Project information

Biomarker research for paediatric cancers

Cancer remains a major cause of mortality in children. Long-term survival is low for poor prognosis cancers. Many suffer from long-term disabilities caused by the intensity of current therapy. It is critical that new drugs are developed to target the molecular changes driving specific malignancies.

May 2016 - April 2017

Charity information: Christopher's Smile

Christopher's Smile logo
  • Need


    Current treatments are often ineffective in saving children's lives from childhood cancers. They leave in the majority of cases a legacy of long-term side effects. There is an unmet need for new targeted treatments specifically for children. Scientific knowledge and technology permit ground breaking discoveries for adults but for children the development of new treatments lags behind. New clinical trials for children are urgently needed if we are to progress from these old treatment regimens.


    Our goal is to introduce biomarkers into early paediatric clinical trials and accelerate new drugs being incorporated into frontline treatment.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Introduce biomarkers into early paediatric clinical trials and accelerate new drugs into the clinic.


    » Extend the tenure of our 2 year Clinical Fellow biomarker research post to enable maximum deliverables from the research.

    What success will look like

    The research will first identify pharmacodynamic biomarkers of ALK inhibition pre-clinically in cell lines and then evaluate these in clinical trials.

  • Impact


    The project aims to being about significant changes to paediatric clinical trials.Patients who will most benefit from targeted therapies will be chosen to enter a trial where there will be a known benefit thus avoiding treating large numbers of children with only a small chance of benefit. Our long term aim is to see the introduction of new targeted therapies specifically for children. Success will be the move from clinical trials to frontline use with these new treatments and saved lives.


    Raising sufficient funds to enable a third year of tenure is the risk. Fundraising is in place to mitigate the risk and we have allowed ourselves 2 years to reach our target thus making it more achievable.


    We report to donors by email and through our newsletters. Presentations are also given by the Trustees of the charity to ensure donors are kept up to date on project progress.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £80,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £80,000 Biomarker Clinical Fellow 3rd year of tenure for Clinical Fellow
  • Background


    The research will take place at The Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton, Surrey. This is a world renowned cancer research centre.


    Children with cancer initially in the UK will benefit from the work and ultimately globally.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Christopher's Smile has funded 2 years of this project. Ideally to ensure maximum deliverables, a third year of research is required. Christopher's Smile's strategy is to enable new safe and effective treatments for childhood cancer and this biomarker research is the next step towards reaching our overall aim.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dr Sally George

    Main investigator and Clinical Fellow working on the project currently.

    Professor Pearson

    Head of Paediatric Oncology at The ICR, Sutton, Surrey.

If we can save one child from this awful disease, our efforts will not be in vain.

Karen Capel