Little Princess Trust News

Share this story:

First anniversary for new partnership supporting childhood cancer research

First anniversary for new partnership supporting childhood cancer research

Funding for Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres was trebled

Today marks the first anniversary of a new funding partnership that is playing a huge role in the fight against childhood cancer.

Twelve months ago, The Little Princess Trust joined forces with groups such as Cancer Research UK to almost treble the financial support going to experimental cancer medicine centres (ECMCs) across the country.

Our involvement saw the research network budget increase from £2.3million to £6.6million over the next five years.

It has been a busy year for the network that uses clinical trials to check the efficacy and safety of new cancer drugs.

Among the highlights from an important first year were:

·         The launch of the DETERMINE trial at 19 UK sites to see if drugs, including those licensed for more common cancers, could also benefit rare cancer types.

·         The opening of a new paediatric ECMC network in Cardiff. Among the clinical trials running at the Welsh site is a study investigating acute myeloid leukaemia.

·         The Therapeutic Drug Monitoring programme has been increased to 17 centres. More than 300 young patients have been recruited and 12 drugs studied to increase scientists’ knowledge of various cancer types.

·         Evidence-based carboplatin dosing guidelines for newborns and infants have been published in the British Journal of Cancer and there are now treatment guidelines in place for carboplatin for many tumour types.

·         A new website has been set up for anyone to access helpful information for dosing in newborn patients. There are also plans to update this every six months.

As the new five-year funding commitment enters its second year, the hope remains that the support from The Little Princess Trust, CRUK and others including the National Institute for Health and Care Research will ensure more children can take part in clinical trials close to their own homes.

News of the increase in funding made headlines in national newspapers.

Around 4,200 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer each year.

Survival rates have more than doubled since the 1970s thanks to research and around 80% of children now survive for at least 10 years after diagnosis.

However, treatments are needed for cancers with worse survival rates while experts are striving to find better therapy with fewer long-term side effects.

Now, there are experimental treatment available somewhere reasonably close to you so you don’t have to travel.

Dr Guy Manakin, a consultant paediatric oncologist working in Manchester, said one of the achievements of the ECMC network is to “have experimental trial options available more widely”.

“Fifteen years ago, you probably had to go to London and we had lots of families going to other countries to access drugs,” he added.

“Now, there are experimental treatment available somewhere reasonably close to you so you don’t have to travel.”

The Little Princess Trust can only fund vitally important projects like the ECMC network thanks to the incredible generosity we receive from our wonderful supporters.

We are truly grateful to every single person who has fundraised for our charity to allow us to give Hair and Hope to children with cancer.


Back to News

The MBE for voluntary groups was awarded to The Little Princess Trust by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.