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A challenging but positive CCAM

2022 was a challenging but positive Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM). The sad death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II meant that many charities, like us, felt the need to pause some of our campaigning as a mark of respect during a period of national mourning.

The news has also been dominated by the energy crisis, the cost of living crisis and now the crisis facing the UK economy.

Against that backdrop, it’s been harder than ever to get childhood cancer on people’s radars to give it the attention it needs and deserves.

However, looking at 2022 so far we’ve seen some huge positives for children’s cancer research.

Back in June, in direct response to requests from clinicians, we brought together 40 of the world’s top researchers and clinicians to discuss how better to target treatments for children with cancer. This international workshop ‘Integrating Precision Medicine into Clinical Practice for Children with Cancer’ was held in Manchester. It came less than two months after MPs listened to impassioned pleas in the House of Commons for a concerted effort to bring together the very best in research, training, and treatment, to change the approach to childhood cancer once and for all.

Supported by several of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, the workshop was opened by the Director of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre, Professor Rob Bristow and the medical journal, Lancet Oncology, was present on the day.

The event connected paediatric oncologists, developing clinical trials of new treatments, with scientists, developing new technologies and approaches.  They will identify how they can better work together to improve outcomes for children with cancer.

On the 30th September, the last day of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, it was great to end on another positive as we heard the news that Cancer Research UK has launched the VIVO Biobank, in partnership with Blood Cancer UK.
The VIVO Biobank provides a single point of access for people and organisations involved in researching blood, bone marrow and solid cancers in the young. By merging two existing biobanks – the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group Tissue Bank and Blood Cancer UK’s CellBank – the partnership has created the widest collection of youth cancer samples available, helping to advance the high-quality research needed to develop new treatments faster.
Progress in the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of cancer in children depends strongly on national and international collaboration between doctors and scientists and across research institutions and charities. The VIVO Biobank is another great step forward for children and young people with cancer.
So despite having to fight hard for attention during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month this year, it’s good to see some significant steps forward and strong collaborations continuing to develop for the benefit of children and young people with cancer.

Katrina London

Katrina has specialised in the field of occupational personal injury for over 35 years and has worked exclusively for the victims of asbestos related diseases for the last 20 years.  Katrina is an APIL Accredited Occupational Disease and Asbestos Disease Specialist and Senior Litigator and has Law Society Personal Injury Accreditation. 


Carla Nuttall

Carla has over 20 years’ experience specialising in strategic communications, engagement and marketing across the public and private sector, including the BBC, Manchester Metropolitan University and Muse Developments. She is currently Executive Director of Corporate Affairs and Marketing for The Growth Company, an award-winning social enterprise that enables growth, creates jobs and improves lives.