North West based Kidscan Children’s Cancer Research backs MP debate calling for improvements in childhood cancer care, treatments, and increased research.
On Thursday 21st April there is due to be a 'Backbench Business Debate: Childhood Cancer Outcomes' in the House of Commons.
This will be the first time since records began (in 40+ years) that childhood cancer will be debated in the main chamber of the HoC.
This has come about thanks to Gareth and Charlotte Fairall whose daughter Sophie gained her angel wings aged 9, when treatment could no longer stop the spread of her cancer. The Fairall’s set up 'Sophie's Legacy' to lobby for change; changes to hospital care, to raise awareness so that children are diagnosed earlier and to fund more research into effective treatments.
Kidscan is one of the only charities in the UK dedicated to finding safe new treatments for children with cancer. We support Sophie’s Legacy and encourage people to email their MP, whether a backbench MP who can attend and contribute to the debate but also any MP to help raise awareness:
AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW: Dr Emma McMurtry, Kidscan Trustee and Drug Development Scientific Consultant says:
“The team here at Kidscan are backing this campaign and call on us all to contact our MPs and ask for their support as this historic and essential debate looks at ways to improve treatment and care for children with cancer. We also hope they recognise the need for greater investment into vital research seeking new and improved targeted childhood cancer treatments, so that not only will these children survive, but they will also go on to thrive. As a Drug Development Scientist within the pharmaceutical industry with 20 years experience I have always been astounded by the lack of funding and research and development for children’s cancer treatment”
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Notes for Editors
At Kidscan, we recognise that adult and childhood cancers are different and need their own specific treatments. We are one of the only charities in the UK dedicated to finding safe new treatments for children with cancer. We invest in research that aims to both improve survival rates and stop the late effects that current treatments cause.
Our research focusses on:
• Improving or supplementing current treatments to eliminate the damage they cause to healthy cells
• Finding new ways to deliver treatments, to reduce the damage they cause whilst increasing the number of cancers they can safely reach
• Developing new treatments that only target cancerous cells, keeping healthy cells safe
In the UK, only 3.5% of cancer research spend is focussed on children, making our work incredibly important.
About Childhood Cancer
In the UK, over 20% of children who are diagnosed with cancer will not survive because treatment options are limited.
Of those who do survive, 60% will develop life-altering disabilities such as hearing loss, infertility, major organ & bone problems and even heart failure. These side effects are progressive, can appear long after treatment has finished, and mean that 25% will not see their 30th birthday.
“The journey for children doesn’t finish when they are cured, because the poisonous treatments used cause these late effects that manifest themselves many, many years down the line. The problem is getting people to understand that there is a difference between treating childhood cancer and that we are not funding it enough”
Dr David Pye, Kidscan Scientific Director
Sophie’s Legacy calls for:
1. Play specialist 7 days a week in hospitals
2. Improvements to food for children in hospital
3. For parents to be fed when staying with their child
4. For GP's, nurses and health professionals to be trained in childhood cancer
5. To increase the funds (currently 3%) in childhood cancer research
Sophie’s Legacy debate campaign aided by Dame Caroline Dinenage MP (Conservative, Gosport), local MP of Gareth and Charlotte Fairall, parents of Sophie.
This will be the first time since records began that Childhood Cancer will be debated in the House of Commons main chamber. It was previously debated in Westminster Hall in 2020 and 2016 but never on the floor of the house.
Video available: Kidscan brand film featuring interviews with childhood cancer survivors, our Scientific Director Dave Pye plus Kidscan funded researchers searching for safer, more effective treatments for children's cancers.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vp9sIbHA2tQ&t=6s
www.kidscan.org.uk For additional details and original photographs please contact: Beth Jones, Content Manager – Beth@kidscan.org.uk - 07931516960
Kirsty Leigh, Head of Operations & Marketing - Kirsty@Kidscan.org.uk - 07896 669 471