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.