Why we need your support

The impact of childhood cancer is devastating, not only for the child but for their siblings and parents too.

Thanks to medical research, our beautiful boy is with us today. Thirty years ago, it would have been a different story.


From the first moment of diagnosis their world will be changed forever and can never be the same again; instead of the ‘normal’ family challenges of juggling multiple commitments – getting the kids to soccer practice or ballet class – the whole family’s routine is now focused on hospital visits, test results and the challenges that cancer treatment brings.

Key facts

  • More than 950 children and adolescents will be diagnosed with childhood cancer in Australia every year.
  • Sadly, nearly three children and adolescents will die from their cancer every week here in Australia.
  • Childhood cancer is the largest cause of childhood deaths from disease and in terms of life years lost is second only to breast cancer – for every child who dies at two years we have lost the potential of 78 years, based on today's average life expectancy of 80 years.
  • For the 26,000 survivors of childhood cancer in Australia today up to 70% will suffer side-effects.
  • 30% will have a permanent life-long condition such as infertility, heart condition, cognitive disorder or a secondary cancer as a result of their gruelling invasive childhood cancer treatment.

At Children’s Cancer Institute we are determined to stop this happening.

From understanding how cancer cells divide to finding out why children relapse, our world-class research projects are taking us closer to ending childhood cancer every day.

Childhood cancer is different from adult cancer with different causes, different impacts and different cancers occurring in children – this is why treatments for adult cancers often do not work for kids. Also, big pharmaceutical companies don’t currently invest in researching drugs for childhood cancer; focusing instead on the largest commercial markets which are lung, bowel, prostate and breast cancers.

This is why research dedicated solely to childhood cancer is essential.

You only have to look at the stats to see how far we’ve come. Sixty years ago childhood cancer was considered a death sentence. Today, as a result of enormous advances in research, almost eight in 10 children will survive.

But some cancers still have much lower survival rates. Aggressive neuroblastoma has a survival rate of less than 50%, which drops to less than 15% if the child relapses – and the average age of diagnosis is just two years old. There is also a type of brain tumour for which there is no treatment and every child currently dies. In this instance, there is nothing more the clinician can do than tell the parents to go home and enjoy the remaining time they have with their child.

We believe all children, no matter what their diagnosis, should have the best possible chance of surviving cancer, and thriving.

Where your funds go

At Children’s Cancer Institute we are committed to ensuring your donations are managed efficiently so that the highest possible proportion of funds received goes towards childhood cancer research.

Your donations are applied in the most effective way to make sure we are curing children with cancer.

In 2017, 79 cents of every dollar spent within the Institute was spent directly on dedicated research to help cure childhood cancer.

See our Annual Report and Strategic Plan for further details.

How you can help

We are driven by the absolute belief that medical research will one day end childhood cancer and the long-term impacts of treatment. Which is why, for more than 30 years, our talented team of scientists have been dedicated to preventing, treating and curing this disease.

We’ve made great progress. But we won’t stop until the job is done; with your help we can cure childhood cancer.

It’s not if. It’s when.

What your gifts mean