Cancer kills more than 10 million people each year globally. Half of all the UK population will suffer from cancer in their lifetime and it is the leading cause of death from infancy to age 24 in the UK.
While there has been great progress in cancer diagnosis, treatment and management, there is still much more to do.
Paediatric oncology is the study and treatment of childhood cancer. It is a particular area of focus, as childhood cancer presents unique challenges compared to cancer in adults.
For example, the dose of chemotherapy a child receives will generally depend on their weight. However, this doesn’t account for differences in bodily make-up and metabolism, which also impact the effectiveness of chemotherapy.
Paediatric oncology can also appear to be a risky area for clinical research, recruitment of patients and in the delivery of paediatric clinical trials, including ethical concerns.
During the COVID-19 pandemic we developed and used medical innovation in new ways. This included the development of mRNA vaccines and advances in precision medicine, which has accelerated the UK’s capability to produce innovative therapies, leading to an increase in the UK’s capability to produce new medical treatments.
This will allow us to prepare for future pandemics. We can also apply these new technologies to other areas of medicine.
Using what we learned during the pandemic and the UK’s world-class science capability, this programme will offer support for UK entrepreneurs to provide new cancer treatments.