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Childhood Cancer Facts

The path to making treatment better

Every year approximately 1,500 children are diagnosed with cancer in the UK. Survival rates have been improving for some cancers over the past 20-30 years but there has been limited progress for some aggressive solid tumours, meaning that most children affected by these diseases continue to face a very poor prognosis. Approximately 300 children die of cancer every year in the UK.

In the United States it is estimated that more than 11,000 children and adolescents under the age of 20 receive a cancer diagnosis every year, more than 2,000 of whom die. The yearly global death toll is put at more than 80,000 children.

In the UK (as in most developed countries) improvements in treatment of other diseases mean cancer is now the leading cause of death for children under the age of 14.

The impact of recent legislation in the EU and America aimed at promoting childhood cancer drug development has been disappointing. 


All key opinion leaders, the clinical community, and patients’ organisations unanimously agree that there is a clear and urgent need for the development of new, improved drugs to treat cancer in children.


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More ambitious collaborative models are needed - Open Letter
We often hear from childhood cancer charities calls for deeper and wider collaborations among key stakeholders. I fully agree that collaborations are beneficial but I do feel that we must further...
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Childhood Cancer Facts

Drug Development for Childhood Cancers

Childhood cancers are different and new drugs against these diseases are not specifically developed. More and more targeted drugs are being developed for adults but these new drugs are not systematically evaluated in children. Any new anti-cancer compound will be fully evaluated in children many years after its first approval. Children are largely unaffected by the recent advances of cancer drug discovery

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