor Michelle Haber AM, Executive Director of Children's Cancer Institute
I hope you and your loved ones are well during this uncertain and challenging period. It’s at times like these we rely on each other more than ever and I wanted to let you know that here at the Institute, we are all thinking of you.
Sadly, we know that cancer won’t take a break, so neither can we.
This week 20 Australian families will find out their child has cancer. As the only independent medical research institute in Australia solely dedicated to childhood cancer, it is vital we carry on our critical mission of curing every child of this devastating disease.
To fulfil this mission we have made a number of changes to ensure we can continue with our life-saving research whilst protecting our team, supporters and the wider community. These measures include:
- Many of our researchers and support staff are able to continue with critical aspects of their work from home. All team members who do not need to be on-site in our labs are now working from home. Our team are in constant contact, keeping our vital operations and critical research continuing on a daily basis.
- A core team of our researchers, who need to be in the labs to ensure their work can go ahead, are continuing to access the Institute to undertake the vital research which directly affects the outcomes of children with cancer every day. This includes our Minimal Residual Disease program for children with leukaemia that allow doctors to predict and avoid relapse, which has doubled the survival rate for children with aggressive leukaemia. Also, the world-leading Zero Childhood Cancer Program that identifies targeted drugs for children with the worst cancers to improve their chance of survival. These programs and all of our research are saving children’s lives right now and are critically important to children diagnosed with cancer today and tomorrow around the country.
- Unfortunately, many of our fundraising campaigns and events have had to been cancelled or postponed in line with government recommendations. This is seriously impacting our funding which is fundamental to allowing our research to proceed. If you planned to support one of these events, or if you wish to be part of curing childhood cancer now, please consider donating at donate.ccia.org.au.
Medical research is so important. It is medical research that will help us find a vaccine for COVID-19 and build a healthier future for all of us. And one day it is medical research that will cure childhood cancer.
I want to thank you for your continued support. Our team is on hand to answer any queries you might have about our activities or general business and how we are managing to continue our research in this challenging environment:
- For general queries about the Institute, your support or events please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For questions related to specific research and business continuity please contact me at email@example.com.
At a time with so much uncertainty, I am motivated by the passion and resilience of my team here at the Institute and I am inspired by generous people like you; we will get through this challenging period together. Thank you for being part of our team as we move towards our shared vision of one day curing all kids with cancer.
Do take care and stay safe.
Very best wishes
Professor Michelle Haber AM
Children’s Cancer Institute
About Children’s Cancer Institute
Originally founded by two fathers of children with cancer in 1976, Children’s Cancer Institute is the only independent medical research institute in Australia wholly dedicated to research into the causes, prevention and cure of childhood cancer. Forty years on, our vision is to save the lives of all children with cancer and improve their long-term health, through research. The Institute has grown to now employ nearly 300 researchers, operational staff and students, and has established a national and international reputation for scientific excellence.
Our focus is on translational research, and we have an integrated team of laboratory researchers and clinician scientists who work together in partnership to discover new treatments which can be progressed from the lab bench to the beds of children on wards in our hospitals as quickly as possible. These new treatments are specifically targeting childhood cancers, so we can develop safer and more effective drugs and drug combinations that will minimise side-effects and ultimately give children with cancer the best chance of a cure with the highest possible quality of life.