Zero Childhood Cancer

Head of Theme:

Program Leader: Vanessa Tyrrell

Zero Childhood Cancer is a national personalised medicine program for children with high risk cancer. It gives hope to children who are at highest risk of treatment failure, by identifying the best possible tailored treatments for them.

We see Zero Childhood Cancer as a key step towards our vision of one day helping cure 100% of children with cancer.

The Zero Childhood Cancer Program

In September 2015, Children’s Cancer Institute and Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network were proud to announce one of the most exciting initiatives ever undertaken in Australia to tackle the most serious cases of infant, childhood and adolescent cancer – known as ‘Zero Childhood Cancer’. Zero Childhood Cancer is an initiative of Children’s Cancer Institute and The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network. The program is led by scientists and clinicians from Children’s Cancer Institute and Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick and is one of the most exciting childhood cancer research initiatives ever undertaken in Australia, to tackle the most serious cases of infant, childhood and adolescent cancer.

Find out more about the Zero Childhood Cancer Program

Find out more about the Zero Childhood Cancer Program

For more information on the Zero Childhood Cancer program, visit our dedicated website

Key Statistics

  • In Australia, every year, more than 950 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer. Every week, nearly 3 children and adolescents will die from cancer.
  • Despite the dramatic increase in childhood cancer survival rates over the last sixty years, from virtually 0% to 80%, nearly three Australian children and adolescents still die each week of cancer.
  • Of the 950 children diagnosed with cancer each year in Australia, 150 are either diagnosed with cancer types that have less than a 30% survival rate, or suffer relapse and then have less than a 30% chance of cure.
  • It is these children – including those suffering from the most aggressive forms of childhood brain tumours, sarcomas, infant leukaemias and neuroblastomas – who will benefit from the Zero Childhood Cancer Program.
  • In the first stage of the Program, researchers and doctors ran a pilot study for nearly 60 high risk NSW cancer patients. Following successful completion of the pilot study, a national clinical trial expected to enrol over 400 children opened in late 2017.

Our Partners

It is anticipated that total funding required for the Zero Childhood Cancer Program over the next six years will be more than $50 million. Funding was received from the Federal government and the government-funded Cancer Therapeutics CRC (CTx). Also capital funding was received from the NSW state government. Additional support has been provided by funding partners including:

  • Australian Cancer Research Foundation
  • Cure Brain Cancer Foundation
  • The Kids Cancer Project and The University of New South Wales, Australia
  • The Rory Williams Fund
  • Robert Connor Dawes Foundation
  • Lions Club International Foundation
  • The Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation
  • Tour De Cure.

Our research and clinical partners, collaborators and stakeholders include:

  • Prince of Wales Hospital, NSW
  • Children’s Hospital Westmead, NSW
  • John Hunter Children’s Hospital, NSW
  • Kid’s Research Institute, NSW
  • Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, NSW
  • Children’s Cancer Centre, The Royal Children’s Hospital, VIC
  • Monash Children’s Hospital, VIC
  • Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, VIC
  • The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC
  • Women’s and Children’s Hospital, SA
  • South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, SA
  • Centre for Cancer Biology, SA
  • Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, QLD
  • University of Queensland, Diamantina Institute, QLD
  • Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, WA
  • Telethon Kids Cancer Centre, Telethon Kids Institute, WA
  • Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, NIH, USA
  • DKFZ (German Cancer Research Center), Heidelberg, Germany
  • Kids Cancer Alliance
  • Australian and New Zealand Children’s Haematology/Oncology Group