Improving the long-term health of Australian childhood cancer survivors.

While it is critical we continue to support research projects designed to improve the survival rates of children diagnosed with neuroblastoma, many children who do survive face ongoing physical and emotional health complications. These are often referred to as ‘late effects’. 

Current treatments, while necessary, are often too toxic for young children and can have permanent detrimental side effects, such as hearing loss, infertility and can in some instances cause secondary cancers to develop later on. 

The leading causes of death in survivors of childhood cancer are recurrence (55%), late effects (17%), and second malignancies (12%). 

As of 2019 we will be funding the creation of the first Australian database recording long term effects of childhood cancer treatments on survivors.

This information will to help specialists to adjust, refine and identify treatment regimes; ensuring their effectiveness in treating children with neuroblastoma whilst reducing long term survivor risks. It will also help identify effective follow-up services for survivors to help survivors of neuroblastoma to thrive post treatment.

This study will be led by Dr Christina Signorelli, Prof Claire Wakefield and Prof Richard Cohn at the Kids Cancer Centre, located within Sydney Children’s Hospital and UNSW Sydney.