As CCIA’s Executive Director and one of the organisation’s inaugural scientists, I am proud to say that our vision to save the lives of all children with cancer and eliminate their suffering through world-class medical research has been an unwavering goal.
This year, 600 Australian children will be diagnosed with cancer and, tragically, 150 will lose their battle with this disease. The majority who survive will have one or more chronic health problems as a direct result of their treatments, ranging from infertility to learning difficulties. CCIA is committed to continuing our vital research until all children with cancer can be guaranteed a future and their quality of life improved.
Childhood cancer treatments have made incredible progress over the past few decades. In the 1950s, a diagnosis of childhood cancer was basically a death sentence. Today, seven out of every 10 children diagnosed with cancer survive. This remarkable improvement is the result of years of dedicated medical research. If survival rates for childhood cancer have increased so dramatically over the past 50 years, then imagine what we can achieve over the years to come.
I am absolutely confident that we can and will beat childhood cancer within the foreseeable future. The answers to the causes of childhood cancer, how to prevent it, how to best treat it and how to cure it are within reach and CCIA is uniquely positioned to take this next step.
Today, CCIA is at the forefront of national and international childhood cancer research facilities, with a wide range of programs addressing issues of great clinical importance. This means we are in an ideal position to take childhood cancer research to the next level. Curing childhood cancer in our lifetime is not simply wishful thinking but a genuine goal we can strive towards based on our research pedigree, innovative clinical trials and international benchmarking.
This is a unique time in our quest to cure childhood cancer; a time when we can expect particularly exciting progress, and I invite you to partner with us in this most important task. From all of us at CCIA, I thank you in advance for your support.
Professor Michelle Haber AM Executive Director