The first priority of research into cancer is to find a cure.
Once a ‘cure’ is found, the research focus is to make the cure better : improve the cure rate, reduce the side effects, individualise the treatment rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health tell us that approximately 5% of children are treated on a clinical trial. However, it is standard practice to treat children with cancer on a clinical trial, which is why the cure rates for children with cancer have steadily improved over recent years. Actually, over the past 40 years the cure rate for childhood cancer has risen from 10% to an incredible 80%. Of course, without the research charities who are dedicated to improving treatments and finding cures for our children, such as CRUK, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, and others, these new treatments would not be available, and there is still huge work to be done to get that 80% up to 100%.
Research is still urgently needed to save more lives, to reduce treatments to months instead of years and to eliminate the physical side effects which can be life-affecting in themselves.